‘Li Dak Sum & Yip Yio Chin Development Fund for Veterinary Medicine’ established
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Officiating guests attending the ceremony included The Honourable C Y Leung, Chief Executive of HKSAR and Chancellor of CityU; Dr Li and his wife Ms Yip Yio-chin; Dr Norman Leung Nai-pang, Pro-Chancellor; Mr Herman Hu Shao-ming, Council Chairman; Professor Way Kuo, President; and Professor Michael Kotlikoff, Dean of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University.
Dr Li, a successful entrepreneur and highly respected philanthropist, is Chairman of Roxy Property Investment Co. Ltd, Corporate Advisor of Sharp-Roxy (HK) Ltd, and Chairman of the Singapore Carlton Hotel Group.
In addition to his successful business career, Dr Li has dedicated himself tirelessly to public service, especially in the field of education. Many Hong Kong and mainland institutions and students are beneficiaries of Dr Li’s generosity.
Dr Li believes research is an integral part for the success of universities and he strongly supports CityU’s plan to develop its School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM). Dr and Mrs Li paid a visit to CityU last month and learned about the University’s teaching facilities and learning areas, finding out about student life.
Mr Leung expressed his appreciation for Dr Li's enthusiastic support for university education and research in Hong Kong, as well as his contributions to Hong Kong and mainland China. He also praised Dr Li's donations in support of CityU’s efforts in research and education of veterinary medicine.
"Why do we need a vet school in Hong Kong? The answer goes well beyond the welfare of pets. We need it for public health and food safety reasons. We need it also because the new generation of students can now pursue studies and research on world-class programmes in a totally new area, and pursue new career opportunities in Hong Kong, the mainland of China and elsewhere in Asia," Mr Leung said.
"I firmly believe that CityU will make the best use of Hong Kong's dual advantages of ‘One Country’ and ‘Two Systems’ as well as its edge in scientific research to make a bigger contribution in these two areas," Mr Leung added.
In his welcoming address, Mr Hu thanked Dr Li and his family’s support for CityU. “The great support of Dr Li affirms the School’s vision in pursuing excellence in professional education and research in veterinary and life sciences and contributing to the development of Hong Kong into an international hub for veterinary education,” he said.
“We will continue to work hard to make sure that SVM, in collaboration with the College of Veterinary Medicine of Cornell University in the US, will develop into a leader of world standing in veterinary education and research,” he said.
In his address, Professor Kotlikoff said the ambition for SVM is to train the next generation of clinicians and scientists who can help address the challenges of animal health and welfare in Asia. “Hong Kong is a perfect place to achieve this goal, a bridge between East and West. City University, a dynamic and progressive University, is the ideal partner to build Life Sciences around a world-class veterinary college,” he added.
CityU has gained overwhelming support for the establishment of SVM. Last year, a memorandum of understanding was signed between CityU and Longgang District Government of Shenzhen, in which both parties agreed to lay a foundation for the comprehensive development of the School, including the teaching of its programmes and conducting feasibility studies for setting up laboratories for animal hygiene and food safety.
In addition, CityU and the University of Stirling will jointly offer the Master of Science in Aquatic Production and Veterinary Health programme in 2016. The proposed intake is 30.
SVM is also building a team of talented faculty and staff. Professor Michael Reichel, one of the world’s leading experts in veterinary epidemiology and public health, was appointed as Chair Professor of Veterinary Medicine and concurrently as Acting Dean of SVM this month. Professor Reichel has substantial professional experience in both government service and private industry. Before joining CityU, he was Professor and Chair of Veterinary Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Adelaide.
The School will promote public health, food safety and animal welfare in the region for the benefit of society and provide learning opportunities for students to study in the critical areas of biomedical sciences.