Bulletin No. 2, 2020

32 Chinese University Bulletin No.2, 2020 Alumni Affairs Office The Rocks and the Falls Alumni Homecoming and The CUHeart and CUMind T he sharing given by the four organizers of the Alumni Affairs Office (AAO) at the Alumni Association Centre is comparable to a crisp autumn day—to them, 2020 was not an annus horribilis , but rather a year of hope and opportunities. Comprising 14 people, this small team has trodden a precarious and uncertain path. As luck would have it, they achieved marvellous results: 3,300 people registered for the online Alumni Homecoming event, they developed a theme song for the occasion, and they enlisted a groundbreaking number of donors for the CUHK Alumni Torch Fund. The pandemic also made the team realize one thing: that CUHK alumni care for their alma mater, are multi-talented, and willing to stick it out through thick and thin. ‘We were pretty worried at first that our alumni would reject the idea of having the Homecoming online, but it turned out the worry was all for naught. For one thing, overseas alumni can be included, and events may be revisited. Temporal or geographical restrictions are lifted,’ said Joy Lee , the senior manager. The unforeseen pandemic has sent events online, meaning the team has to spend more time to handle different kinds of tasks and follow up. ‘The single event of Homecoming was turned into a process. Beyond the event day, we had to make lots of prior contacts with different parties and curated programme revisits. Hosting the Alumni Homecoming online means catering to both overseas and local alumni and requires massive preparatory work and detailed planning,’ recalled Daniel Cheng , the director. ‘The most challenging aspect about online events is to keep the human touch. The Homecoming was conducted in a hybrid fashion—alumni might join online or go back to the campus and participate on the spot. It certainly makes you feel good when you can join in person, no?’ he added good-humouredly. In terms of content, the online Homecoming followed in the footsteps of its predecessors and highlighted the development of the University. The team spent much effort in bringing the event to life, such as inviting the renowned Leaving a Trace and an Aftertaste —Navigators of the New Normal