As a significant milestone in its three-decade history, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) unveiled today its inaugural university anthem, jointly created by its community and friends to foster members’ sense of belonging and exemplify the spirit and core values of HKUST.
Premiered at “Timeout HKUST”, the university anthem received its first public airing at the fun day held on the University’s Clear Water Bay campus today to strengthen the bond of the HKUST community, following an official ending of Hong Kong’s social distancing rules earlier this month. Dozens of students, staff and alumni were seen singing the university anthem for the very first time in a music video amidst a captivating performance of the tune by the University’s Philharmonic Orchestra. Also among the singers were HKUST Pro-Chancellor Dr. John CHAN Cho-Chak, HKUST Court Chairman the Hon. Mr. Andrew LIAO Cheung-Sing, HKUST Council Chairman Prof. Harry SHUM, HKUST President Prof. Nancy IP, HKUST Founding President Prof. WOO Chia-Wei, HKUST(Guangzhou) Founding President Prof. Lionel NI, as well as other Council members and senior management of the two campuses.
The university anthem’s creation reflects the concerted efforts of many talented individuals inside and outside HKUST. Among the 45 entries on lyrics, melody and compositions submitted to the University Anthem Working Group by students, staff, faculty, alumni and friends of both HKUST and HKUST(GZ), a selection committee consisting of University members and musical experts such as Music Director Emeritus of Hong Kong Sinfonietta Ms. Yip Wing Sze, eventually selected a melody composed by Prof. Kelvin YUEN, Affiliate Assistant Professor of Economics at HKUST and Assistant Professor from the Thrust of Urban Governance and Design at HKUST(GZ).
Meanwhile, the lyrics for the winning melody were written by incoming HKUST postgraduate student Mr. JIA Xianzhang, whose inspirational lines crafted in Putonghua stood out from the others. The English and the Cantonese versions were produced by the University’s lyric team. Mr. Lawrence TSUI, an HKUST alumnus who now works in music production, directed the university anthem’s musical presentation and recording.
HKUST Court Chairman The Hon. Andrew Liao, who adopted the idea as suggested by Council Member Ms. Edith SHIH of creating the anthem when he was Council Chairman, said, “Today’s unveiling marks an important chapter in the University’s history, and illustrates that whilst strongly science-focused, HKUST has many outstanding talents who are also passionately interested in arts and cultural creation. I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to President Prof. Nancy Ip, members of the University Anthem Working Group led by Ms. Edith Shih, the Selection Committee and our musicians and artists who have helped create this beautiful anthem in such a short period of time. It would not have happened without their passion, enthusiasm and dedication. I am sure their joint efforts will continue to inspire our members of the HKUST community.”
HKUST Council Chairman Prof. Harry Shum said, “I am happy and thankful to see our University launch its anthem under the leadership of the Hon. Mr. Liao and President Prof. Ip. Uniting members of the campuses of HKUST and HKUST(GZ), its creation is the epitome of HKUST’s can-do spirit, innovativeness and creativity.”
HKUST President Prof. Nancy Ip said, “For the first time in HKUST’s three-decade history, we have a university anthem that perfectly captures and conveys our shared identity and innovative spirit. The stirring melody and lyrics of our new university anthem brings to life our university’s vision, mission, and core values like never before, and promises to unite our members as we embark on our journey of HKUST 3.0. My heartfelt gratitude to the many students, faculty, staff, alumni, and council members whose enthusiasm, dedication, and tireless efforts have made this happen.”
Convenor of the University Anthem Working Group Ms. Edith Shih said, “I am privileged and honored to be entrusted by the Council the task of creating and producing the university anthem with my fellow group members. It is particularly heart-warming to note that the majority of the team involved in this university anthem, including the composer, lyricists, lead singers and music producer, are our very own alumni, faculty and staff members. The university anthem is a milestone in the history of our university – a legacy marking the commencement of the next phase of the university development and beyond.”
Hundreds of “Timeout HKUST” attendees joined HKUST vocalists in signing along to the university anthem after its debut, before moving on to enjoy treats such as dairy-free ice cream by HKUST-incubated startup Meat the Next, and drinks created with the smart automation technology by another startup XOXO Beverages. Other highlights included game booths and various dance and music performances by HKUST students.
The day-long event also showcased an exhibition, workshops, as well as sharing and demonstration by acclaimed origami artist and Professor of Practice at HKUST(GZ)’s Thrust of Computational Media and Arts Prof. LIU Tong. The exhibition, which comes in both physical and virtual forms, features a life-size white rhinoceros folded by Prof. Liu to commemorate the world’s last male northern white rhinoceros, and an origami artwork that he took inspiration from HKUST sundial “Red Bird”. The latter will be given to the University as a gift.