Perhaps not many students and alumni realize that all students graduating from CUHK shall become members of the CUHK Convocation automatically. So if you happen to be an alumnus or alumna, you should count yourself a member of this 180,000-strong organization.
Established in 1993, the Convocation is an open organization that welcomes and serves every alum. It has committed itself to a variety of activities and functions crucial to the interests of the University, such as giving out awards and scholarships to outstanding students, fundraising, conducting research on the development of Hong Kong’s higher education, etc.
At the kickoff ceremony of the Convocation’s annual fundraising campaign on 26 January, the Newsletter talks to the convenor and associate convenors of the Convocation’s fundraising sub-committee to talk about the role played by the mega organization and what makes giving to their alma mater a meaningful thing to do.
The Convocation’s annual fundraising campaign this year is designated to support the CUHK Medical Centre and the I‧CARE Programme. The CUHK Medical Centre, a not-for-profit private hospital, is scheduled for completion in 2019. It is expected to provide affordable medical services to the middle-class and relieve the pressure on the public health care sector. The I‧CARE Programme supports students’ engagement in public services to round out their education and personal development.
Chairman of the Convocation as well as convenor of the fundraising sub-committee, Dr. Chan Chi-sun, said he was thrilled to see more alumni giving to their alma mater. Dr. Chan is concurrently a CUHK Council member and trustee of the New Asia College.
Together with Dr. Chan, Mr. Arthur Lee and Mr. Simon Wong, both members of the Standing Committee, serve on the fundraising sub-committee. The Convocation has six sub-committees taking care of fundraising, liaison and promotion, public affairs, education affairs, the review and drafting of the Convocation’s constitution and rules, and the future development of the Convocation.
‘All the sub-committees are channels for alumni to serve the University. Take, for example, the fundraising sub-committee which must have the best interests of the University in mind. The sub-committee comes up with fundraising proposals after a series of meetings, and they must be approved by the Standing Committee,’ Dr. Chan said.
When asked if they had set any fundraising targets, Dr. Chan said, ‘We won’t set any targets. As you can see, to build the hospital requires HK$6.3 billion, and I‧CARE Programme is a long-term project of continuous engagement. I would say “the more the merrier”.’
They all live their lives on the fast lane, and apparently their involvement in the Convocation calls for considerable commitment in time and effort. To them, being an active member offers the opportunity to work with like-minded alumni and to experience first-hand the contentment of seeing how charity can give rise to life-changing possibilities for many.
The Rehabus is perhaps one of the best examples of how a successful charity project can spur the fundraisers on to achieving even more.
‘It is quite touching to see the van bearing the name of the Convocation weave its way up and down the hilly campus to transport students with disability,’ Mr. Lee said.
To Mr. Wong, the Convocation offers an ideal platform for giving to CUHK. He also adds that the Convocation welcomes alumni from different backgrounds to get involved.
‘The committee members are elected, meaning that everyone, including you and me, enjoy an equal chance to serve on the committee.’
The fundraising team unanimously attributes the characteristics of CUHK to civic responsibility and collegial solidarity. Through fundraising and charity, the three alumni spare no effort in preserving the CUHK ethos as a tradition we cherish, exemplifying the spirit of giving that binds the CUHK community together.
By Eliza Chan, ISO
Readers who wish to support the Convocation Fundraising Campaign 2016 can downloadits leaflet and donation form at here.
This article was originally published in No. 475, Newsletter in Apr 2016.