Information Services Office   19.12.2012


Prof. Richard Charles Levin presenting his video message
Prof. Bell Yung (left)
Fr. Alfred J. Deignan
Newsletter No. 409 > Feature > Congregations for the Conferment of Degrees

Congregations for the Conferment of Degrees


CUHK held its 71st and 72nd Congregations for the Conferment of Degrees on 29 November and 6 December respectively. Dr. Vincent H.C. Cheng, Chairman of the University Council, presided over the congregations. Three distinguished persons were conferred honorary doctorates in recognition of their outstanding contributions in their respective areas of achievement to educational, academic and cultural progress, the promotion of community welfare, and the development of the University. They are: Prof. Richard Charles Levin, Prof. Bell Yung and Fr. Alfred J. Deignan. Besides the three honorary doctorate degrees, over 8,700 doctoral, master’s and bachelor’s degrees were conferred.

Prof. Richard Charles Levin is currently President of Yale University. Professor Levin has made significant contributions to the international expansion of Yale University, the enhancement of its science and engineering programmes, and campus construction and expansion. He was one of the most admired among the presidents of America’s Ivy League universities. In his tenure, New Asia College at CUHK and Yale have been operating a student exchange programme. The divinity schools of Yale and Chung Chi College have also signed a memorandum of understanding to advance student and faculty exchange. The University conferred upon Professor Levin the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, in recognition of his exceptional contributions to higher education.

Prof. Bell Yung is Professor Emeritus of Music at the University of Pittsburgh. A specialist in Chinese traditional music and culture, Professor Yung has published over 60 scholarly papers and 10 books on Cantonese opera, Cantonese folk songs, music of the seven-string zither qin, ritual music, cultural rights, and biographies and translations. His association with CUHK started when he was appointed lecturer in the Department of Music. He was later appointed external examiner and invited to serve on the advisory board of the Institute of Chinese Studies. Professor Yung received the degree of Doctor of Literature, honoris causa in recognition of his remarkable contributions to the study, teaching, and promotion of Chinese music.

Fr. Alfred J. Deignan is a Jesuit priest who has dedicated his life to education and the holistic development of young people. In 1997, together with a group of committed educationalists, Father Deignan established the Hong Kong International Institute of Educational Leadership, of which he is currently Chairman, to foster a community which lives in harmony and sets a high standard of moral behaviour. Father Deignan has taken care of the spiritual needs of the Catholic students and staff members of CUHK, by offering Sunday mass since 2004 in the chapel of Adam Schall Hall, a student hostel at United College. Father Deignan received the degree of Doctor of Social Science, honoris causa, in recognition of his lifelong contributions to the development of education in Hong Kong and in Asia.

In addition to the honorary doctorate and doctoral degrees, the University also conferred the master’s and undergraduate degrees at the 71st Congregation held on the University Mall. In his speech ‘This is a Time to be Grateful’, Prof. Joseph J.Y. Sung, CUHK Vice-Chancellor, urged the students to be grateful, ‘A grateful person is a happy person. You’ll see that your cup is half-full, not half-empty. You will realize that nothing should be taken for granted, be it health, family and loved ones, or opportunities. There are many others in this world who cannot even dream of having what you have and what you have achieved at your age. Contentment brings joy.’

Professor Sung also presented awards to 25 outstanding teachers and researchers in recognition of their achievements in the ceremony. The University instituted the University Education Award this year to honour academics for outstanding commitment to the promotion of teaching excellence. Recipients of the award are commended for their contributions to enhancing the student learning experience through curriculum design/development, scholarship in teaching and learning, as well as adoption of learner-centred approaches.

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