Ma Man Kei and Lo Pak Sam College (MLC) held its first High Table Dinner of this semester on September 6, 2019. The High Table Dinner is a formal event for students to learn social etiquette and provides a chance for students to interact and dine closely with faculty staff, administrators and esteemed guests. The dinner attracted about 210 guests and students, including Prof. Yonghua Song, Rector of University of Macau (UM); Prof. Rui P. Martins, Vice-Rector of UM (Global Affairs); Prof. Katrine Ka Ki Wong, Interim Master of MLC; Prof. Michael Li, invited Keynote Speaker and Associate Dean of Teaching and Learning of Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts; Prof. Chuang Wang, Dean of the Faculty of Education; Prof. Meifang Zhang, Master of Cheong Kun Lun College; Prof. Benzi Zhang, Master of Shiu Pong College; Prof. Rico Long Wai Lam, Registrar; Mr. Paul Chap Chong Pang, Dean of Students; Dr. Jianzhong Wu, Librarian; and Dr. Qingning Liang, Associate Master of MLC. In addition, 16 Non-Resident Fellows and Affiliates from different faculties also attended the dinner.

In his speech, Rector Song first welcomed all the freshmen to MLC and congratulated the formal appointment of the House Association members. He stressed that the residential college system, under the 4-in-1 educational system, is an important part for community and whole-person education. He emphasized that students were very lucky to be able to study and live in UM, and further advised them to study hard and excel by utilizing and cherishing the resources of RC. Amid the keynote speech sharing, our Rector recalled his experience when he first arrived in the U.K and encouraged all students to “start from scratch, know more friends and try to integrate into the local learning and living environment.” Subsequently, Prof. Martins also joined the discussion and shared his experience of working in different roles in UM over the past 27 years. He encouraged our students to adhere to their dreams, acquire professional knowledge and participate in more activities in order to achieve the development as a “whole-person”.

At the opening remark, Prof. Katrine Wong welcomed all guests and freshmen. She spoke highly of the staff and student leaders of MLC for their outstanding performance that facilitated freshmen’s smooth integration into new learning and living environment. At the same time, she also encouraged our freshmen to treat the college as their “second home” where they should actively learn new knowledge to improve their ability. The climax of the dinner was highlighted by Prof. Li’s keynote speech entitled “Your life is in your hands” in which he encouraged students to dream big and embrace life challenges. Prof. Li’s passionate speech pleasantly engaged the whole audience, engendering an interactive atmosphere.

Overall, through deploying various innovative attempts on decoration and arrangement, this High Table Dinner successfully created a space for social and intellectual exchange and interaction between students and staff. This same evening saw the new president of House Association, witnessed by all presiding guests, pledge to take up the important role to serve the college. Eventually, with outstanding performances of students together with a “surprise” song from our interim college master, the dinner was coloured with joy and cheer.