University of Southern California

USC Global Conference News

Global Challenges and Enhancing Opportunities Hong Kong, October 13-15, 2011

Opening Night Gala

HONG KONG (For Immediate Release) The 2011 USC Global Conference opened with a roaring success—a lion’s roar, that is—as USC president C. L. Max Nikias (r.) and Hong Kong Finance Secretary John Tsang (l.) inaugurated the three-day conference with a ceremonial “waking” of a lion in a traditional Chinese lion dance. The waking was a symbol of both the beginning of the conference, and the larger emergence of the “Age of the Pacific” that is a focus of the University of Southern California. One of the presidential priorities is to create trans-Pacific alliances, by fully utilizing Los Angeles as a laboratory for trans-Pacific research, education and culture, and by building the foremost network of Pacific leaders.

The evening’s gala dinner, attended by more than 500 alumni, supporters, Board of Trustee members, and friends of the university, reflected the theme of international cooperation in pursuit of solutions to current economic, scientific, environmental, policy, and cultural challenges that cross geopolitical and traditional disciplinary boundaries.


“We recognize the inevitability and necessity of our global community intersecting in ways that are profoundly new and that will require us to look beyond established paradigms,” said USC provost and senior vice president for academic affairs Elizabeth Garrett. “The recent shift of influence in economies, industries, and culture to the Pacific Rim is clear.”

Provost Garrett also acknowledged the work of conference co-chair and USC Trustee Ronnie C. Chan in bringing the Asia region business community together for this vital event.


Hong Kong Finance Secretary John Tsang, the special speaker for the evening,  emphasized the importance of the role research education institutions like USC in the economic development and long-term prosperity of metropolitan areas such as Hong Kong.

“Taking a leaf out of the USC book of progress,” commented Tsang, “Hong Kong is increasing its focus on attracting high quality, international talent to our universities as well. We are also working hard to become better connected with schools, with research institutions, and high tech companies around the world.  These days we are placing a much stronger emphasis on innovation and technology, on education, as well as creative industries.  This will make Hong Kong a more creative and innovative place.”


The evening’s formal remarks, the event concluded  on a cultural high note with a selection of classical and traditional Korean music performed by three USC Thornton students: two international students originally from South Korea, soprano Juhye Kim and tenor Sungwook Kim, both opera students currently enrolled in the vocal arts graduate certificate program; and Hong Kong-born Nevada resident Kevin Wu, an M.M. student in piano.

See additional photos from the event.


Topics: Business, Event Coverage, Media Release, Thornton


Under the banner of “Global Challenges and Enhancing Opportunities,” USC hosts its 2011 Global Conference in Hong Kong Oct. 13 to 15. Remarks by USC president C. L. Max Nikias and a keynote address by Thomas L. Friedman set the stage for a program of leading experts providing global perspectives on technologies and the economy, global health and the environment, and governance and cultural landscapes. Follow us on Twitter #USCHK.