Doctor of Humanities, honoris causa (2014)
Dr Cecil S O Chan is a life-long Christian, consulting engineer and entrepeneur. Graduating in 1956 from La Salle College, Dr. Chan was awarded an overseas scholarship to pursue further studies in electrical engineering and industrial management in the United Kingdom. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Quality Assurance Engineering and many other field-accredited professional qualifications of senior rank.
In 1963, upon his return to Hong Kong, Dr Chan served as the Chief Electrical Design engineer at the Taikoo Dockyard and Engineering Company Ltd., and was responsible for the design and installation of all electrical systems and navigational equipment on board the company’s fleet. Subsequently, he held office at the Federation of Hong Kong Industries, serving initially as Technical Director and shortly thereafter as CEO of the organisation in which capacity he served for over fifteen years.
By the early 1960s, Hong Kong’s manufacturing industries had begun to develop and to diversify in a broadening consumer market that as yet lacked quality assurance protocols and industry-wide standardisation. In order to help resolve this serious shortcoming, Dr Chan undertook a leadership role in establishing Hong Kong’s first multi-disciplinary product-testing and field certification laboratory, which sought to provide much-needed guidance and consultative services to the manufacturing industries regarding quality controls and compliance as well as to promote sector-wide adherence to higher quality standards for all manufactured goods. Under Dr Chan’s leadership, the Hong Kong Standards and Testing Centre thus came into being. In order to further raise the quality-image of Hong Kong’s manufactured products among customers locally and abroad, Dr Chan likewise pioneered the concept and implementation of the highly successful quality labelling scheme called the Hong Kong “Q-mark” Scheme, which certifies products and services meeting quality and safety standards recognised throughout the territory.
Across a successful career in business, Dr Chan has likewise served in a variety of notable roles; most notably, as the founder of the Everite Group of companies where he served as Chairman of the Board and CEO for over twenty-five years. Under Dr Chan’s leadership, the Group has been granted over thirty international patents from the United States, Europe, the United Kingdom, and the People’s Republic of China in its enterprise of designing and manufacturing novelty toys and gifts for overseas export. In 2008, Dr Chan retired from his day-to-day management duties of the Everite Group, even as he continues to offer advice and assistance to his colleagues.
A life-long Christian, Dr Chan continues to serve the Hong Kong community in faith and fellowship for numerous philanthropic and charitable organisations affiliated with the Baptist mission in Hong Kong. In his role as the Honorary President of the Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong, Dr Chan has been a prominent leader for nearly forty years. Under his leadership, a total of nine University- or College-based YMCAs have been established in the major institutions of higher learning in Hong Kong, including at Hong Kong Baptist University, so as to provide leadership training to students as the leaders of tomorrow. Dr Chan has also served as Treasurer and Chairman of the Finance Committee of the World Alliance of YMCAs, as well as the Vice President and Treasurer of the Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs. In 2000, Dr Chan was accordingly distinguished by the global parent organisation, the World YMCA, having been awarded a commendation for Outstanding Leadership.
Dr Chan has been a staunch supporter of Hong Kong Baptist University since 1979 when he began his first term of service on the Board of Governors of the then Hong Kong Baptist College. As Deputy Chairman of the Board of Governors, Dr Chan was a strong proponent of the College’s eventual transformation from College to University status. Since then, he has continued to serve the University in a variety of important roles—most notably, as a Member of the Court and Council and as Chairman of the University Personnel Committee. Dr Chan continues to serve as the Honorary President of the Baptist University Foundation and sits on the Foundation Board of Governors.
Having provided continuous and exemplary service for over thirty-five years on behalf of the Hong Kong community and our University, Dr Chan has a distinguished record which the staff and faculty, students, and alumni of Hong Kong Baptist University gratefully acknowledge.