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HKBU to confer honorary doctoral degrees on five distinguished persons

03 Oct 2017

HKBU will confer honorary doctoral degrees on (clockwise from left top): Professor Donal Bradley, Mrs Pamela Chan, Dr William Fung, Professor William Kirby and Professor Mo Yan.
HKBU will confer honorary doctoral degrees on (clockwise from left top): Professor Donal Bradley, Mrs Pamela Chan, Dr William Fung, Professor William Kirby and Professor Mo Yan.

HKBU will confer honorary doctoral degrees at its Commencement on 13 November on five distinguished persons for their outstanding achievements in their fields and remarkable contributions to society.


World-renowned experimental physicist Professor Donal D C Bradley will receive the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa. Distinguished community leader Mrs Chan Wong Shui, Pamela (陳黃穗) will be awarded the degree of Doctor of Social Sciences, honoris causa. Outstanding entrepreneur Dr William Fung Kwok-lun (馮國綸) will be presented with the degree of Doctor of Business Administration, honoris causa. Leading historian of modern China Professor William C Kirby will be presented with the degree of Doctor of Humanities, honoris causa. Nobel Laureate in Literature Professor Mo Yan (莫言) will be awarded the degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa


Professor Donal Bradley (Doctor of Science, honoris causa)


Professor Donal Bradley is Head of the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division at the University of Oxford in the UK.


Professor Bradley is a renowned experimental physicist with a research focus on plastic electronics. He is the co-inventor of conjugated polymer electroluminescence which has led to many application-focused activity and patents, and he has championed various new initiatives in cross-faculty research. An ISIHighly Cited researcher, he is among the top 1% most cited authors in the world for publications in materials science over the past decade.


His research achievements have been recognised by numerous awards and fellowships, including Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), fellowship and Brian Mercer Award for Innovation of the Royal Society, fellowship and Michael Faraday Medal and Prize of the Institute of Physics, and fellowship and Faraday Medal of the Institution of Engineering and Technology in the UK. He is also an editorial board member of several renowned journals and research funding panels. 


Prior to joining the University of Oxford in 2015, Professor Bradly had held various important academic positions, including Imperial College London’s Vice-Provost (Research) and Head of the Department of Physics, and he had also worked at the University of Sheffield and University of Cambridge. 


He obtained his Bachelor of Science and Associateship of the Royal College of Science at Imperial College London and completed his PhD studies at the University of Cambridge. He was conferred a Doctor of Science, honoris causa, by the University of Sheffield in the UK.


Mrs Pamela Chan (Doctor of Social Sciences, honoris causa)


Mrs Pamela Chan graduated from the Department of Social work of The Chinese University of Hong Kong and obtained a Bachelor of Laws degree from the Peking University. She served as Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Consumer Council for 22 years until she retired. During her term in office, the Council successfully raised public awareness on consumer rights and responsibilities, prompted Hong Kong government to review and enact laws to enhance consumer protection and gained high credibility. 


Mrs Chan played a pivotal role in leading the worldwide movement to strengthen consumer rights, serving as Council and Executive member of Consumers International and was elected as President from 1997 to 2000. In recognition of her contributions, the China Consumer Association awarded her a Gold Award and the American Council on Consumer Interests also conferred the Rhoda Karpatkin Consumer International Award on her.


Over the years, Mrs Chan has devoted herself to community services. She has served on various boards and committees such as the Hospital Authority, Hong Kong Housing Authority and the Law Reform Commission of Hong Kong, among others. She was the Chairperson of the Hong Kong Council for Social Service, and the Hong Kong Deposit Protection Board. Currently, she is the Vice-Patron of The Community Chest, and Vice-Chairman of the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs Association of Hong Kong.


In the higher education sector, Mrs Chan was a member of the University Grants Committee. As Deputy Chairman of HKBU’s Council and Court from 2013 to 2016, she served as Chairman of the Personnel Committee and many other positions that contributed significantly to the University’s advancement.


Mrs Chan’s significant contributions have been widely recognised. She was presented a Bronze Bauhinia Star by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government and an Honorary Fellowship by The Chinese University of Hong Kong. She was also appointed Justice of the Peace.


Dr William Fung (Doctor of Business Administration, honoris causa)


Dr William Fung is the Deputy Chairman of the Fung Group of companies, Group Chairman of Li & Fung Limited and Chairman of Global Brands Group Holding Limited. 


A graduate from Princeton University and the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration in the US, Dr Fung successfully transformed the traditional export trading company founded by his grandfather into a multinational group with diverse business interests, including trading, logistics, distribution and retailing. The Company was first listed in Hong Kong in 1973, privatised in 1989 and relisted in 1992. The Company now boasts over 25,000 employees operating in over 50 countries worldwide.  


Over the years, Dr Fung has held key positions in major trade and business associations. He was formerly the chairman of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, the Hong Kong Exporters’ Association and the Hong Kong Committee for Pacific Economic Cooperation Council. 


For his outstanding entrepreneurship, Dr Fung was named one of the world’s Top 25 Managers in 1995 and 50 stars of Asia in 2000 by Business Week. Together with his brother Dr Victor Fung, he was named “Businessman of the Year for 2005” by ForbesMagazine, and the brothers were also honoured as one of Time Magazine’s “60 Years of Asian Heroes”. Dr. Fung was conferred the Doctor of Business Administration, honoris causa, by The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.


Dr Fung supports many charity initiatives through his family foundations and has made significant donations to HKBU for the establishment of the Fung Hon Chu Endowed Chair of Humanics, the Fung Scholarships, and the Fung Service Leadership Initiative which help nurture young talents.


Professor William Kirby (Doctor of Humanities, honoris causa)


Professor William Kirby is T M Chang Professor of China Studies at Harvard University and Spangler Family Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School in the US.


Professor Kirby is a leading historian of modern China with research interests that extend to China’s business, economic and political development in an international context. He has published extensively on contemporary issues of Chinese society, including China’s relations with Europe, the history of China’s modern capitalism, the history of freedom in China, and relations across the Taiwan Strait.


A graduate of Dartmouth College, Professor Kirby obtained his master’s and doctoral degrees at Harvard University. He also received a Doctor of Humanities, honoris causa, from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and a Doctor of Philosophy, honoris causa, from Freie Universität Berlin in Germany.


An experienced and highly dynamic university administrator, Professor Kirby was Head of Harvard’s History Department, Director of the Harvard University Asia Center, and Dean of Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences. He also holds other important positions at Harvard University which have contributed a lot to developing relations with China. He was Director of Harvard University’s Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies and serves as Chairman of the Harvard China Fund and Faculty Chair of the Harvard Center Shanghai.


Professor Kirby has an in-depth familiarity with the higher education sector in Hong Kong.  He was a member of the University Grants Committee (UGC) of Hong Kong and was Chairperson of the Selection Panel of the UGC Teaching Award. 


Professor Mo Yan (Doctor of Letters, honoris causa)


Renowned writer and Nobel laureate Professor Guan Moye, better known by his pen name Mo Yan, is Dean of the Literature Institute of the Chinese National Academy of Arts, and Vice-President of China Writers Association. 


Mo Yan started his literary career in the 1980s. He is the author of more than 100 short fictions and long novels. He is also an ardent script writer of plays and screenplays. His numerous works include Red Sorghum Saga, The Republic of Wine, Sandalwood Death, Big Breasts and Wide Hips, and Our Jing Ke, which have been translated into a dozen foreign languages for publication in different countries. 


In recognition of his phenomenal achievements, Mo Yan received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2012, and his novel Life, Death, Exhaustion won HKBU’s prestigious Dream of the Red Chamber Award in 2008. He has also received numerous awards including, among other national literary prizes, Mao Dun Literature Prize, the National Prize (Novella), the United Literature Prize of Taiwan, the Dajia Red River Literature Prize, the Chinese Literature Media Prize (Annual Outstanding Achievement Prize) of China; the Laure Bataillin Prize, the Grand Prize of the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize, the French Arts and Literature Knight Medal of France; and the Nonino International Prize of Italy.


Mo Yan graduated from People’s Liberation Army Arts College and obtained a MA degree from Beijing Normal University in China, and was conferred a Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, by The Open University of Hong Kong.