The Thirty-Fifth Graduation Ceremony Congratulatory Speech delivered by Professor Hu Yao-su, Academic Vice-President


35G_Pro Hu 2

Dear Chief Executive, dear Dr. Hu, dear Dr. Chung, dear Governors, dear guests and parents, dear colleagues, dear students:

Today, the 35th Graduation Ceremony of Hong Kong Shue Yan University, is characterized by three principal reasons for joyful celebration. First, we are most grateful to the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Honorable Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, for accepting to preside over the ceremony. Secondly, this is the first time in the history of  Shue Yan University that Honorary Doctorates are being conferred. The Doctor of Laws honoris causa is awarded to the Chief Justice of the Final Court of Appeal, the honorable Dr. Andrew Li, GBM, and the Doctor of Social Science honoris causa is awarded to Dr. Tin Ka-ping, MBE. Thirdly, the achievement and joy are for all graduands here. They are going to receive their degrees in recognition of their hard work and academic achievements.

On behalf of Hong Kong Shue Yan University, I would like to express my deep gratitude to the Chief Executive, the Honorable Donald Tsang. I would also like to express my warmest congratulations and best wishes to the Honorable Dr. Andrew Li, Dr. Tin Ka Ping, and all our graduands.

To our graduands: As you are starting new careers or further studies, may I  remind you of our university ethos: “Be sincere in Ren (benevolence) and learn widely”. The founders of Shue Yan College, now Shue Yan University, Dr Chung and Dr Hu, have been guiding 35 cohorts of students towards this ideal. What is Ren? According to Confucius (Lun Yű XII:1): “To return to the observance of the rites through overcoming the self constitutes  Ren.”  According to the founder of  Western political economy, Adam Smith, writing in 1761 in The Theory of Moral Sentiments, a book which has received much attention among leaders in Beijing: “To feel much for others and little for ourselves, to restrain our selfish, and to indulge our benevolent affections, constitutes the perfection of human nature; and can alone among mankind produce that harmony of sentiments and passions in which consists their whole grace and propriety.” (1761: 85) Why do we need to learn at all? Learning enables a person to distinguish between right and wrong, to choose the right path and to persevere in righteous decisions. Learning and Ren reinforce each other. Learning is the process (a never ending process), Ren is the outcome. We very much hope that our alumni can remain truthful and benevolent throughout their lives.

Under the leadership of Dr. Henry Hu and Dr. Chung Chi-yung, with support from the community, and with the dedication of our staff, students and alumni, Shue Yan has achieved much, and we are working hard to accomplish more. The 12-storey academic building was established in Braemar Hill in 1985. The Library Complex was completed in 1995. In 2005, the 30-storey Residential and Amenities Complex was opened. Our first degree programmes, validated by HKCAA, were launched in 2001. By 2007, all of our diplomas have been upgraded to degree level, and in the last 3 years we have been very busy running conversion programmes for our diploma graduates. The number of our students has been increasing steadily since the start of the millenium, and now exceed 4,000. In December 2006, Shue Yan was approved by the Chief Executive in Council to become the first private university in Hong Kong; and the Honorable Donald Tsang presided over the ceremony in February 2007. At present, we are planning to build a 20-storey research complex building next to the student hostel. We at Shue Yan University are doing our best, and will continue to do so, to implement and support the educational policy of the Hong Kong government. Thank you.

From: December Issue 2009

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