Samantha Trippy, HKUST Exchange, Fall 2014
After a fantastic week spent in the Philippines during a school break, I was dreading delving back into classes. With four midterms within a two week period after my return, I knew my adventures in Hong Kong would be swapped with library study sessions, at least temporarily. To my surprise, I received some fantastic news upon my return to school: Morty would be visiting Hong Kong!
Morty graciously invited all six NU students currently on exchange at HKUST to a lunch at the university’s nicest restaurant with himself, HKUST President, Tony Chan, and other administrators from both schools. The lunch was an incredible opportunity to get to know Morty and HKUST’s president on a more personal level. I was truly impressed at the way Morty was able to involve us, students, in the conversation, even when it seemed to stray to fancy, university president issues which would otherwise go right over my head. The entire experience was a bit surreal–sitting with the beloved NU president I wasn’t even sure I would have the opportunity to meet on NU’s campus, let alone halfway across the world.
To my extreme delight, Morty then invited all of the students to an alumni reception being held that evening. All six of us could not pass up the opportunity to escape studying, hang out more with Morty, and eat free food, (yes, eating free food still holds the same amount of appeal in Hong Kong as it does at NU) so we found ourselves eating hors d’oeuvres and networking with a diverse array of NU alumni later that evening. Aside from feeling a bit like a lowly, plebeian undergrad amongst those so professionally accomplished, I was thrilled to be there and experience, firsthand, how global Northwestern’s presence is.
The entire experience was humbling and eye-opening. It becomes easy, as an undergrad, to think of NU in relation to yourself–you are the center of your own NU-niverse, (haha, haha… see what I did there?) with the university seeming to exist as far as it pertains to your academics and activities. But for the first time, I began to truly think of Northwestern as the global family and network it so proudly claims to be. With the “We Will” campaign as a major discussion point at the event, I found myself in awe of the massive number of fields Northwestern is involved (and excels) in, as well as the amazing progress Northwestern seeks to make under Morty’s leadership in the coming years. And here, in Hong Kong, I have found even more reason to take great pride in being a Wildcat.