CityU confers honorary doctorates on three distinguished persons


City University of Hong Kong (CityU) conferred honorary doctoral degrees on Professor Serge Haroche, Dr Joseph Lee, GBS, OStJ, JP and Professor Wendelin Werner in recognition of their significant contributions to education and the well-being of society at an awards ceremony held today (3 November). Dr Chung Shui-ming, University Pro-Chancellor, presided over the ceremony. (For the biographies of the Honorary Doctorates, please refer to the attached pages.)

Mr Herman Hu Shao-ming, Council Chairman, and Professor Way Kuo, President, also attended the ceremony.

Addressing the congregation on behalf of the honorary graduates, Professor Haroche thanked CityU for the honour and talked about the responsibilities of education and research institutes.

“The foremost duty of our societies is to provide a good education for their people at all levels, from kindergarten to universities,” he said. “Graduate schools and research institutions around the world – City University of Hong Kong among them – are at the top of this educational pyramid and bear great responsibility to raise awareness among societies and political leaders about the issues we are facing. To teach science and support scientific research is necessary because the solutions to many of our problems will come from new discoveries and inventions.”

In his speech, Professor Kuo thanked the honorary graduates for joining CityU. “We are deeply honoured that these three eminent individuals will be joining the CityU family. Throughout their individual careers, they have made significant contributions to education and the well-being of society through their creative talent, ground-breaking innovations, and a deep concern for society. Innovation, creativity and humanistic concerns are similarly the core values that have been driving the dynamic development of CityU over the past nine years. They are the true essence of education.”

He then quoted from his poem to illustrate the importance of “soulware”, which is a type of culture, mentality, behaviour and thinking pattern:

For the sustained development of society/ Soulware must be assessed if we wish to avoid empty talk,” he quoted.


Biographies of the 2017 Honorary Doctorates

Professor Serge Haroche, a distinguished scholar and a Nobel Laureate in Physics, received an Honorary Doctor of Science. Professor Haroche is Senior Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study at CityU and Professor Emeritus at the Collège de France. His main research activities lie in quantum optics and quantum information science. He graduated from the École Normale Supérieure and received his doctorate from Paris VI University in 1971. After a post-doctoral visit to Stanford University in the laboratory of Arthur Schawlow, he became Professor at Paris VI University in 1975. In 2001, he was appointed Professor at the Collège de France and became President in 2012, a position he held until 2015.

Professor Haroche has made significant contributions to cavity quantum electrodynamics, including the observation of single atom spontaneous emission enhancement in a cavity, the direct monitoring of the decoherence of mesoscopic superpositions of states (so-called Schrödinger cat states), and the quantum-non-demolition counting of photons.

He has received many prizes and awards, culminating in the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics, which he shared with Professor David Wineland, from Boulder, Colorado in the US. He is a Member of the French Academy of Sciences and the European Academy of Sciences; and a Foreign Member of the National Academy of Sciences in the US, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Brazilian, Colombian, Moroccan and Russian academies of sciences. Professor Haroche also holds an honorary doctorate from the Weizmann Institute of Science and the universities of Montreal, Patras, Strathclyde and Bar Ilan.

Dr Joseph Lee, Chairman of Wofoo Plastics & Chemicals Group, Chairman of Wofoo Foundation Limited and President of Wofoo Social Enterprises Limited, received an Honorary Doctor of Social Science.

Dr Lee is a prominent industrialist and social entrepreneur. Born in Hong Kong, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in management from Illinois Institute of Technology in the US in 1972. He returned to Hong Kong to join his family’s industrial business and decided to start his own business as Wofoo Plastics Limited in 1980. He has dedicated the past decades to building partnerships and cultivating a harmonious community. He is committed to delivering innovative social services for the whole of society and to nurturing the younger generation.

Dr Lee has extensive experience in public service, including three consecutive terms as a Deputy of the Hong Kong SAR to the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China. He has also chaired various government bodies and is currently Vice-Chairperson of the Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Fund Task Force under the Commission of Poverty, and Chairman of the Joint Committee for the Promotion of The Basic Law of Hong Kong.

Dr Lee was awarded the Gold Bauhinia Star in 2013 for his significant contributions to charitable activities and social enterprises. In addition, he was appointed Officer of the Order of Saint John in 2015, conferred Honorary Doctor of Social Science by Hong Kong Baptist University in 2011 and conferred Honorary Fellowships by CityU in 2014, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 2015, and the Vocational Training Council in 2015. Dr Lee served on the CityU Council and its committee from 2008 to 2013.

Professor Wendelin Werner, a Fields Medalist and Professor of Mathematics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich), received an Honorary Doctor of Science.

Professor Werner studied at the École Normale Supérieure from 1987 to 1991 and earned his PhD from the University of Pierre and Marie Curie in 1993. From 1991 to 1997, he was a researcher at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), and from 1997 to 2013 he was Professor of Mathematics at the Université Paris-Sud in Orsay. Since 2013, he has worked at ETH Zurich. His main research interests focus on probability theory and statistical physics.

Professor Werner has been awarded many highly prestigious prizes for his remarkable mathematical achievements. These awards include the Rollo Davidson Prize, the Doisteau-Émile Blutet prize and the Jacques Herbrand prize from the Academy of Sciences in Paris, the European Mathematical Society prize, the Fermat Prize, the Loève Prize, the Pólya Prize and the Heinz Gumin Prize.

Professor Werner received the Fields Medal in 2006 for his contributions to the development of stochastic Loewner evolution, the geometry of two-dimensional Brownian motion, and conformal field theory.

In addition, Professor Werner is a Member of the French Academy of Sciences, the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, and the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences. He is a Foreign Member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences and an Honorary Fellow of Gonville and Caius College at the University of Cambridge, UK.


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