Convocation Newsletter, Spring 2019

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of HKU Convocation. To commemorate this special occasion, Dr Patrick Poon 潘燊昌 (BSc 1970), Chairman of the University of Hong Kong Convocation, says Convocation has much to look forward to in 2019. Dr Poon feels honoured to lead the 60th Anniversary Celebration Organising Committee and to bring in new ideas. Although the Convocation’s anniversary plans will be announced in autumn, he is excited to share that there will be a series of events involving all members. “Unlike most other alumni bodies, the Convocation seldom organised social activities in the past six decades. To celebrate the 60th anniversary, we hope to engage our members for the first time ever with an anniversary dinner with a very pleasant and relaxing ambience,” Dr Poon said. The celebrations will mark a milestone in HKU Convocation’s long history, and, adding excitement to the anniversary year, Convocation is planning to launch a fund-raising campaign, allowing government-aided students to gain outbound exchange and global working experiences. “More students will be able to benefit from donations as a result of the Matching Grants Scheme, which will commence in July this year, and I think it is a perfect time to launch the campaign,” he added. As Convocation continues moving forward, Dr Poon looks back to the day of its establishment, as well as its achievements over the past decades. Its records date back to April 2, 1959 when the statutory body, which was founded in 1958, held its first meeting in Loke Yew Hall. Mr Li Chung-Ching 李頌清 (BSc(Eng) 1924), who was active in the colony’s civic affairs, was elected as the first chairman of Convocation for a term of three years. In the same year, Mr Li’s father, Li Po-Kwai 李葆葵 , established scholarships for undergraduates commencing the curriculum of the Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree. Dr Poon expressed his gratitude at being elected two years ago as Chairman of Convocation. “I am deeply indebted to our members as our Standing Committee of HKU Convocation was directly elected by them. Convocation has represented the opinions of members and presented such views to the University in the best interest of the University. I hope to help achieve the Celebrating its 60 th anniversary, HKU Convocation keeps moving forward vision of the University and take it to greater heights,” Dr Poon said. Dr Poon graduated in 1970 and became the first Hong Kong-born citizen to obtain full actuarial professional qualifications from the Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries in 1975. He has witnessed the growth of the University since the 1970s, and his alma mater and its development have always had a fond place in his heart. Since all graduates and teachers of HKU are automatically members of HKU Convocation and, as the University is the oldest tertiary education institution in Hong Kong, HKU now has more than 180,000 members around the world. Membership in Convocation gives HKU graduates unique privileges. As well as acting as an official channel for members to convey to the University their views about the University, members can also participate in matters relating to the development of HKU. “Moving forward, we will interact more with our members. We have launched an official Facebook page, which I believe will enable members to participate more in the Convocation’s activities and discussions, thereby in the long term strengthen the role of Convocation and make it a more vibrant organisation.” 38 SPRING 2019