Honorary University Fellow (2011)
The American Education reformer, Horace Mann, once wrote that “Education…beyond all other devices of human origin, is the great equalizer of the conditions of man.” In Hong Kong’s rich and varied educational landscape, no man has done more than Mr John Fan to enhance the educational standing of ordinary people. To him, generations of students owe their deepest gratitude. An educational innovator of the highest order, it fills us with great honour and pride to record that Mr. Fan qualified from our English Department and is an alumnus of the Hong Kong Baptist University.
Within two years of completing his studies at the Hong Kong Baptist College, Mr Fan found himself in the extraordinary position of being appointed as the Founding Principal of the CMA Secondary School. It is one thing to be the principal of a school but quite another to be the founding principal. Without an existing model or template to follow, the founding principal must carve out the school like an artist creating a sculpture. The school opened in September 1976, borrowing premises from a nearby school for a year while the main buildings were completed. It was a monumental task, and Mr Fan fulfilled it with remarkable skill and success, remaining as principal of the school for some twenty-seven years. Mr Fan took up appointment as Founding Principal of Lam Tai Fai College in 2003.
During his tenure as founding principal of the CMA Secondary School, Mr John Fan established himself as one of the leading and most respected voices in the educational community. At various times he was the Founding Chairman of the Shamshuipo Schools Liaison Committee, Chairman of the Hong Kong Subsidized Schools Council, Founding Chairman of the Kowloon Region School Heads Association, Convener of the Education Panel of the Environmental Protection Committee, and a Court Member of the University of Hong Kong. All of his activities were predicated on the need to deliver quality education to the young people of Hong Kong, and to lay the foundations for the continuing success of this remarkable territory.
Mr Fan has played a prominent role in school sports and sports generally. He was Chairman of the Hong Kong Schools Sports Association for Secondary Schools, and of the Executive Committee of the Hong Kong Schools Sports Federation. He was Director of both the Hong Kong Sports Development Board and the Hong Kong Sports Institute. He was Vice Chairman of the 1st and 2nd Hong Kong Games, and a Member of the HKSAR Organizing Committee of the 8th, 9th and 10th China (National) Games. He was Vice-President of the The Hong Kong Paralympic Committee & Sports Association for the Physically Disabled and remains Vice-Chairman of the Hong Kong DanceSport Association. These are just a few of his many contributions to Hong Kong society. The remarkably consistent quality of all his commitments is his willingness not only to lead but to innovate.
Mr Fan has also distinguished himself in other walks of public life, including the arts, culture, the Basic Law and social services. He was made a Justice of the Peace in 1991, held appointment on the Guangzhou People’s Political Consultative Conference between 2003 and 2011, and was awarded the Bronze Bauhinia Star in 1999 for services to Hong Kong. As a distinguished alumnus, he has been a source of deep pride to his alma mater. A former Chairman of the Advisory Committee of the Department of Physical Education, his close relationship with school principals and the wider education network continues to bring invaluable wisdom and enormous benefits to HKBU.
Mr Chairman, in view of Mr John Fan’s distinguished long service to education and to Hong Kong society in general, and in recognition of his unstinting support for this University over many years, it is my privilege to present him to you for the award of an Honorary University Fellowship.