Dr. VAN Lau and Professor Rosie YOUNG Tse-tse received Honorary Degrees in the 39th Graduation Ceremony


From left to right: Dr. VAN Lau and Professor Rosie YOUNG Tse-tse

The renowned sculptor, Dr. VAN Lau, and the eminent academic, Professor Rosie YOUNG Tse-tse, GBS, JP attended the 39th graduation ceremony (Section II) of Hong Kong Shue Yan University (HKSYU) to receive their honorary doctorates on 20th November 2013.It is the fifth conferment of honorary degrees since 2009.

The ceremony of conferment of honorary degrees was held in Lily Shaw Hall and chaired by Dr. Henry HU, President of HKSYU.

Dr. VAN Lau: Doctor of Letters, honoris causa

In his citation, Professor LEUNG Tin Wai, Head of Department of Journalism and Communication, praised Dr. VAN Lau for his wide-ranging achievements in the arts and for his dedication to the promotion of Chinese culture.

Dr. VAN’s study of social changes and development has resulted in a deep understanding of the historical reasons for the development of Hong Kong’s unique artistic culture. After realizing Hong Kong’s condition, Dr. VAN decided to foster the idea of the “Hong Kong School” in an attempt to promote Chinese culture via various artistic media.

Professor LEUNG explained that the artistic style of the “Hong Kong School” can be understood in terms of two key innovative concepts. The first is that it uses the spirit of Chinese culture as the “thought content” of the artistic work, while using modern Western art as its “mode of expression”. The second is that the mode of expression of Chinese traditional art is integrated into the modern conceptual language and the innately innovative character of modern Western art.

“In a word, the synthesis of Eastern and Western culture is the essence of the ‘Hong Kong School’ as put forward by Dr. VAN Lau. This is also the heavy burden shouldered by a pure artist who takes upon himself the task of helping to build a Hong Kong culture. ”

Professor Rosie YOUNG: Doctor of Social Sciences, honoris causa

Mr. Aman SHAH, Associate Vice President (Quality Assurance) of HKSYU introduced Professor Rosie Young, presenting some of the highlights of her distinguished career since she first graduated with a degree in medicine from the University of Hong Kong 60 years ago.

Mr. SHAH noted that during that time Professor Young had risen from a humble position as a clinical assistant to become professor of medicine, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor of her alma mater.

Mr. SHAH’s citation included testimony from a number of Professor Young’s former students, now eminent academics in their own right, who spoke of her devotion to her work, her patients and her students. This devotion has led to numerous awards to Professor YOUNG for her exemplary work in the scientific and medical fields and for her services to the profession and the community.

Among Professor Young’s many public service achievements, Mr Shah cited her role as Chairman of the Hong Kong Medical Council when she dealt with important issues such as strengthening the training of family physicians and the development of the primary health care system.

Professor Young also contributed more broadly to educational development in Hong Kong in her role as chairperson of the Education Commission during 1993 – 1998 when the use of mother tongue teaching in schools was reinforced.

Reply on behalf of the Honorary Graduates

Professor YOUNG then made a speech on behalf of Dr. VAN Lau and herself. She said she was delighted to share this honor with the famous artist Dr. VAN.

She admired the founding of Shue Yan College in 1971 by Dr. Henry HU and Dr. CHUNG Chi Yung, noting that “The College’s subsequent evolution into a university has formed an integral part of the history of the development of tertiary education in Hong Kong. The dedication and perseverance of the founders to achieve this goal without compromising their ideals are most admirable. For over three decades they had to struggle alone without any financial or moral support from the government.”

Professor YOUNG said the aim of education is to help people develop their full potential. As the powerhouse for post-secondary education, universities have two basic functions – to preserve, advance and transmit knowledge through teaching and scholarship and to promote the search for objective truth through research.

Professor Young confirmed her belief that universities should provide a well-rounded education for their students, reminding the audience that: “There is an increasing trend for people to focus on wealth, enjoyment and self interest. There is still a tremendous difference in healthcare and education opportunities between the haves and have-nots. While the core values of universities remain unchanged, we need to do more. We reaffirm that scientific and technological advances can take us to new frontiers and breakthroughs, but we should also acknowledge the importance of the humanities (Literature, Philosophy, Ethics, Historyand Spirituality), social sciences, which include cultural studies, psychology, sociology, anthropology as well as the arts (namely, performance, film, and other visual arts).”

Source: December Issue 2013



Citation for Doctor Dr. VAN Lau

Citation For Professor Rosie YOUNG, Tse-Tse

Speech by Professor Rosie YOUNG Tse-Tse

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