Congregation returns to University Mall

Five honorary graduates share their stories

CUHK held its 91st Congregation for the Conferment of Degrees from November 24 to 26. Professor John Chai Yat-chiu, CUHK Council Chairman, presided at the ceremony.

The Congregation returned to the University Mall in its entirety, after the past two years saw it being held online or be replaced with college- and faculty-based ceremonies due to the pandemic.

A total of 531 doctoral degrees, 7,066 master’s degrees and 5,190 bachelor’s degrees were conferred at the Congregation.

In his speech, CUHK Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Rocky S. Tuan celebrated the courage and endurance the graduating students demonstrated in the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said: “You have undertaken your studies at one of the most critical junctures in human history – we are enduring a once in a century global pandemic, we are living on the precipice of a climate crisis, and the world continues to stare down inequality and poverty while navigating a geopolitical environment unseen in many of your lifetimes,

“But your time at CUHK should have equipped you with the tools to think critically, act maturely, exercise sound judgment, and contribute to addressing and overcoming these challenges for the betterment of our country and humanity as a whole.”

This year, the University conferred honorary degrees to five distinguished individuals in recognition of their outstanding contributions to academic and cultural progress, scientific achievement, the promotion of social well-being, as well as CUHK’s development. They are: Mr Reinaldo Maria Cordeiro, Professor Hao Ping, Ms Irene Lee Yun-lien, Professor Sir Michael Marmot, and Professor Joseph Sung Jao-yiu (surname in alphabetical order). They have shared with CUHK in Focus their reflections:

Michael Marmot

The first piece of advice renowned epidemiologist and public health expert Professor Sir Michael Marmot dispenses in our interview is: "don't listen to my advice". Read more

Reinaldo M. Cordeiro (aka Uncle Ray)

Reinaldo Maria Cordeiro, fondly known by Hongkongers as Uncle Ray, is a radio legend who introduced western popular music to generations of young people and nurtured some of the most successful music artists in Hong Kong over the past few decades. He was on air for 72 years until his retirement last year. Read more

Hao Ping

Professor Hao Ping obtained his PhD degree in international relations at Peking University (PKU). He has served as president of Beijing Foreign Studies University, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Education, Director of the National Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Vice-Chairman of the Red Cross Society of China, and President of PKU. Read more

Irene Lee Yun-lien

The twists and turns of Irene Lee's life trajectory confirm that life journeys cannot be planned. At the end of the summer of 1967, the 13-year-old girl learned that she would be leaving for boarding school in the UK on her own only the weekend before she did so. Read more

Joseph Sung Jao-yiu

On December 18, Professor Sung Jao-yiu has a date with students at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, where he works: watching the World Cup final live. Read more

(From left) Prof. Michael Marmot, Prof. Rocky S. Tuan, CUHK Council Chairman Prof. John Chai Yat-chiu, Prof. Joseph Sung and Ms Irene Lee. Prof. Hao Ping and Mr Reinaldo Cordeiro were unable to attend in person

In his acceptance speech on behalf of all honorary degree recipients, Professor Marmot, a world-renowned researcher in health equity, said: “We live in troubled times globally. The fact that CUHK chooses to celebrate scholarship and social commitment is special indeed. I am delighted to be part of that celebration.”

Play Video

Address by the Vice-Chancellor

Please click here for the citations of the recipients of the honorary doctorates.

By Joyce Ng

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