Dr. SUN Fong Chung and Dr. Judith Longstaff MACKAY received Honorary degrees in the 41st Graduation Ceremony


From left to right: Dr. SUN Fong Chung and Dr. Judith Longstaff MACKAY

Honorary degrees were conferred upon the celebrated educator Dr. SUN Fong Chung and the internationally recognized anti-tobacco advocate Dr. Judith Longstaff MACKAY at the 41st graduation ceremony of Hong Kong Shue Yan University (HKSYU) on 3rd December 2015.

The ceremony for the conferment of honorary degrees was held in the Lady Lily Shaw Hall and was presided over by Professor HU Yao-Su, Provost of HKSYU.

Dr. SUN Fong Chung: Doctor of Letters honoris causa

In her citation, Professor Catherine SUN, Academic Vice President of HKSYU, praised Dr. SUN Fong Chung for her lifelong devotion to education and social service in Hong Kong. At the age of 25, Dr. SUN became the Founding Principle of Kiangsu and Chekiang Primary School and continued to run the school for 48 years.

Professor SUN also praised Dr. SUN as “a pioneer of three distinctive features of Hong Kong education today”, namely, using Putonghua as the medium of instruction, involving parents in their children’s education and setting up an alumni association to enable graduates to continue supporting each other and the school. (For full citation, see: http://stu.hksyu.edu/~newsletter/?p=3434)

Dr. Judith Longstaff MACKAY: Doctor of Social Sciences, honoris causa

Professor Geoffrey BLOWERS, Director of the Research Office of HKSYU, introduced Dr. MACKAY, presenting some of the highlights of her distinguished career as an anti-tobacco campaigner since she left clinical practice in Hong Kong in 1984.

The citation, written by Professor Harold TRAVER, Head of the Department of Sociology, noted that Dr. MACKAY has the distinction of “being the first person in Asia to campaign against tobacco use on a full-time basis.” In 1987 she became the founding Executive Director of the government-funded Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health, and in 1989 she established the Asia Consultancy on Tobacco Control – a coordinating organization to facilitate the sharing of information, experience and expertise on tobacco control in the Asia-Pacific region. Dr. MACKAY also played an integral role in promoting the idea of a convention on tobacco control to the World Health Organization, and an important role in promoting tobacco control in Mainland China and Mongolia. (For full citation, see: http://stu.hksyu.edu/~newsletter/?p=3442)

Front row: Dr. Judith Longstaff MACKAY (third left), Dr. Henry HU (Fourth left) and Dr. SUN Fong Chung (third right)

Dr. MACKAY: we have to appreciate Hong Kong

Dr. MACKAY then made a speech on behalf of Dr. SUN Fong Chung and herself. She said: “Both Dr. SUN and I have worked for many decades for Hong Kong … All of us who call Hong Kong home have many reasons to appreciate Hong Kong.”

Dr. MACKAY listed 15 reasons and the first four are: (1) Hong Kong is not at war. Not only are there no direct consequences of war such as fighting, death or destruction, but Hong Kong also has no military spending (while some countries in Asia spend up to 30% of their government budget on the military). (2) Health: Hong Kong enjoys the 2nd longest life expectancy, very low infant mortality, and has among the lowest smoking rates in the world. (3) Health care: Hong Kong has good value public hospitals for permanent residents. (4) Safety: The murder rate is extraordinarily low for a city of 7 million inhabitants.

Dr. MACKAY said: “Hong Kong is certainly not perfect, and there are serious issues to be addressed, for example housing, welfare and the elderly. But in comparison with many of our neighbours and much of the rest of the world, we are indeed fortunate. So, my advice for life is always to look (realistically) for the positive, live life with thankfulness for what you have, be on good terms with all people, err in the direction of kindness, and this will serve you well.” (For full speech, see: http://stu.hksyu.edu/~newsletter/?p=3446&lang=en)

From left to right: Dr. SUN Fong Chung and Dr. Judith Longstaff MACKAY

From left to right: Professor Catherine SUN, Dr. SUN Fong Chung, Dr. Judith Longstaff MACKAY and Professor HU Yao-Su

Source: January Issue 2016

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