Upon their shoulders rests the future

Regina Lau


CityU is immersed in celebration as a record 7,556 students receive their academic awards during the 19th congregation, 9 to 13 November, 2004. Upon their shoulders rests the future, they were encouraged to pursue their dreams and take decisive actions when the opportunities arise.


Calling it a "City Legend", the University President, Professor H K Chang recapped the history of the University, from its beginning as City Polytechnic in a rented buildi

ng in Mong Kok, with some 1,200 students enrolling in nine programmes and 460 staff members, to what is now a major institution of higher education in Hong Kong, offering 145 programmes, with 22,500 students and a total staff of nearly 2,900. In the first graduation ceremony in 1986, some 115 students received their diplomas and higher diplomas. This year, at the 19th congregation, 7,556 graduates are receiving academic awards, including 70 Doctoral degrees and 1,356 Master’s degrees.



Professor Chang said, “As we celebrate our 20th anniversary with deserved pride, we should realize that we will not know whether our University’s achievements to date have stood the test of time until our 40th anniversary.” He relies on the graduates to further the success of the University in the coming 20 years, suggesting that they memorize two quotations: “Go confidently in the direction of your dream. Live the life you have imagined” byAmerican thinker Henry David Thoreau; “He who overcomes others is forceful; he who overcomes himself is strong” by Chinese philosopher Lao Zi. (Please click here for full text of the President's speech.)


Honorary Doctorates conferred


CityU conferred honorary degrees upon five prominent figures at the sixth session of the congregation, presided over by Sir Gordon Wu, Council Chairman, 11 November, in recognition of their significant contribution to knowledge, the development of the University and to the well-being of society.


Dr John Chen, Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer and President of Sybase Inc., is well recognized as a world leader in the IT industry. Under his leadership, Sybase advanced significant growth in the industry on a global scale. Dr Chan is also a well-informed voice in Sino-American relations. He is an ardent supporter of permanent normalized trade relations with China and China’s entry to the World Trade Organization. He was conferred an Honorary Doctor of Sci



Dr Chung Chi-yung, Founder and Vice President of Hong Kong Shue Yan College, was the first female judge in Chinese history. Dr Chung began her career in education in Hong Kong in 1955. She saw an acute shortage of college places in the late 1960s and worked unrelentingly for the establishment of the Shue Yan College which came into being in 1971. She was conferred an Honorary Doctor of Social Science.


Dr Norman Leung Nai-pang, JP, is currently Chairman of Silver Systems Ltd and Executive Deputy Chairman of Television Broadcasts Ltd. Dr Leung has been active in public service for well over 20 years. Some of his past public appointments include Chairman of the Broadcasting Authority, Member of the Television Advisory Board, Member of the University Grants Committee and Chairman of the Council of CityU. He is currently a member of the Electoral Affairs Commission. Dr Leung served on CityU’s Council for 19 years, during which he was the Chairman from 1997 to 2003. He was conferred an Honorary Doctor of Laws.


Dr Peter Woo Kwong-ching is currently

Chairman of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. He has a wealth of experience in business management and has participated actively in public service. He is the Chairman of Wheelock and Company Ltd. and The Wharf (Holdings) Ltd. He chaired the Hong Kong Hospital Authority from 1995 to 2000, and the Council of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University from 1993 to 1997. He is also the Chairman of the Hong Kong Environment and Conservation Fund Committee. He was conferred an Honorary Doctor of Business Administration.


Dr Xiao Yang, the President and Chief Justice of the Supreme People’s Court, PRC, has served as Procurator-General for the Guangdong Provincial People’s Procuratorate, Deputy Procutorator-General of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, and Minister of Justice. Dr Xiao set up the first criminal reporting centre for the general public, the first bureau against corruption, and established a legal aid system in China. He also launched a series of legal reforms in China. Dr Xiao was conferred an Honorary Doctor of Laws.


“Grasp the opportunities as they arise”


Speaking on behalf of his fellow honorary award recipients, Dr Leung reiterated the theme of the University's strategic plan 2003-2008, “Meeting the Challenge of Change”. He quoted a saying by Mrs Dana Reeve, who recently braved the death of her husband, Mr Christopher Reeve, the American actor most famous for playing Superman: “Life is a series of opportunities arising out of unseen circumstances.” Mr Leung encouraged the graduates, saying “Your life is just starting and you will face many changes that cannot be foreseen . . . Do not be afraid to take action and make decisions when the opportunity arises.”


Dr Leung’s life experience is a testament to these statements. He started working at the age of 12 as a page boy in the Gloucester Hotel in Central, and taught himself through self-study and part-time tuition. Later, he managed to study Economics and Political Science at the University of Hong Kong, followed by Law at the College of Law in Guildford, England. In his more than 20 year-long legal career, he has become Senior Partner in the firm, Woo and Woo. From a humble beginning to a leading figure in Hong Kong, Dr Leung progressed through life with continuous study, hard work, ambition and an enthusiasm to grasp the opportunities as they arose.  


Drawing the ceremony to a close, the graduate representative, Ms Ivy Cheung Tik-lam, who received a Bachelor’s Degree in Material Engineering, delivered a speech of thanks to her alma mater. "I believe all the graduates here today must be very pleased with their achievements," she said, "and I am also very proud to tell people that I am a graduate of CityU."



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