Teaching and Research
A Fun and Formal Beginning to A New School Year

Can a new school year welcome ceremony be both fun and formal at the same time? This year HKUST shows that it can. With students, faculty and staff filling every available seat in the cavernous SH Ho Sports Hall, this year's university welcome, unlike previous years, took a turn for the formal, beginning with a solemn academic procession, in full academic regalia, followed by the singing of the national anthem to the accompaniment of our full orchestra. The ceremony even has a new name: The New Student Convocation 2011.

No ceremony is complete without speeches and this Convocation is no exception. Appropriately, the speeches came from the President, Prof Tony Chan, the Provost, Prof Wei Shyy, and the President of the HKUST Students' Union Mr Tim Tsang. The speechmaking came to a rousing end with closing remarks by the President of the HKUST Alumni Association Ms Laura Cozijnsen. In his message, the president urged students to open their hearts to their peers and new people, especially to those from afar, and their minds to new learning and novel experiences.

The fun part came with a music performance by Prof Oliver Lo and his "Lasagna" group. Everyone was invited to sing along with a song that resonates with the HKUST spirit:"I Believe I can Fly" to rhythmic clapping and much merriment. To the strains of Mozart's Little Night Music, the dignitaries marched out of the hall, concluding the formal part of the ceremony. But a party is not a party without food and drinks, and there were snacks and libations galore in the Atrium, where the animated conversations and the laughter continued late into the evening.