Ms Leonie Ki Man-fung
Honorary University Fellow (2023)
Ms Leonie Ki Man-fung pledged to live her life to the fullest when she was a young girl. With her passion and unlimited energy, she has honoured her pledge throughout the past decades and accomplished what others could not achieve even if they live twice. A high achiever, she does not only excel in her career, but is also the pioneer of many charity and cultural endeavours, bringing far-reaching impacts for Hong Kong, our country and the world, for this generation and beyond. She is truly an admirable leader and a role model to us all.
An iconic figure and a legend in the advertising industry, Ms Ki joined the advertising sector shortly after graduating from The University of Hong Kong. With her superb language capability, creativity, business acumen and people skills, she has masterminded numerous successful advertising campaigns, which not only increased brand awareness and business revenue, but also coined many catchphrases. Slogans like “Not Just a Simple Soft Drink” (點只係汽水咁簡單), “A Hundred Points of Excellence” (為你做足100分) have left an indelible mark on the minds of most Hongkongers aged above 50. Her legacy lives on though she has stepped down for years, as many top creative talents in Hong Kong and Mainland China are either her students or her former subordinates.
Ms Ki started her second career in 1995 with a higher goal. Her efforts to proactively engage in a wide variety of activities for the public good have earned her the reputation of being “Hong Kong’s Most Ardent Volunteer.” As the founding Chief Executive of The Better Hong Kong Foundation and the mastermind and key organiser of the Commission on Poverty’s “Bless Hong Kong” Campaign, just to name a few, she has demonstrated her determination to serve Hong Kong, a place where she was born and raised.
Ms Ki cares a lot about the growth and development of the next generation, for she believes Hong Kong and our country can thrive only when young people thrive. Apart from serving on the Council of several local universities to advise on education for elite students, she is also dedicated to helping youth at-risk get back on the right track and has supported Youth Outreach in staging street dance performances for its young members. She founded the Wu Zhi Qiao (Bridge to China) Charitable Foundation in 2007 with a vision to build people through building footbridges and basic infrastructure for the poor villagers, and to also connect the hearts and minds of tertiary students in the Mainland and Hong Kong.
Back in 2010, Ms Ki joined a tour to Dunhuang. She felt very touched, not just by the amazing Mogao Caves and the breathtaking views of the Gobi Desert, but more by the similarities between Hong Kong and Dunhuang. Both served as the connecting points between East and West along the Silk Road, and both with a glorious legacy. She got a calling that she must help conserve the cultural heritage of Dunhuang. In subsequent years, she initiated support and sponsorship of the “Digital Dunhuang” project and organised study tours for students and teachers to Dunhuang. In 2018, she founded the Hong Kong Gaudeamus Dunhuang Ensemble. Through innovating the ancient Dunhuang music scores, Ms Ki hopes to share Dunhuang’s art and culture with the rest of the world and give the Chinese music score a modern touch.
Optimistic about the future of Hong Kong, Ms Ki is the first to walk the talk as she urges young people to stay and grasp the opportunities made available by China’s robust growth and the fast-developing Greater Bay Area. She encourages them to have a better understanding of our nation and our culture, embrace diversity and critical thinking, and to always stay positive.
For her outstanding services to the Hong Kong community, Ms Ki has been bestowed with numerous honours and awards. Among those more prestigious ones include: Gold Bauhinia Star in 2016, Silver Bauhinia Star in 2007 and Justice of the Peace in 2005. In 2007, she was awarded the Chapter Honoree by The Chinese University of Hong Kong Chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma. She is the Honorary Fellow of The University of Hong Kong and the then Open University of Hong Kong (now known as The Hong Kong Metropolitan University), and a member of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) (2013-2018) and the CPPCC Yunnan Provincial Committee for three consecutive terms (2003-2018).
Ms Ki has a long association with Hong Kong Baptist University. With a view to nurturing talents for the local advertising, creative and communications industry, despite a very hectic schedule, she served as a part-time lecturer in the Department of Communication of the then Hong Kong Baptist College from 1974 to 1980, and is highly regarded by her peers and the many students she took under her wing. She indeed planned to leave in 1979 but was deeply moved by her students who took turns sending her flowers early morning every day, imploring her to continue. This moving anecdote became the talk of the town. Ms Ki is a Senior Member of the Hong Kong Baptist University Foundation and contributed to the advancement of the University. To show her gratitude to the University, Ms Ki has enthusiastically supported the Timothy Yu Communication Education Fund, which contributes substantially to the teaching and research development of the School of Communication.