A new chapter in Tamkang history today (March 20) unfolded at the Tamsui Campus. On the patch of land previously home to the Tzu-Chiang female dormitory (known as “Tzu-Chiang Hall”), a brand new building, fully-equipped with the latest multimedia technology, was inaugurated. The new Education Building was designed by TKU alumnus and well-known architect, J. M. Lin. The building is green, both in its exterior appearance and its environmental rating. It is made of environmentally friendly building materials that reduce thermal energy, lessen the need for air-conditioning and save energy, while providing an ideal temperature year round. Its most notable architectural feature, however, are the transparent glass slabs (of different shades of green) that cover the entire exterior of the building. These create a different shade of light at different times throughout the day, based on the amount of sunlight. On March 20, to mark the opening of the building, an inauguration ceremony was held at the new Education Building. It was attended by the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, the vice presidents for academic, administrative, and international affairs, heads of 1st level departments and other TKU faculty and staff.
Poster Street in Tamsui Campus is once again lined with stalls selling goods at lower-than-average prices. The items on offer include a wide variety of foods, drinks, daily necessities, stationary, electronics, and specialty farm products from various areas around Taiwan. As in previous years, all items are being sold at 20% below the average retail price. Organized by TKU, the 2012 Northern Taiwan Charity Fundraiser will be held at nine campuses by eight universities, including Tamkang University (Tamsui and Lanyang campuses), Ming-Chuan University, Aletheia University, Taipei College of Maritime Technology, Ming Chi University of Technology, Taoyuan Innovation Institute of Technology, St. John’s University, and Chang Gung University. In total, over 335 sponsoring companies have provided goods for the event at discounted prices. This large-scale mobilization of resources has been carried out for the sake of charity. The proceeds of sales made during the fundraiser will go to a number of local charities, including the Taiwan Foundation for Rare Disorders, the DDM Social and Welfare Charity Foundation, the Taiwan Fund for Children and Families, and the Grant a Wish Project for remote elementary schools in the Taitung region. In the nine years since its inception, the annual fundraiser has raised an accumulated total of over NT$40 million. And the event is growing in popularity. This year, a total of $8 million has already been raised, compared with $6 million at the same time last year.
When most Taiwanese think of cherry blossoms, the first place that usually comes to mind is Japan, followed – possibly – by Mt. Ali in Central Taiwan. Yet in the last few years, a new spot for viewing ‘sakura’ (that now draws bus-loads of tourists at a time) has emerged. Located less than twenty minutes from the Tamsui Campus, the spot is home to Tian Yuan Temple, a large six-storey temple surrounded by dozens of delicate, light-pink sakura. On weekends, visitors flock in their thousands to Tian Yuan Temple to get a glimpse of the beautiful trees. The inevitable result, however, is traffic jams and paths with scattered trash. This year, TKU teamed up with volunteers at Tian Yuan Temple to help “clean up the trash”. As part of their prerequisite service learning program, freshmen from the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering sacrificed part of their weekend to help maintain the cleanliness of the local Tamsui environment. Before beginning the task, students were issued with volunteer vests, hats, raincoats, special tongs for picking up garbage and garbage bags. One of the participating students, Shen You-de, commented: “doing a whole day of volunteering work is really tiring. The most common types of litter included cigarette butts and half-eaten food with forks sticking out. People that litter really don’t have a sense of social consciousness”. On the other hand, there were some positive stories to come from the experience. “When one group of tourists heard that we were spending our weekend to serve as volunteers, they specially brought over fruit for us to eat”, You-de recalled.
On March 17, the TKU Tamsui and Lanyang campuses were home to the annual Alumni Spring Banquet. The event is a Tamkang tradition which sees alumni from around the world return to their alma mater to maintain their connection with both TKU and their fellow alumni. This year’s event consisted of an inauguration ceremony for a newly-established TKU organization, the TKU General Association of Department Alumni. The ceremony was hosted by the Chair of the Department of Chemicals and Materials Engineering Alumni Association, Mr. Sun Jui-lung, and attended by the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, the Vice President for Administrative Affairs, Dr. Po-yuan Kao, the President of the TKU World Alumni Association, Chen Ching-nan, and the President of the TKU General Alumni Association, Mr. Loo Soon. The Executive Director of the TKU Office of Alumni Services and Resource Development, Dr. Chun-young Perng, explained that the establishment of the association will help connect alumni from varying departments, integrate business resources offered by alumni, simplify the operation of department-based alumni associations, and create a general platform for interaction among TKU alumni. This year’s spring gathering featured a different format to previous years, with activities organized separately by each individual department. As Executive Director Perng notes: “In general, alumni share a closer bond with their academic departments. In the past, spring gathering activities have been organized by the Alumni Office. Although this way of holding the spring gathering enables alumni to reunite and “catch up”, it doesn’t allow for close interaction between alumni and their former departments. That’s why this year we changed the format of the event”.
This week is Culture Week at Tamkang, which means stall after stall selling delicious delicacies from cities and counties around Taiwan. A total of 15 regional student societies – including the TKU Kaohsiung Association, Pingtung Association, etc – have set up stall along Poster Street, offering a diverse range of foods, from Yilan Style Panna Cotta Rolls and chicken feet galantine (from Taichung), to tiramisu from Hualien and pudding from Tainan. The stalls have drawn students, faculty, and staff, looking to sample authentic local delicacies from around Taiwan. Li Yi-ting, from the TKU Extracurricular Activity Section, said that “I usually travel around Taiwan looking for tasty specialty foods. This year, during the recent long holidays, I wasn’t able to go traveling around Taiwan as I usually would. But fortunately for me, Culture Week at Tamkang has allowed me to taste a variety of delicious foods without even leaving Tamsui!” Meanwhile, several regional alumni associations are holding an exhibition of local cultural wares and sites at the Black Swan Exhibition Hall. The display showcases, for example, well-known buildings from Taiwan’s major cities, including the 85-storey landmark building in Kaohsiung, E-Da World, and others.
From the moment we start learning to read, we come into contact with children's literature. From ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ to ‘Snow White’, such classics accompany us as we grow up and mature, giving us a world of endless possibilities, emotion, and inspiration. Despite the wealth of literature in Taiwan, there exists a shortage in high quality literature translations that offer comprehensive introductions, commentaries, and analyses. To address this dearth in high quality literature, the TKU College of Languages and Literature has teamed up with Linking Publishing to produce a unique quarterly publication known as “World Literature”. World Literature seeks to make literature accessible to the average reader, and to attract a wide range of readers while maintaining depth of content. To celebrate the release of the first edition of World Literature, a publication launch was held at the lobby of the Foreign Languages Building at lunch time on March 14. The Dean of the College of Foreign Languages and Literature, Dr. Wu Hsi-Deh, explained: “helping readers develop an appreciation of literature requires a publication with expert commentaries, the participation of experts in handling primarily materials, as well as analysis and arguments from experts well-versed in the history of literature. Before the release of World Literature there was no such publication available in Taiwan”. The Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Linking Publishing, Hu Jin-lun, asserted that the direction and spirit of the publication World Literature fits perfectly with that of Linking Publishing. “We look forward to a long and prosperous partnership with Tamkang University”, he added.
This weekend, as the temperature ducked under 10 degrees (Celcius) and students wrapped themselves in the warmth of their quilts, a group of first year students set out for Wan Hua – a district about an hour away from Danshui. Their mission: to help physically disabled citizens tour the historically and culturally rich Wan Hua region. The activity was part of the TKU service learning program, a required part of first year learning, and comprised freshmen from the Department of Banking and Finance. The event was organized by Sunable – Access for All in Taiwan, an association dedicated to helping the disabled, as a means of enabling disabled members of the community discover a new area in Taipei and have fun doing so. Prior to the event, Sunable came to the TKU Tamsui Campus to help train students to assist the disabled. During the training, students took turns in slowly pushing other students up and down campus slopes in wheelchairs. In doing so, they learned how to empathize with the disabled and developed a positive attitude toward volunteering. The area chosen for the outing was one steeped in history and culture. It is one of the last remaining “historical streets” in Taipei and was the site for the filming of the popular 2010 film “Monga”. The students helped push the participants from site to site, conversed with them and made new friends. One of the disabled participants, Chiu Bi-hsia, commented: “the Tamkang students provided great assistance! They treated us like family, accompanied us throughout the tour and engaged us in conversation”. First year overseas Chinese student from Malaysia, Liu Jin-xing, commented that “although we sacrificed a bit of sleep and the warmth of our quilts, we learned how to interact with and assist the disabled. I now can better understand their lifestyle and the difficulty of being in a wheelchair. What’s more, I learned a wealth of historical information that you don’t find in your average textbook and got to see another side of Taipei. It was great!”
The Chung Ling Chemistry Competition is viewed by many as the “Olympics of Chemistry” in Taiwan. It consistently attracts hundreds of students from leading high schools around Taiwan. This year, on March 10, a total of 222 groups and 666 students took part in the competition. The contest consists of two phases: a written test followed by the subsequent formal competition. Entrants who pass the written test can progress to the formal competition stage. This year, a total of 34 groups gained entrance into the final competition stage. These finalists wore white lab coats, protective goggles, masks and gloves, and used the most advanced chemistry equipment. Department of Chemistry Chair, Dr. Lin Jyh Shing, explained that the theme of this year’s competition was organic chemistry. It involved an analysis of organic compounds and required students to have a basic knowledge of the process of organic synthesis and an understanding of organic dyes. Entrants were required to perform experiments and the group which displayed the most creativity and the highest level of skill received a cash prize of NT $30,000. This year, for the second consecutive year, the top prize went to Hou Yi-li, Lin Ying-ting and Lin Jian-you from Kaohsiung Senior High School in Southern Taiwan. The Dean of the College of Science, Dr. Wang Bo-Cheng, noted that each year, the Chung Ling Chemistry Competition attracts a considerable number of outstanding high school students from around the country. This annual competition not only allows students to interact and discuss science, but also enables them to acquire new knowledge as well as enhancing Tamkang University’s academic reputation.
To celebrate its 130th anniversary and express gratitude to Tamkang for providing much-needed assistance in the wake of the 311 Japan Earthquake, the Meiji University scout association recently visited the TKU Tamsui Campus – the only university visit on their several-day itinerary. Why did they only visit Tamkang, you may ask? Last year, as Japan reeled from a magnitude nine earthquake and subsequent tsunami, Tamkang’s scouts sent emergency supplies – including sleeping bags, sleeping mats, gas stoves and thermal wear – to the affected areas. The visitors arrived at the Tamsui Campus on March 5th. They were greeted by the President of Tamkang University, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, along with the Former Minister of Education and Chairman of the Board of Supervisors for the General Association of the Scouts of China, Dr. Wu Ching-ji. Various TKU associations also took part in welcoming the guests, including the Japanese Department Association, the Japanese Cultural Research Club, the TKU International Youth Ambassadors and the TKU Student Association. The Chairman of the TKU Scout Association, Wayne Huang, commented: “It’s such an honor to receive a scout group from Japan”. Apart from taking a tour of the campus, the visiting scouts were also treated to performances by the TKU Student Association and took part in a range of fun activities. One of the more unique activities was a “beach clean up” event, which allowed the visitors to not only get close to nature, but also contribute to the local community. Chairman Huang noted: “this cultural exchange is more than just a scout or student society activity, it is an extremely rare chance for international exchange and interaction”.
In an online endeavor unique among Taiwanese universities, Tamkang University has initiated an Online Executive Master’s Program in Asian Studies. Given the demographics of the students and the scope of languages involved, the master’s program is the first of its kind in Taiwan. It has drawn an enrollment of 15 students from eight countries in Central and South America, including Argentina, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Paraguay. The course will be delivered primarily in Spanish using the “Moodle” online course system and the Adobe Connect simultaneous online course software. The scope of issues touched on include diplomatic relations between Asia and Latin America, as well as Asian culture, society, politics, economics, and military strategies. The first stage of the course (March 5-9) requires students to visit the Tamsui Campus, Taiwan, and undergo intensive training and orientation. This initial phase involves meeting the teachers who will be administering the course, becoming familiar with the Tamkang campus and surrounds, and a practical lesson in using the “Moodle” online system. As part of this first phase, the students arrived at the Tamsui Campus today (March 5) to attend a Welcome Luncheon. The luncheon featured various dignitaries, including the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, and locally based foreign diplomats from Nicaragua, Paraguay, and the Dominican Republic. The Director of the Graduate Institute of the Americas, Dr. Chen Hsiao-chuan, explained: “This course has come at the most ideal time, in the century that will belong to Asia and will see the rise of Latin America”.
From March 1 – 4, a delegation from Tamkang University traveled to Malaysia to promote academic relations between TKU and institutions of higher education in Malaysia. The delegation consisted of the President of Tamkang University, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, the Vice President for International Affairs, Dr. Wan-chin Tai, the Executive Director of the Office of Alumni Services and Resource Development, Dr. Chun-young Perng, and the Section Chief of the International and Mainland Chinese Student Guidance Section, Chen Pei-fen. The first stop on their schedule was a visit to the Deputy Minister of Higher Education in Malaysia, Dr. Hou Kok Chung, on March 2. Deputy Minister Hou described to the Tamkang delegation the current status of educational development in Malaysia. The visit provided TKU with a clearer insight into current trends in Malaysian education, which will help in the planning of future TKU recruitment strategies for SE Asia. The delegation then took part in a ‘Signing Ceremony of Academic Cooperation Agreement’ with the Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), one of the premier universities in Malaysia. Established in its current form in 2002, UTAR now has an enrollment of around 20,000 students and provides instruction exclusively in English. The signing agreement sees UTAR become Tamkang University’s 115th partner university, and will involve faculty and student exchange opportunities in the hope of enhancing the nature of globalization at both TKU and UTAR. On the afternoon of March 2, President Chang visited the University of Malaya (UM), where she received a warm welcome from the university vice president, Dr. Rohana Bt Yusof . UM is one of Malaysia’s largest and most prestigious universities. The system of instruction and research found at UM, as well as its mechanism for international exchange left a marked impression on the TKU delegates, who hope to increase the frequency and depth of interaction between TKU and UM. Subsequently, on the evening of March 3, the group took part in a banquet held by the Tamkang University Alumni Association of Malaysia. Held at the Prince Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, the banquet not only celebrated the association’s 16th anniversary, but was also a lead-up event to the TKU World Alumni Association Biennial Conference, to be held in Kuala Lumpur this year. The event featured a range of entertaining performances, including a magic show and song performances from various eras. The Vice President for International Affairs, Dr. Wan-chin Tai, commented: “last year, when I took part in the association’s 15th anniversary celebrations, I was very impressed by the motivation and teamwork displayed by alumni members”.
Starting from today and finishing on April 26, the Carrie Chang Fine Arts Center will be home to the exhibition “A Dialogue between Sculpture and the Environment”. The display, which has been jointly organized by the Carrie Chang Fine Arts Center and the Sculpture Association of Taiwan, will showcase a series of sculptures that offer a different experience to traditional 2D art displays. Over the ages, sculpture has played a fundamental role in the culture and art of various societies around the world. The current display showcases public art made by 26 sculpture experts in the form of life-like models and accompanying descriptions. Chang Jen-fang, from the Carrie Chang Fine Arts Center, stated that “we hope that through the sculpturers’ unique insight into aesthetics and humanities, their keen skills of observation and their agile minds, visitors not only get a chance to appreciate the beauty of sculpture, but also gain a better understanding of the relationship between sculpture and the environment”. In addition, at 10:30 am on March 6, an Opening Tea Ceremony will be held at the Carrie Chang Fine Arts Center to mark the beginning of a series of sculpture symposiums that will be conducted by leading sculpture experts from around Taiwan.
Cheers Magazine recently released the results of its annual survey entitled “enterprises’ favorite college graduates”. Out of the 1,000 Taiwanese enterprises surveyed, TKU graduates rated first among all private universities in Taiwan for the 15th consecutive year, and 7th out of all Taiwanese universities, both public and private. Commenting on the achievement, the President of Tamkang University, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, expressed gratitude for the business sector, which has consistently placed its trust in Tamkang graduates. She also encouraged students and alumni to keep in mind the value of lifelong learning and to approach their work with a sense of responsibility. The survey was based on eight performance indicators, including students’ 1) willingness to learn and ability to adapt; 2) performance under pressure; 3) professional knowledge and skills; 4) teamwork; 5) ability to solve problems; 6) international perspective and foreign language abilities; 7) ability to innovate; and 8) ability to master work-related tasks. In each of these assessment categories, Tamkang placed first among all private universities in Taiwan. Moreover, in a related survey known as the “Graduates' Performance Exceeded our Expectations” poll, Tamkang University graduates again led all other private universities – a testament to Tamkang graduates’ outstanding performance in the workplace. The surveys also revealed that ‘attitude’ and ‘enthusiasm’ were the key factors considered by employers when selecting personnel. Factors influencing employers' decisions to hire are in fact diverse, as the survey showed, and include graduates’ educational qualifications (to a lesser degree), and their ability to communicate, innovate, and think independently (to a greater degree). Enterprises also place a large emphasis on internship programs, preferring students who possess both academic knowledge and practical workplace experience. Accordingly, the TKU Dean of Student Affairs, Dr. Ko Chih-en, recommended that TKU students should “try to make connections with local enterprises as early as possible to gain valuable experience, which they will use upon graduating”.
Each year, 104 Job Bank and Global Vision conduct a range of surveys that provide insight into the strengths and weaknesses of universities in Taiwan. The most recently published survey relates to four essential elements of university development: 1) the strength of each university in producing sought-after graduates; 2) overall competitiveness; 3) strength of student administration; and 4) the strength of the overall academic environment. Again, for the fifth year in a row, Tamkang University placed first among all private universities in Taiwan and sixth overall. TKU performed particularly well in the categories of ‘producing sought-after graduates’ and ‘overall competitiveness’, in which they placed third and fourth (out of both public and private universities) respectively. Tamkang’s continued success in such polls can be attributed to its ‘triple objectives of education’, which involves a focus on globalization, future-oriented and information-oriented education, as well as its Three Circles and Five Disciplines of Education, which not only nurture students academic abilities, but overall character. The President of Tamkang University, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, noted: “TKU’s long-term efforts have been reflected in the great results achieved in surveys conducted over the last few years”. In particular, TKU graduates have been named as “enterprises’ favorite graduates” for 14 successive years by Cheers Magazine. “This is the legacy of hard work and tireless effort by all TKU alumni over the years”, added President Chang.
The diverse range of activities held throughout 2011 and early 2012 for the International Year of Chemistry have helped to bring science to the community, promote the ‘fun’ side of science, and celebrate the remarkable life and achievements of high-profile scientists of the past, such as Marie Sklodowska-Curie. The central theme of the activities held in Taiwan was the idea of making science accessible to the community. In this vein, the TKU Department of Chemistry launched the Mobile Chemistry Lab, a 3.5 ton wagon with a gull-wing door that opens on to a small-scale, fully-equipped chemistry lab. The chemistry lab comprised of DIY instruments with which to conduct fun chemistry experiments and chemistry experiment hardware and software, and was decorated with popular science posters. The chemistry lab brought the fun side of science to students in 16 counties and cities around Taiwan. It travelled 7,000 km and made two large laps around Taiwan, even stopping at various small islands off the coast of Taiwan, including Kinmen, Penghu, Orchid Island, and Golden Lion Island. On Feb 10-12, after all related activities came to an end, the TKU Department of Science held an International Year of Science Exhibition to display the vast achievements accomplished over the last year. The theme of the display was ‘providing the right conditions to enable the growth of saplings’. This theme was both literal and figurative, as the Dean of the College of Science, Dr. Wang Bo-Cheng explains, “for underprivileged children from rural areas around Taiwan, access to new knowledge and fun experiments serves as stimulus that can prompt students to grow; just as sunlight, air, and water enables seeds to grow into plants and trees. This is an important aspect of the activities held throughout the International Year of Chemistry”.
During this year’s winter holidays, a total of 23 volunteer groups and 500 teachers and students went to rural areas around Taiwan. They made their way to Hualien, Pingdong, and Tainan, where they offered students guidance and support, held computer lessons and educational games that taught students about the importance of environmental conservation. Among the volunteer activities organized was the 12th ‘Two Together’ Club Camp, which was held over three days (Jan 18-20) at the Tainan Municipal Heshun Elementary School in Southern Taiwan. Over the three-day camp, which took the theme ‘Noah’s Ark’, local students learned about ways to protect the Earth’s fragile natural environment, to more optimally use the resources available on hand, and to bring out their creativity and imagination. During the camp, members of the Tamkang Two Together Volunteer Club wore two different sets of uniforms, one red and one coffee-colored. The red symbolizes youth and vitality, while coffee represents the spirit of overcoming difficulty.
Today (Feb 6) was the first day of work for TKU administrative staff after a long, three-week winter break. To celebrate the new Chinese Year – the Year of the Dragon – Tamkang University held a Lunar Year Morning Tea at the Chueh Sheng International Conference Hall, Tamsui Campus. The hall was filled with auspicious symbols, such as a ‘god of wealth’ figurine and apples and mandarins (which connote safety and prosperity); while the tables were organized in the shape of 101, to suggest the 101st year since the founding of Taiwan, the Republic of China. During her opening speech, the President of Tamkang University, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, wished TKU staff the best for the Year of the Dragon, invoking an array of Chinese proverbs containing the Chinese character “long”, meaning dragon. She also thanked TKU staff for their efforts throughout the previous academic year, which produced outstanding results for TKU in the Ministry of Education’s (MOE) 2011 evaluation. President Chang also mentioned several directions for TKU future development in the coming academic year, including preparing for the 2015 MOE Evaluation of University Departments, collecting funds to assist in the building of the Information Education Building, and benchmarking to enhance the efficiency and quality of university operations.
According to statistics recently released by the Webometric’s Ranking Web of World Universities, Tamkang ranked 309th out of 20,000 universities around the world. This means it placed 43rd in Asia, 10th in Taiwan, and 1st among private universities in Taiwan. The list of Taiwan universities in the top 500 includes National Taiwan University (42), National Cheng Kung University (63), National Chiao Tung University (72), National Tsing Hua University (113), National Central University (125), National Chung Hsing University (182), National Sun Yat Sen University (190), National Cheng Chi University (280), National Taiwan Normal University (295), Tamkang University (309), National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (343), National Yunlin University of Science and Technology (367), National Taiwan Ocean University (478), and Tung Hai University (498).
This year’s End-of-Year Gala was held on the afternoon of Jan 13 at the TKU Student Activity Center. The lineup of entertainment for this year’s event was organized by the Center of Continuing Education and the TKU Lanyang Campus. The Gala began with an opening address from the President of Tamkang University, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang. In her address, President Chang thanked all faculty and staff for their attendance as well as their tireless efforts over the past year. She also wished the entire body of TKU employees a happy New Year, invoking a Chinese proverb to usher in the Year of the Dragon. The entertainment began to the beat of the drums brought by the Lanyang Campus contingent. The show included a drum performance staged by San Min Elementary, Chiao Hsi, songs from an elderly choir (average age of 60) known as “Happy Life” that regularly meet to practice at the Center for Continuing Education, an opera solo performance of “O Sole Mio”, and a traditional Chinese New Year melody by a veteran member (82 years old) of the Happy Life Choir. In between the performances, a cash raffle was held. A total sum of NT $150,000 was given away in increments of $2,000, $3,000, $5,000, all the way up to $30,000. The raffle is an annual End-of-Year Gala tradition that brings excitement and laughter and fills the event with suspense.
In winter this year, a vast legion of community volunteers from TKU societies and external service clubs will go out into the community to help those in need. From TKU, close to 500 teachers and students from 23 TKU societies and local volunteer groups will head to rural areas around Taiwan to provide free service and care to the locals. The volunteer groups are made up of Tamkang University alumni associations and societies, as well as a melee of community groups including environmental teams, counseling service organizations, and the Union Dolphins work team. Before embarking on their philanthropic journey, the volunteers yesterday (Jan 9) attended a Charity Service Farewell Ceremony. At the ceremony, the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, encouraged TKU student clubs to incorporate an element of community service into their club curriculum. The Office of Student Affairs distributed heart-shaped cards to the volunteers; while fellow students gave them “caring for you” farewell presents and wished them all the best on their volunteer journeys. The Farewell Ceremony ended with a large group photo of all attendees and volunteers.