CUHK Inauguration Ceremony for Undergraduates Held Today
At The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), the Inauguration Ceremony for Undergraduates took place today. In the ceremony, Prof. Joseph J.Y. Sung, Vice-Chancellor, encouraged students to open their minds and their hearts to the world to learn about the problems of the globe and try to make it a better place for mankind, apart from acquiring knowledge and enhancing their social skills.
The world is changing rapidly and problems in one country can easily affect the others, whether these be financial turmoils, carbon dioxide emissions and epidemic of infectious diseases. These problems are closely related to everyone in the global village. Professor Sung hoped that the new students will learn their responsibilities as a global citizen and join different activities on and beyond campus to understand the real world, for example, to learn about poverty and AIDS-related problems in Africa, to render services to victims of the Sichuan earthquake, and to assist new immigrants and the ethnic minority in Hong Kong.
Professor Sung concluded his speech with an extract from Lin Yutang’s The Wisdom of Confucius, ‘The principles of the higher education consist in preserving man’s clear character, in giving new life to the people, and in dwelling in perfection, or the ultimate good. Only after knowing the goal of perfection where one should dwell, can one have a definite purpose in life. Only after having a definite purpose in life can one achieve calmness of mind. Only after having achieved calmness of mind, can one have peaceful repose. Only after having peaceful repose can one begin to think. Only after one has learned to think, can one achieve knowledge. There are a foundation and a super-structure in the constitution of things, and a beginning and an end in the course of events. Therefore to know the proper sequence or relative order of things is the beginning of wisdom.’
As a mark of respect to Miss Fiona Lee, the Physics undergraduate admitted this year who unfortunately departed this life earlier, Professor Sung was joined by all attending teachers and students in a one-minute silence before his speech. Professor Sung also read out a letter from Fiona’s father, Dr. Lee Wai-choi, to encourage students to live a meaningful life. Dr. Lee said, ‘As Fiona’s father, I loved, cried, laughed, lived with her. Over the past 19 years, Fiona honoured her parents, cared for her relatives, respected her teachers and was loyal to her friends; she had a passion for knowledge, nature and life. We still do not know her reason for leaving, but as the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein said, “What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence.” Dr. Lee continued, ‘Though Fiona’s life was short as a meteor, it was filled with love and joy, and is also fruitful and meaningful.’