HKIS Spring Celebration
On May 3, 2024, HKIS came together for a special moment to celebrate the unique character and commitment of our school community. Featuring heartwarming stories, this event highlighted how you–HKIS students, faculty, staff, parents and alumni–embody the values of the school’s vision. It celebrated what it means to be a leading place of learning that inspires a socially engaged community of collaborative, creative, and resilient learners.
Click above to enjoy a taste of the first HKIS Spring Celebration!
Celebrating HKIS
A driving force behind organizing the Spring Celebration was to reintroduce how an annual fundraising event for our school could look and feel. The theme of “Where Great Students Become Great People” was an anchor for the night, helping direct decisions around building the event program. It was decided that the people who make HKIS great were to be the stars of the night. This was behind many choices in how the evening would be run. One major shift was to sponsor tables so a high ratio of faculty members could join the evening, student performances were curated as the main program instead of a keynote speaker, and one of the best decisions was around who would be the MCs. The couple that took the crown were alums Kathryn (Katie) Shull and Jonathan Chu ‘09, a power duo that embody the theme of the night and HKIS’s mission to create socially engaged global citizens.

  • 515 guests at 53 tables
  • 157 faculty and staff guests
  • 9 student performances with 
  • 51 student performers
  • 10 faculty and staff musicians
  • Approx. $5 million dollars raised!
For more reporting, stay tuned for the Annual HKIS Impact Report out in November 2024!
Above: MS students perform a medley from the MS Footloose production; faculty and staff formed a special ensemble to welcome guests with an impressive performance.
“With this event, Advancement wanted to create a special event that put the focus on the community and on students. Four years passed without any significant gathering, which meant that the event needed to highlight how parents, alumni, teachers and staff all pull together for the education and growth of HKIS students. With close to 600 people attending and an emphasis on showcasing impact rather than fundraising, I believe the HKIS Spring Celebration helped bookend these challenging recent years. Together, we turned the page to a new chapter for HKIS—one that will fill our community with excitement for the incredible future ahead.”

Heath K. Hignight
HKIS Chief Advancement Officer

Above: giant dragon adorned with printed memories from the HKIS community; and champagne appears from the History Wall as guests read about HKIS across the decades.
Experiencing Wonder
Guests arrived at the Ocean Park Marriott Ballroom to a handmade dragon installation that featured favorite HKIS memories submitted by our community members, just in front of a three-story aquarium. The space was transformed into an evening of wonder, starting with a huge silk curtain that created mystery and excitement before guests entered the cocktail reception area. Here they met a six-meter long History Wall that chronicled the Journey of the HKIS Community. Vintage photos, key dates along HKIS’s colorful timeline, and the names of so many great people that help to build our school community filled the wall. Interspersed among the stories on the wall were small curtains that would open to reveal a glass of champagne when visitors rang a special bell. This led to a bar encased in a huge pergola with a rainbow of ribbons running back and forth across the frame. On the other side, an ensemble of faculty and staff performed classic tunes to entice guests down towards another fun feature of the night–a 360° slow-motion glamcam that captured short videos.

Inside the grand ballroom, 53 tables were set with custom-made centerpieces crafted by a local artist to evoke the rolling peaks of the Tai Tam Country Park. The official program kicked off with a powerful light show that quieted the room so guests could enjoy the UP Chinese drum troupe. They commanded the room with an enthusiastic performance that set the stage for the HKIS Memory Dragon to enter the ballroom flanked by two ribbon dancers moving through the whole crowd in an artistic processional. Just after this, the esteemed MCs of the night took the stage, and the first HKIS Spring Celebration had officially started! Guests were then treated to the debut of two brand new school videos–one that told the story of our mission through the four divisions and a testimonial video featuring the impact of HKIS on our community members.

Student performances were the focus of the program. From the top: HS Strings ensemble plays in front of the theme "Where Great Students Become Great People"; an excerpt from the HS cast of Anything Goes featured a tap dance interlude; a courageous and spell-binding solo was give by the lead in the UP Musical Annie Jr.
Student-centered Performing Arts Showcase
After a delicious dinner and time for guests to move between tables and socialize with new and old friends, the main portion of the program started. An a cappella performance caused a hush to form over the crowd, perfect for enjoying the following lineup–a strings quartet, band ensemble, two musical excerpts performed by the MS Footloose cast and HS Anything Goes players, and a crowd-rousing solo performance from the lead in the UP musical Annie Jr.

Dr. Ron Roukema, HKIS Interim Head of School, then took the stage to introduce some excitement behind the new Performing Arts Center which will be completed in 2028. The night ended with a huge toast from Board Chair Harold Kim which celebrated all the community members who help make HKIS great. Confetti was heard as we toasted the families of the class of 2024! The celebration continued with a live band and a dance floor that brought everyone together.

The evening ended with a message from Dr. Roukema about the strength of the Performing Arts Program at HKIS and an exciting sneak peek at its future home in Tai Tam, which was followed by dancing!
Thank you to the event sponsors who made the evening so impactful!