Ms Belinda K Y Hung
Honorary University Fellow (2016)
As the Co-founder and Director of the Hung Hing Ying and Leung Hau Ling Charitable Foundation, Ms Belinda K Y Hung has not only contributed extensively to the development of tertiary education in Hong Kong, and in recent years in very special ways to Hong Kong Baptist University, but she also lives out the whole person educational ethos that is both admirable and noble.
Culturally and historically speaking, it is not difficult for most Chinese to link up a person with the family name of “Hung” and the great educator of the ages, Master Kǒng (孔夫子 “Confucius”). Yet Ms Hung’s sources of inspiration have come primarily from other persons closer to her life as a young Hong Kong born-and-bred woman. Of first importance have been her successful and generous parents, in whose names the charitable foundation that she leads is enshrined. Another very important source of inspiration came from her teachers at the Maryknoll Sisters’ School (now Marymount Secondary School) where she studied. They encouraged her and other students to pursue volunteer service among some of Hong Kong’s roof-top schools. From those experiences she gained a vision about caring effectively for persons in need. That vision has carried her through positions of responsibility as a counsellor in Caritas Hong Kong, as a supervisor of the Resettlement Counselling Programme for Vietnamese Refugees under the auspices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and as a supporter of multifaceted cultural and educational projects, including bursaries and scholarships, to persons and institutions in Hong Kong, mainland China, and Canada.
To illustrate the extraordinary character of her noble form of charitable activity, we all should take note of the personal involvement and transformative engagement involved in providing full four-year educational bursaries to students accepted by tier-one universities in mainland China, started in 2006 and will continue to 2018. Those bursaries were offered to one to two hundred excellent secondary school students annually from economically depressed peasant families in Guizhou and Shaanxi. Offering such generous bursaries to these students already manifests a remarkable discernment regarding the economic inequalities present in contemporary Chinese settings, but she has literally “walked an extra mile” with these students to enable them to adjust and ultimately succeed in their university careers. In order to fully understand their living situations, she insisted on visiting every student’s family. Twice a year, she has been accompanied by officials from the Education Bureau to the students’ home villages to meet their family members, sometimes walking more than an hour to the site because there are no passable roads. Subsequently, she has required the students to write her twice a year, so that she can continue to follow up their needs, because the culture-shock of moving from a simple rural village into the bustling and complex cities of contemporary China is often an unwieldy experience for these students. Understandably, this kind of care for the full person across four years of their university life regularly has a profound impact on them and their families.
Ms Hung has left her discerning encouragements also at Hong Kong Baptist University. Being deeply concerned about the nurturing of creative talents within the humanities, she was especially inspired by the programmatic emphasis on creativity within the humanities as emphasized by the former Dean of Arts, Professor Chung Ling. Recognising arts and humanities this as a healthy balance to the hyper-technological instrumentalism of the modern form of life we have adapted to in Hong Kong, Ms Hung has supported the creation of a perpetual fund for a tertiary level creative writing competition in the name of her mother, involving capable students from HKBU as well as other sister universities. In addition, having sensed the further need in this realm, she then followed this up by establishing an award for distinguished young creative writers. In 2012, Ms Hung received the Honorary University Fellowship from the University of Hong Kong. Ms Hung has been a Member of the Court of the University of Hong Kong since December of 2015.
When these perceptive forms of enrichment are added to the long list of causes that the Foundation she represents has supported – funding for children and youth development programmes, endowed professorships, creative teaching and literary events, mentorship programmes, and even support for various competitions, Cloudgate Dance Theatre of Taiwan and Friends of Dunhuang (Hong Kong) – we can fully understand why it is that she is worthy of the honour to be bestowed on her this day.
Ms Belinda K Y Hung is nominated for the award of an Honorary University Fellowship at Hong Kong Baptist University for her life-long enthusiastic commitment to serving people in need, her unswerving and visionary philanthropy that manifests a whole person caring ethos, and her generous support of the realisation of the University’s mission and educational vision.