The Master recently visited New College alumni in Hong Kong to encourage local members to stay in touch and to share his vision for the future of New.
The Master recently visited New College alumni in Hong Kong to encourage local members to stay in touch and to share his vision for the future of New. Professor Cairney spent 4 days in Hong Kong and in this time hosted a dinner for alumni at the Hong Kong Yacht Club and met with alumni informally at different locations to get to know alumni members.
To see photos please visit: Hong Kong Alumni Dinner.
At the dinner Professor Cairney presented his vision for the College and spent time getting to know Collegians from three different eras. He outlined the changes that have been made to the College in recent years, including the addition of the new fourth floor, and spoke about his plans to refurbish the rest of the building and consider ways to expand the work of New. As part of this he shared his ideas on a proposed Postgraduate Village that would expand the New College work. Professor Cairney also challenged alumni to consider how they might assist future collegians through the funding of a scholarship program. Professor Cairney commented that:
New College is such a special place that I want more young people to have the opportunity to attend and for those without the financial resources to have access to a number of scholarships”.
It was pleasing that a number of the alumni from the early 1980s provided a significant donation towards the new Stuart Barton Babbage Fellowship to, in their words, “express a small token of (their) thankfulness to the College and Dr Babbage because of the significant part played in (their) lives.
Judging from the comments of our Hong Kong Alumni the trip appears to have been a success:
“It was great pleasure meeting you in Hong Kong and the dinner was also wonderful. When you visit Hong Kong next time, I hope we can get more alumni to join us. It takes time to build up the connections. The step you have taken is an important one and well appreciated by us."
I had an enjoyable time last Friday and I have to say it was great to meet and ‘catch up’ with old New Collegians! The dinner was scrumptious and I can't believe how much we ate. Next time we meet I'm sure there will be more of us to share the food around.” “Thank you very much for the delicious dinner at the Yacht Club and giving me the opportunity to meet up with the old boys" and "old chooks" in Hong Kong. I enjoyed the dinner gathering very much and look forward to more alumni functions in the future.”
It was great to see you here. I am very pleased to hear of too many exciting developments at New College. It is definitely in good hands. I look forward to staying in touch and seeing you soon in HK or Singapore.
Professor Cairney was equally enthusiastic about the benefits of the trip:
I wasn’t sure at first whether a trip to Hong Kong was justified, but I’m more convinced than ever that we need to strengthen our alumni work with international Collegians. There is tremendous value in maintaining and fostering networks between alumni members and strengthening the bonds with the College. It would seem that an annual event of this kind is justified.” As a result of the success of the Hong Kong alumni event Professor Cairney intends to host a similar event in Singapore in 2006. There are also plans to return to Hong Kong in 2006 or 2007. The College’s Alumni and Public Relations Coordinator, Mark Fairfull, is keen to hear from international alumni interested in fostering events of this kind in countries where we have a reasonable concentration of collegians.