1.    2019 marks the 100th Anniversary of Hwa Chong Institution (HCI) since its inception as The Chinese High School in 1919. A series of celebratory events including a gala dinner, heritage trail as well as keynote lectures and forum discussions by thought leaders from various fields will be held over the course of the year.

2.    The Centennial Celebrations are centred around the theme 砥砺自强,厚德载物, meaning “To strive ceaselessly for self-improvement; to serve virtuously for communal growth”. 


3.    HCI and the larger Hwa Chong family have planned a series of events for its Centennial Celebrations that commemorate the institution’s establishment for the last 100 years. The celebrations aim to bring students, current and former teachers, alumni and partners, together in a year-long celebration. In conjunction with Singapore’s Bicentennial, it has also organised centennial events that revolve around the bicentennial theme and reflect the school’s role in Singapore’s development as well as its pioneers’ contributions to education and culture.   


4.    The following is the overarching framework of the Centennial Celebrations:

  • Cherishing the Past – honouring our roots and remembering the spirit of giving from our founders and how we have come thus far;

  • Celebrating the Present – celebrating our strengths and current achievements, our talents, our vibrant culture and school unity; 

  • Embracing the Future – envisioning possibilities and conceptualizing ideas to move forward with confidence, pushing boundaries to continually be at the forefront of innovation and education change.

Highlights of the Centennial Celebrations

5.    The following are the highlights of the Hwa Chong Centennial Celebrations:

  • Hwa Chong Heritage Trail (9 Mar 2019)

  • Hwa Chong Centennial Founders’ Day Gala Dinner (万人宴) and launch of the Hwa Chong Art Gallery Project (21 Mar 2019)

  • Hwa Chong Centennial Musical (18 May 2019)

  • Hwa Chong Centennial Insights Series (Series of five, running from Jan to Oct 2019)

  • Hwa Chong Centennial Sports Day Carnival (29 Jul 2019)


Partnering Our Talented Alumni

6.    Our Centennial Celebrations will feature original works by our talented alumni, Mr Lee Kow Fong, aka Ah Guo, renowned illustrator, writer and picture-book author, and Dr Liang Wern Fook, writer, singer-composer and educator in Chinese literature and the Chinese language, who is also dubbed as one of the most important figures of the Xinyao movement. These works have been specially created for the Centennial Celebrations. They include five pieces of artwork with different themes depicting various parts of the school campus by Ah Guo, and a original song composition dedicated to the school by Dr Liang Wern Fook. They evoke cherished memories among all Hwa Chongians and reflect the indelible bonds that these artists have with their alma mater, as well hopes and aspirations for the school on its centennial milestone.

Commemorating Singapore’s Bicentennial

7.    HCI is also collaborating with various partners to commemorate Singapore’s Bicentennial through its contribution to education, arts and heritage. 

8.    As part of its Centennial Celebrations, HCI will be partnering Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall to organise the Hwa Chong Heritage Trail on 9 March 2019. The Hwa Chong Heritage Trail will feature a travelling exhibition, named Chinese Business Pioneers – Supporting Singapore's Education (润物细无声-- 华商领袖对新加坡教育之贡献).   Co-curated by Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall and HCI students, the exhibition will highlight Chinese business pioneers who had contributed significantly to Singapore's education scene, including the school’s founder, Mr Tan Kah Kee.

Founders’ Day Centennial Gala Dinner

9.    2019 will also see HCI launch the Kwa Chuan Centennial Art Gallery (KCCAG) Project, during the Founders’ Day Centennial Gala Dinner on 21 March 2019.  KCCAG will house the works of pioneer artists cum former Hwa Chong teachers like Liu Kang, Cheong Soo Pieng, Chen Wen Hsi and Chen Chong Swee. These esteemed artists have successfully blended the best of the East and West in creating the distinctive “Nanyang style” art-form.  In line with Singapore’s Bicentennial commemoration in 2019, KCCAG will be a meaningful contribution of Hwa Chong to the nation as these works are part of Singapore’s artistic heritage and cultural assets. It also allows for younger generations of Singaporeans to understand the history of our local art, through experiential learning as part of the art curriculum. The KCCAG also aims to create an art space to explore creativity through art and showcase the creative works of students. 


10.    The Centennial Gala Dinner is a grand homecoming for alumni and members of the Hwa Chong family, which will see more than 12,000 attending the event in the school campus. The launch of the KCCAG on 21 Mar, its Founders’ Day, is significant as it marks the exact day the school was founded, a hundred years ago. 

Hwa Chong Centennial Insights Series

11.    The Hwa Chong Centennial Insights Series aim to provide a platform for the continued engagement with thought leaders to lead collective conversations in our commitment to education for the nation and humanity. Each lecture will see the engagement of and with two giants in their fields. Thematically spanning the strategic vision of Hwa Chong, the lecture series will reach out to our students, staff, alumni, partners and the larger education fraternity, by leveraging on the existing platforms in our academic calendar.  (See Annex B for more information on the Hwa Chong Centennial Insights Series)

Hwa Chong Centennial Insights Series

The Hwa Chong Centennial Insights Series provide a platform for the continued engagement with thought leaders to lead collective conversations in our commitment to education for the nation and humanity. Each lecture will see the engagement of and with two giants in their fields. Thematically spanning the strategic vision of Hwa Chong, the lecture series will reach out to our students, staff, alumni, and partners and the larger education fraternity, by leveraging on the existing platforms in our academic calendar.

The following are the 5 editions of the Insights Series:

1. International Science Youth Forum (23 Jan 2019)


Speakers: Sir Tim Hunt (2001 Nobel Prize Winner in Physiology or Medicine) and Dr Tuomo Suntola (2018 Millennium Technology Prize Winner

Science and invention often meet in their common pursuit of innovative breakthroughs. The process of value-adding creation through conceptualization and experimentation allows for dynamic shifts in industry and consumer behaviour. Science & Enterprise: A Symbiotic Union explores these intricate relationships and collaborative efforts between leading researchers and entrepreneurs.

2. Hwa Chong – Nanyang Education Conference (15 Feb 2019)


Speakers: DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam and renowned Finnish educator Professor Pasi Salberg

Educators must ensure that they are well-equipped with the necessary skillsets to secure their students’ proficiencies for the renewed needs of an expanding economy. Educating for the Future: Charting the Next Century will offer a blueprint for the 21st century classroom and identify strategic pedagogies that educators can employ to encourage student-led innovation and collaborative learning in a digital age.

3. Hwa Chong Asia-Pacific Young Leaders Summit (26 Jul 2019)


Speakers: Former Minister Mr George Yeo and Harvard University’s East Asian Languages and Civilisations Professor Michael Puett

Globalisation has brought the East and the West closer together. The confluence and interconnectivity enable people, ideas, systems and communities to engage like never before. Hwa Chong believes strongly in inculcating in our students bilingual proficiency and a bicultural mind-set drawing the best from the East and West. Wisdom of the East and West: A Global Future discusses how countries can draw wisdom from the philosophies and cultural heritage of both the East and West, as well as adapt and internalize socio-political and economic frameworks from both ends of the cultural spectrum to effectively tackle the challenges of our modern world.

4. Asian Youth Chinese Forum (2 Aug 2019)

Speakers: Former Master Planner of Singapore  Dr Liu Thai Ker and Cultural Medallion Award Winner for Literature Professor Wong Yoon Wah  

The Chinese communities spread across various continents and continues to flourish internationally while guided by robust Chinese values that have been passed down through generations. As they continue to grow in prominence as active citizens and members of societies that they now call home, they have assimilated local cultures and formed distinctive identities. The Evolution of Chinese Culture in Singapore and South-East Asia in the Past Hundred Years traces the historical development of Chinese culture in Singapore and the region.  It examines how education, arts and the culture has evolved for the past century, as well as looks ahead to the future of cultural development. 

5. The Tan Kah Kee Conference  (19 Oct 2019)

Speakers to be confirmed, moderated by renowned scholar Professor Wang Gungwu 

The Tan Kah Kee Conference, held in collaboration with the Tan Kah Kee Foundation, celebrates a beloved philanthropist, business leader and entrepreneur who played a pivotal and transformative role in the establishment of Hwa Chong Institution and many other educational institutions in the region. His unwavering devotion to societal advancements continues to inspire generations of educators, thinkers and leaders.