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Hong Kong Baptist University Alumni Affairs Office


HKBU Holds Inauguration Ceremony of President and Vice-Chancellor, Confers Degrees on More Than 4,500 Graduates and Honours Five Distinguished Persons

Event Information

Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) held its Inauguration of the President and Vice-Chancellor and Degree Conferment Ceremony today (15 November 2010). At the ceremony, Mr. Wilfred Wong Ying-wai, Chairman of the HKBU Council and Court, presided over the Inauguration of Prof. Albert S C Chan (陳新滋) as HKBU President and Vice-Chancellor. He also conferred honorary doctoral degrees on five distinguished persons for their outstanding academic, research, art or professional achievements as well as their remarkable contributions to society.

Mr. Li Zhao-xing (李肇星) was awarded the degree of Doctor of Humanities, honoris causa. Prof. Sir John Pendry (約翰‧彭德里) received the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa. Mr. Van Lau (文樓) was awarded the degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa. Ir Wong Kwok-keung (王國強) was recognised with the degree of Doctor of Social Sciences, honoris causa. Prof. Zhang Bo-li (張伯禮) was granted the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa.

In his inaugural speech, Prof. Albert S C Chan commended the five honorary doctors, saying that their achievements and contributions to society would serve as an excellent model and a source of great encouragement and inspiration for everyone at HKBU.

He also welcomed the return of the first batch of graduates who completed their higher education at the then Hong Kong Baptist College 50 years ago. Twelve of these cherished alumni have returned to their alma mater, along with their family members, with some travelling from as far away as North America. Prof. Albert S C Chan said their presence made the ceremony a truly historic event for the University.

He encouraged the students to believe that all heights of achievement, including those scaled by the University's Honorary Doctors and alumni, were potentially within reach.

Prof. Albert S C Chan shared his views on creativity with those present. He said: "I hold the view that creativity is crucial not only in academic disciplines but in all spheres of development within and outside the campus." He said that in the modern era, creativity lay at the heart of the advancement of science, technology, business, the arts and society, and was much valued and in fact required for dealing with present and future challenges.

"Highly creative people who excel at innovation tend to differ from others in that they have a high level of specialised knowledge, and are capable of divergent thinking. This brings us to the important linkage between creativity and education, because the latter is the cradle of the former," said Prof. Albert S C Chan.

He is confident that HKBU, with its distinctive vision of Whole Person Education, developed and matured over more than five decades, is ideally positioned to help nurture creative talent capable of encountering the volatile, uncertain and increasingly complex environment. Prof. Albert S C Chan added that he would like to be bold and say that HKBU would become a byword in the higher education sector for creativity.

On behalf of the honorary doctors, Prof. Sir John Pendry thanked HKBU for the honours bestowed on them. He shared anecdotes from his own student days that had influenced his life – while the knowledge imparted through study was of immediate use to him, more significant was the shaping of his view of the world, the broadening of his horizons, and the formation of many friendships which endured over the years.

Sir John said he was lucky that the tutor assigned to him when he entered university was a wise man. The tutor treated them like men, which meant that they had the freedom to choose their own method of study but also the responsibility to use their time wisely.

"It is important for we professors to show the wisdom that my tutor had: to treat our students like men, give them the freedom to shape their own lives, and above all the opportunities to interact creatively with one another. This way they will learn for themselves more than we can ever teach them and have dreams that are beyond our own reach," said Sir John.

Guests attending the ceremony included more than 100 presidents and vice-presidents from over 50 universities in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, North America, Europe and Asia. They will also participate in the Heads of Universities Forum on General Education in an Age of Globalisation on 16 November to celebrate the inauguration of Prof. Albert S C Chan as HKBU President and Vice-Chancellor.

In addition, starting from 11 November, HKBU held its 51st Commencement over four days to confer undergraduate, higher degrees and postgraduate diplomas on 4,569 graduates, including 777 graduates from Beijing Normal University-Hong Kong Baptist University United International College.

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