Professor JAO Tsung-I and Mr WONG Yan-Lung Received Honorary Degrees in the 38th Graduation Ceremony


From left to right: Professor Jao Tsung-I, Dr. Wong Yan-Lung, SC

Hong Kong Shue Yan University awarded Honorary Degrees to the Master of Chinese Culture , Professor Jao Tsung-I, GBM, and former Secretary for Justice, Mr. Wong Yan-Lung , GBM , SC, at thefourth session of the 38th Graduation Ceremony on 7th December 2012. It is the fourth time that Shue Yan has conferred Honorary Degrees since 2009.

The Honorary degrees were conferred by Dr. Henry Hu, President of the University.

Professor Jao Tsung-I: Doctor of Letters, honoris causa

The Degree of Doctor of Letters honoris causa was awarded to the famous Chinese scholar, calligrapher and painter, Professor Jao Tsung-I.

In his citation, Professor Leung Tin Wai, Head of the Department of Journalism and Communication, praised Professor Jao for his contribution to Sinology and Chinese Culture, and his continuous search for new ground in the study of Chinese culture.

“Professor Jao is truly a renaissance man, ‘an expert in many branches of knowledge and master of many skills’. He has to date published over 80 books and more than 500 scholarly papers. His scholarly achievements in the many fields of humanities, ranging from Dunhuang studies and the studies of oracle bone inscriptions to etymology and history, from bibliographical studies and Chuci studies to archaeology and phonology, are staggering. A broad survey of Professor Jao’s learning and research methodology shows that there are two areas in particular in which younger scholars can learn from him: First, is Professor Jao’s remarkable ability to produce groundbreaking results in his research even when there are only limited source materials available. This can be clearly seen in the fruitful achievements he has attained in his Dunhuang studies, as well as his work on the manuscripts of the Mawangdui silk banners. This is a feature that runs throughout both Professor Jao’s scholarship and his art. Second, he advocates employing the “Triple Evidence Method” for the study of ancient Chinese culture by integrating the results of archaeological field study with the study of historical records and oracle bone inscriptions.” Professor Leung said.

Professor Leung also praised Professor Jao for his pursuit of knowledge with the “disciplined spirit of a true ascetic”: “The emergence of a great master is made possible not only by natural endowments and a favourable environment, but also by the ability to persevere, to be focused in ambition and will, to think with discernment, to be well-read and to seek verification of supporting evidence. Professor Jao has embarked on arduous journeys for the sake of learning a specific discipline. He has conducted on-the-spot observations and study in order to learn a language. In order to get to the bottom of things, he has been willing to go without food and sleep until a solution to a problem is found. He once cautioned that unless a person is able to endure hardships and loneliness, he will never achieve any significance in academic pursuit.”

Wong Yan-Lung, SC,: Degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa

The Degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa was awarded to Mr. Wong Yan-Lung, GBM, SC, who was Secretary for Justice of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region for seven years from 2005 to 2012.

In her citation, Professor Nadja Alexander praised Mr. Wong for always standing firm against the winds and the authority of conventional wisdom during his seven-year term as Secretary for Justice.

Professor Nadja Alexander said: “Such an approach nurtures the internationality of Hong Kong – an oasis of cultural resilience, where the energetic friction of diversity continually offers up new springs of knowledge. This facilitative yet firm leadership style is also reflected in the timeless wisdom of the famous Chinese General Lin:

‘Be open to diverse views, like the ocean that can carry all the river water flowing into it; Be able to uphold justice uncompromised by personal desires, like a cliff standing steep without falling unto either side.’”

Professor Nadja Alexander also praised Mr. Wong for his extensive public service in: “Mr. Wong has served as Chairman of the Buildings Appeal Tribunal, the Criminal and Law Enforcement Injuries Compensation Boards and the Non-local Higher and Professional Education Appeal Board. He has also served as Vice-Chairman of the CEDAR Fund and a member of the Steering Committee and volunteer of the Hong Kong Christian Concern for the Homeless, and continues his contributions to both NGOs.”

Wong Yan Lung: The capability to accommodate does not necessarily entail convergence

In his speech on behalf of Professor Jao and himself, Mr. Wong expressed the deep gratitude of the honorary graduates for the high honour which the university had conferred on them.

Mr. Wong expressed the deepest respect for Professor Jao. “When I learned Professor Jao was the other honorary graduand, my immediate reaction was one of embarrassment. How can I ever come close to sharing the stage with Professor Jao, whose life-long achievement in the study of Chinese culture is nothing short of the utmost pride and treasure of the nation?” Mr. Wong said.

Mr. Wong Yan Lung also noted that Hong Kong is facing a variety of changes and challenges brought about One Country Two Systems, and the capability to accommodate does not necessarily entail convergence.

“In tackling challenges under the new constitutional order, the need for in-depth understanding of the contents of the respective regimes goes without saying. More important, however, are an overriding concern for the long-term good of all as opposed to part, an uncompromising commitment to the core values and foundational principals, an enlightened liberty to identify and accept non-essentials, a humility and courage to embrace differences, as well as a wisdom and commitment to construct rather than to pull down.” Mr. Wong said.

Master’s degrees were also awarded at this ceremony. The Master of Social Sciences in Counselling Psychology programme is the first Master’s Degree programme offered solely by Shue Yan. The MBA programme is jointly offered by the University of Louisiana at Monroe (USA) and Hong Kong Shue Yan University. Dr. Donna Luse, Associate Dean of the College of Business Administration of the University of Louisiana at Monroe, came to Hong Kong to confer the degrees.



Citation for Professor Jao Tsung-I

Citation for Mr. Wong Yan-Lung, SC

Address by Dr. WONG Yan Lung

Source: December Issue 2012

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