HKBU confers honorary doctoral degrees on four distinguished persons

Monday, 21 November 2022

Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) conferred honorary doctoral degrees on four distinguished persons for their outstanding achievements and remarkable contributions to society at the Commencement and Honorary Doctoral Degree Conferment Ceremony held today (21 November). The University also conferred undergraduate degrees and higher degrees on around 8,300 graduates at its 63rd Commencement, which was held from 15 to 21 November. 

Professor Anil Kumar Jain, a renowned computer scientist, and Professor Timothy John Mitchison, an acclaimed cell biologist and systems biologist, received the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa; Dr Chloe Suen Yin-wah, a passionate entrepreneur and philanthropist as well as a dedicated patron and promoter of the arts and culture, received the degree of Doctor of Humanities, honoris causa; and Dr Olga Nawoja Tokarczuk, one of Poland’s most celebrated and beloved authors and a Nobel Prize Laureate in Literature, was awarded the degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa. Please click here for the background information on the four honorary doctoral degree recipients.

Speaking at the Ceremony, Professor Alexander Wai, President and Vice-Chancellor of HKBU, praised the four honorary doctoral degree recipients, and he said they are role models who have led inspirational lives. “Their stories reveal how they have attained success and contributed to the betterment of society against all odds. We can definitely learn from their extraordinary careers,” he added.

Professor Wai also encouraged the graduates to embrace adversity and create new possibilities. He said: “Adversity is a part of life, and it is pervasive and ongoing. But we have managed to adapt to the circumstances around us, and we have turned crisis into opportunity with our creativity, resourcefulness and resilience. As graduates of HKBU, you are well-equipped to explore different possibilities and solutions in the face of threats and adversity.”

On behalf of the honorary doctoral degree recipients, Professor Mitchison expressed their sincere gratitude to HKBU for bestowing these honours upon them. He also shared his views on international collaboration, small universities and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Professor Mitchison said that he is a huge believer in the power of international academic collaboration to build bridges that identify and celebrate shared values, as such partnerships can help, just a bit, to unite the world. On the value of small universities, he said students who graduated from small institutions tend to outperform peers from large schools, and there are huge benefits to be had in a school where students get to know professors personally.

On the topic of TCM, Professor Mitchison pointed out that many TCM treatments provide medical benefits. Convincing the world of the power of TCM treatments will require the application of rigorous methodology for clinical investigation, and doctors and scholars in the HKBU School of Chinese Medicine are working at the forefront of efforts to address this aspect of TCM.

Professor Mitchison also said that HKBU is his academic home-from-home in Hong Kong. “Small universities, international collaboration and TCM have never been more relevant, and HKBU is the place for all three to thrive,” he added.

Please click here for Professor Wai’s and Professor Mitchison’s full speeches.