Welcome to another alumni edition of DragonTales! In my introduction to this edition last year, I’d served as Chief Advancement Officer for about three months. New to both Hong Kong and HKIS, I was in a deep learning curve, particularly about the unique character of HKIS alumni. A year later, I’m still deep in that curve, but there’s a special character trait I see a lot in HKIS alumni I’ve met since then.


HKIS alumni seem to have this trait in spades. Whether they just graduated in the Class of ’23 and are in their first semester of university, or work professionally in Hong Kong, London or New York, I’ve come to count on HKIS Alumni as being purpose-driven in their lives and in their interactions with the school, and with each other.

I’ve seen it in the form of the alumni who intentionally reconnect with the school while visiting Hong Kong. A couple times per month, I see a new alum visiting the campus after reaching out to Hillary Sandeen, Alumni Relations Coordinator, who welcomes all Dragons for campus tours and the opportunity to visit with former teachers and school leaders. With the pandemic in the rearview, the volume of these visits has grown.

This past fall, HKIS alumni signed up in force for the new online alumni community With nearly 700 registered alumni spanning the 1970s to the Class of ’23, is fast becoming a home for alumni to reconnect in a meaningful and purposeful way for sharing memories, finding classmates, and networking professionally with other HKIS Alumni with similar interests. It’s easy to see the reason—a passion for connecting with other alumni as seen in registrations from New Zealand to UAE to Norway, and in groups coalescing around L.A., New York, Singapore and Boston.

And I’ve seen it in the intentionality of a three-generation HKIS family I met this past year, where a grandparent, their child, and a grandchild enjoyed the same footfalls on the steps of the Rainbow Stairwell in the Repulse Bay Campus. The eldest, a grandfather, climbed those steps in the late 1960s, and his son did the same in the 1990s. This year, that father and son walked those steps together with the newest generation, a granddaughter, side-by-side. That family shares an intention, a purpose, in an educational experience that lasts a lifetime.

I hope you enjoy the articles and news in this edition of DragonTales. With the Lunar New Year around the corner, I will take the opportunity to wish you Kung Hei Fat Choy. As we anticipate the Year of the Dragon, I hope you will join me in celebrating the intentionality of HKIS Dragons all around the world who better the world in purpose-driven ways.

Heath K. Hignight, CFRE
Chief Advancement Officer