Mr Robert H N Ho, O.B.C., JP
Doctor of Humanities, honoris causa (2015)
Born in Hong Kong, Mr Robert H N Ho is the grandson of Sir Robert Ho Tung and Lady Clara Ho Tung, and the son of General Ho Shai Lai and Hesta Ho Hung Ki Fun. He grew up in Hong Kong and obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree from Colgate University and his Master’s degree in Journalism from Columbia University in the US.
Mr Ho pursued a long career in journalism while also successfully managing his family’s property and other investments. Since his retirement, he has concentrated on philanthropic activities including founding in Hong Kong The Robert H N Ho Family Foundation in 2005.
The mission of the Foundation is to cultivate understanding of other people and to bring about positive change in the world. It has a strong belief in the importance of educating the whole person. One of the guiding principles is that the arts are fundamental to the growth and health of society, and that every person should have the opportunity not only to appreciate art, but also to participate in its creation. In this respect Mr Ho is very committed to supporting cultural and educational initiatives that enable an understanding of the importance of cultural life in the future development and prosperity of Hong Kong.
The Foundation has developed art education programmes that inspire creativity among young people through photography, writing and movement. In 2013, the Academy of Visual Arts at HKBU received a generous donation from the Foundation to run the “Through Our Eyes” photography programme which works closely with schools and other partners to inspire young people to examine issues of identity, community, cultural heritage and environment through the use of photography and creative writing.
The Foundation under Mr Ho’s leadership has sponsored and supported numerous projects to encourage cross-cultural insight and popular appreciation for China’s rich cultural heritage. These include major exhibitions at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Royal Ontario Museum, the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Vancouver Art Gallery and the establishment of the Chinese Art Initiative at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.
To perpetuate the legacy of his late grandmother who was a devoted Buddhist, Mr Ho has unceasingly contributed to the enhancement of the understanding of the history, philosophy and practice of Buddhism. To promote the study and understanding of Buddhist philosophy and establish a global network of scholarship, the Foundation has endowed and funded chairs, programmes and scholarly research in Buddhist studies at leading universities worldwide.
Besides taking a keen interest in arts and culture, Mr Ho is also a steadfast supporter of all kinds of meaningful causes in medical research, the enhancement of medical facilities and services and a major initiative to enhance continuous training of medical professionals and patient care in the Canadian community. In 2013, he was appointed to the Order of British Columbia, the most prestigious accolade of the Province of British Columbia awarded to individuals in recognition of their dedication to bettering the lives of people.
His tireless philanthropy and significant contributions to arts and culture has been recognized worldwide and Mr Ho has been bestowed with awards and honorary degrees from a number of prestigious academic institutions including The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, The University of Hong Kong, Colgate University and the University of British Columbia.
Mr Ho is nominated for the award of an Honorary Degree at HKBU for his immense contributions to the enhancement of understanding between cultures, his exemplary role in the promotion of Chinese arts and culture as well as Buddhism, and his visionary philanthropy and lifelong commitment to enrich the quality of life of people around the world.