top of page

We are gathered here to celebrate 111 years of HKU, and over a century of excellence and leadership. May I begin by welcoming the Honourable John Lee on his first visit as Chancellor of The University of Hong Kong. You honour us with your presence.

We are also here because we love Hong Kong and we love HKU. Throughout history, the story of this city and this University have been directly linked, and the same is true of their futures to come. Countless women and men have dedicated their work to the cause of this University and we pay tribute to each of them. But, today, we re-commit ourselves to use our knowledge to serve the people of Hong Kong and mainland China, and improve the state of global humanity.

Today’s world is uncertain unfamiliar and rapidly changing. The two-and-a-half years of this unprecedented pandemic has cost at least six million lives, disruption of our economy, and changed the way we interact with one another. Progress on peace, poverty and climate change have rolled-back for a combination of reasons. The war in Ukraine has created new crises for energy, hunger and refugees, and the world is more polarized than ever. We are living in a time of interconnected crises, and some are reflected in Hong Kong. How do we build hope? How do we unify communities? And how do we embed purpose in our actions? HKU is shaping the future, and by joining us, so are you.

Today, we seize on the opportunity to transform the heart and soul of this University. The groundbreaking of Tech Landmark is preparing us for “tomorrow’s world”, to expand understanding on ageing, smart cities, and big data, and apply these to benefit social good. I deeply thank the Kuok family and the Kuok Group, and the Mong family and the Shun Hing Education and Charity Fund. Both families are long-standing benefactors to HKU. Today is the start of a journey of ‘milestone moments’, with a world-class innovation centre, student village, and cross-border campus.

Chancellor, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am not a historian, but I am a keen student of history. In 1911, the year of our founding, the world was experiencing scientific progress and cultural discovery. One year later, Dr Sun Yat-sen, our most famous alumni, became leader of China. On a visit back to HKU, here in Loke Yew Hall, Dr Sun said, “I feel as though I have returned home. Because Hong Kong and The University of Hong Kong are my intellectual birthplace.” So, we must look to our own example, and imagine a world where ideas flourish and potential is unlocked. We are doing great things but we can achieve so much more.

For over a century, HKU has responded to the communities it serves. Now, we can rise to the challenge and do so again. 111 years from now, I want our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to say we did something right at this difficult and historic juncture. We have a duty to help re-start the future for Hong Kong, for mainland China and for the world. HKU must lead by example. To every person who supports us -- past, present, and future -- thank you for believing in the power of education. You have signed-up to a future of peace, progress and hope.


Commenting has been turned off.

Speech at HKU 111th Anniversary Celebration-cum-Tech Landmark Ground-breaking Ceremony

bottom of page