11 December 2013

Dear Alumni,

It was a great honour to welcome to the CityU family this year three outstanding recipients of our honorary degrees: Dr Yukio Hatoyama, President of the East Asian Community Institute and former Prime Minister of Japan; Mr Koo Ming-kown, founder of Nam Tai Electronics, Inc and a pioneer in his field; and Professor Myron S. Scholes, Frank E. Buck Professor of Finance, Emeritus, at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and the 1997 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences. Their affiliation with us is a further boost to CityU’s commitment to scholarship and excellence.

Under the auspices of the City University Distinguished Lectures, Dr Hatoyama gave a talk on “My Vision for the East Asian Community” and Professor Scholes gave one titled “Global Economy: Post the Global Financial Crisis”. The 600-seat grand theatre in AC3 was packed on both occasions and the talks drew several rounds of applause from a fascinated audience deeply inspired by the bold visions presented by the two speakers. I was particularly gratified to see a huge turnout of students actively interacting with the speakers during both sessions.

Since my arrival in 2008, I have devoted my efforts to creating a strong academic culture and an inspiring environment on campus to support student learning and development. In addition to the City University Distinguished Lecture Series, I have introduced the President’s Lecture Series: Excellence in Academia, a forum for outstanding professors at the University to talk about the results or latest advances in their fields. These lectures, now numbering nearly 20, embody CityU’s spirit of discovery and innovation.

Students stand at the heart of our educational mission. Under the guidance of a proactive Campus Master Plan developed four years ago, we have created 60% more space through the successful completion of AC2, AC3 and the Creative Media Centre building. These new buildings have significantly improved the space for learning and the intellectual ambience of the University. We are deeply encouraged by the highly complimentary comments received from many of you when visited regarding these improvements, both in terms of the physical and the intellectual environment.

It takes ten years to grow trees and a hundred years to educate a generation. On the eve of the launch of our year-round celebratory activities to mark the University’s 30th Anniversary in the spring of 2014, my colleagues and I are keenly aware that we carry grave responsibilities and that there is still a long journey ahead of us. But the joy of seeing the development of our students and having your strong support will propel us forward in the tireless journey to realize our academic mission.

Before closing, let me take this opportunity to congratulate the newly elected Fourth Standing Committee of the CityU Convocation. I look forward to working productively with the new Committee.

Season’s Greetings and wishing all of you and your family a very prosperous 2014!

Way Kuo

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