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Students Bid Farewell: A Tribute to Our Mentor, Prof Zhao Shengdong

In a heartfelt gathering, all students from the Synteraction Lab and international colleague came together to bid farewell to their beloved mentor and friend, Professor Zhao Shengdong, at Alexandra Village’s bustling hawker centre, who has concluded his journey in NUS, Singapore, and will turn over a new leaf in his teaching and research career in CityU, Hong Kong. Amidst the savoury scents and bustling ambiance, students celebrated Professor Zhao’s unwavering dedication to their academic and personal growth.

When asked about his favourite dish on the table, Prof Zhao replied “the best dish is any dish I had together with the rest of you”, triggering a series of emotional moments for the rest of the night. Towards the end of the meal, Prof Zhao’s current students presented him with a handcraft scrapbook, commemorating their shared memories of work, life, and downtime together. Through carefully trimmed photos, handwritten best wishes, and Origami smart glasses, Prof Zhao was deeply moved by the contents curated on every single page (“Finally! Some good quality paper from my students without my supervision!” – Prof Zhao’s inner thoughts).

The event concluded with Prof Zhao’s students taking turns to get a photo with their beloved mentor to keep this precious moment that will warm the cockle of everyone’s heart for the rest of their life.

In the halls of wisdom, once brightly lit,
Where minds converged, where dreams were knit.
There walked a sage, Shengdong his name,
In NUS’s embrace, he found acclaim.

With wisdom vast, like Yangtze’s flow,
He nourished minds, helped them grow.
But fate’s whispers beckoned, a bittersweet call,
To leave the tropics he cherished, to leave it all.

Along corridors of I4, his laughters fade,
Leaving behind a void, a sombre shade.
Yet in the sorrow of this parting,
Instead of fear we found new strength.

For in the heart of change, new chapters begin,
In CityU’s welcome, new journeys to win.
Though distance separates, and tears may fall,
The legacy he leaves, stands firm and tall.

So let us bid farewell, with a heavy heart,
Yet with hope that new horizons will impart.
For in the ebb and flow of life’s grand song,
Sadness may linger, but passion stays strong.
And the distinction between machine and men,
Shall one day be reduced to none.

Thank you Prof Zhao Shengdong, for everything! – Your students

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