HKUST Congregation

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

President's Address

 
 

Professor Tony F CHAN
 
 
 

Distinguished guests, graduates, parents, friends and colleagues:

We celebrate the achievements of bright, enthusiastic young minds on this happy occasion of our graduation ceremony.  But I would also like to speak for a few minutes about the vital role awaiting them as they step into the world at large.

At HKUST, we strive to provide an all-round education that fosters the very best in our graduates, not only academically but as contributing, compassionate global citizens, with high integrity, who will go on to have meaningful and beneficial lives that lead by example.  This may be in Hong Kong.  It may be elsewhere.  But more than ever, the world needs the open minds and hearts of those leaving proudly from the Atrium after today’s ceremony.

We are faced with unsettling times in many, many ways.  From political controversies to economic volatility to social divisions at home and abroad, we are challenged by complex issues that jeopardize the values we hold dear, both personally and as citizens.

But graduates, always remember you have a strong foundation for meeting these challenges, helped not only by your knowledge but also by the personal attributes in your possession as a result of your years at HKUST.

Firstly, you have acquired critical thinking.  Through your studies and many discussions with your professors and fellow students, you know how to arrive at conclusions based on facts and evidence.  Quick judgments, prejudice and small mindedness have no place in a globalized modern society; indeed any civilized society.  Analytical skills learnt here in this unique, best-of-the-East-and-West University enable a HKUST graduate to be rational and to think through every issue.

Secondly, a HKUST graduate knows how to be respectful of other views even when you disagree with them.  You may have made friends on campus with people from different backgrounds, and with different views, to your own; or you may have gone on exchanges or other activities outside Hong Kong; or you may have taken part in community service.  You have seen that the world is not uniform, that there are many perspectives out there.  And being respectful of others' views does not necessarily mean you agree with them, but it actually helps you understand the issue better.

Thirdly, you have also learned from your time here that to discuss an issue rationally is to gain new insight on how to reconcile differences and – equally awesome – spark shared ideas and goals.  There is no need to shout someone down when you can calmly and objectively weigh up a situation and advance toward mutual solutions, which should be discussed and not forced.

Fourthly, working with others in teams and on group projects, and time spent with student organizations and societies, will have helped you to understand that there is no place for pressuring people to take a stand.  Ideals and principles are great motivators, and people can be passionate about persuading others to see their views.  However, if they choose not to stand on the same side, it is their decision to make.

Finally, everyone is responsible for his or her own actions.  Blaming others, making excuses, or jumping in immediately to criticize the system are not qualities that foster a civil society.  At HKUST, you have had opportunities to make your own decisions in many areas of your life, from how you studied to what activities you joined.  I believe you will be able to use such experience to serve as responsible individuals and citizens, who can contribute usefully and wholeheartedly to the communities in which you live.

It is not an easy task you face.  However, as the distinguished lives of our six honorary graduates show, it is possible to excel through personal endeavor and open-mindedness; through cross-cultural awareness, through courage and perseverance; through adherence to justice and fair play; and through a drive to share the rewards of success and pass on experience to others.

So go forth, HKUST graduates, with the assurance that you are among the leaders and shapers of tomorrow, and that you are equipped to make a positive difference.  Faculty members, alumni, supporters and parents, take pride in these young people – to whom we entrust our future.

Today is a joyful day.  Let all those here remember the shared exuberance and shining expectations of this moment and go build a better world!

Thank you!

 

校長講辭

陳繁昌教授

各位嘉賓、畢業同學、家長、親友和同事:

今日是本校的畢業典禮,祝賀各位年輕有為、滿腔熱誠的畢業同學學有所成。你們快將踏上世界舞台,擔當重要角色,我藉此機會向各位贈言。

香港科技大學致力提供全人教育,讓各位盡展所長,不但在學術上有卓越成就,更希望培養大家成為有承擔、關懷社會、品格高尚的世界公民;無論留在香港,或身處何地,都活出有意義的人生,造福社群,成為眾人的榜樣。今天的典禮完結後,各位同學將會自豪地離開這個會場;世界越來越需要像你們所擁有的開明思想與廣闊胸懷。

無論在香港或其他地方,大家都面對政治爭議、經濟波動、社會分化等複雜議題;我們個人和作為爲社會公民所持守的價值或會被動搖。

然而,各位畢業同學,請謹記在科大的歲月已為你們建立穩固基礎,去面對種種挑戰,大學教育不僅幫助你們增進知識,亦陶造了你們的個人特質,終生受用。

首先,你們已經掌握批判的思維方式。在學的時候,透過與師長、同學反覆討論,實事求是,達致有理可依的結論。今日全球化的現代社會,或者任何文明社會,不能接受武斷、偏頗和狹隘的思想。科大是東西薈萃、兼容並蓄的國際大學,在這裡學習的分析能力,可以幫助你們以理性思考不同問題。

第二,我相信科大畢業生已學懂尊重不同的意見,校園有來自各種文化背景的同學,透過日常相處或到外地交流、參加社區服務,你們得以明白世界是多元化的,每人都有不同觀點和立場。尊重他人意見並不代表認同,但有助於清晰理解議題。

第三,大學教育強調理性討論,方能找到新的論據,達成共識,更重要的是藉著討論,建立彼此接受的新思維和取向。我們可以平靜客觀地商討解決方案,讓各人表述意見。

第四,各位同學透過參與不同團隊、小組討論,以至學生組織和活動,可以領略到不應該強要別人接受某種想法。有理想、講原則固然是強大的動力,你可以積極表達個人立場,然而,任何人都可以有自己的想法,這是個人決定。

最後,對一己行為負責尤其重要。指責、藉口或者動輒批評制度不完善,無助於建立文明社會。科大提供自由的空間,讓你們選擇修讀的科目、參與各項活動,我相信透過這些經驗,各位不但懂得為自己的行為負責,而且可以竭盡所能,回饋社會。

縱然前路未必是坦途,然而,正如今屆六位榮譽博士所展示的,憑着個人努力,廣闊的胸襟,接受不同文化,加上勇氣和堅毅的意志,秉持公平公正,而且願意與別人分享自己的所想所得,前景是光明的。

各位畢業同學是明日的社會領袖,掌握著未來。放心吧!你們已作好準備,令社會變得更善更美。各位老師校友、朋友和家長,讓我們以在座各位未來社會的主人翁為榮。

今天是值得高興的日子,我們欣喜萬分,滿懷憧憬,讓我們銘記於心,為建立更美好的世界而奮鬥,發光發熱。

多謝各位!