Dear TIRF Colleagues and Friends,

On my way back from Tampa to Macau, my mind was full of memories from the wonderful experience of TIRF’s 25th-anniversary celebration on the cruise ship on March 21, 2024. Seventy former and sitting TIRF board members, partners, donors, Doctoral Dissertation Grant recipients, and friends were invited to the celebration.

As TIRF President, I presided over this special event. I was honored to be named captain of the ship just for the evening – a title assigned to me along with an actual captain’s hat my colleagues gifted me with as a surprise. Later that evening, the hat was cheerfully passed on by David Nunan to Richard Boyum, who was recognized as one of the founding TIRF Board members 25 years ago. We all wished Richard well as he rotates off the board.

I wish to share with TIRF’s broader audience a poem I wrote and read to our guests at the start of our short program. I believe this piece represents my true spirit of what it means to me to serve as TIRF’s President.

In Tampa Bay, where waters gleam,
A celebration, like a dream.
The 25th year of TIRF’s reign,
A milestone reached, a joyful refrain.

On a cruise ship, adorned in grace,
We gather, hearts in perfect embrace,
To honor TIRF’s noble quest,
Advance English, from east to west. 

March 21, 2024, a date so grand,
Where knowledge blooms on every strand.
Scholars, researchers, educators, minds unite,
In Tampa’s warmth, under sparkling light.

TIRF’s legacy, a beacon bright, 
Guiding research, shedding new light,
From classrooms vast to distant shores,
Empowering teachers, forevermore.

In this jubilee, we reminisce,
The triumphs, challenges and bliss,
TIRF’s dedication, unwavering and true.
Transforming lives, through and through.

So let us toast to TIRF’s great deeds, 
To the impact it continues to breed,
May the next 25 years be filled with grace,
As TIRF’s legacy further finds its place.

In Tampa’s harbour, we raise our glasses,
In celebration, let us rejoice, 
For TIRF’s 25th anniversary, 
A testament to the Foundation’s glory.

As time grew short, I was unable to deliver a second poem I wrote. Therefore, I would like to use my Chair’s Report to share further sentiment about the direction of where TIRF is heading, through verse and rhyme.  

In the realm of research, TIRF does strive,
To shape the future, with knowledge alive.
With strategic plans for the years ahead,
Let's embark on a journey, where dreams are fed.

In the next five years, TIRF aims to explore,
New frontiers of knowledge, never seen before.
We'll delve into policies that impact anew,
Unravelling mysteries, with a curious view.

Engage like-minded multipliers in new light,
Uniting researchers, with ideas taking flight.
Across borders and cultures, we'll bridge the divide,
Creating connections, where innovation will reside.

Empowering educators, we'll pave the way,
Equipping them with research tools, for a brighter day.
Through professional development, we'll nurture their skills,
Empowering them to empower, with passion that fulfils.

Technology shall be our trusted ally,
Harnessing its power, we'll reach for the sky.
From virtual classrooms to digital resources,
Enhancing learning experiences, with no boundaries or forces.

Diversity and inclusion, we'll champion with pride,
Creating spaces where all voices can reside.
With research that celebrates every shade,
We'll foster understanding, where differences are laid.

Financial sustainability shall help fulfil our mission, 
Through value-added services, donations, and publications
Providing guidelines for cutting-edge research and practices
TIRF will become go-to leadership for knowledge transfer.

With the strategic plans, TIRF will soar,
Unleashing potential, like never before.
Let's embark on this journey, hand in hand,
Creating a future, where research will expand.

Whether you are a 25-year supporter of the Foundation or just learning about our work, you are a TIRFer. It takes all of us working toward the common goal of helping others by using the transformative power of language education and research. I am forever grateful for your contributions!

Kind regards,

Jun Liu, PhD

President, TIRF