Newsletter No. 100

3 , 6 5 8 D e g r e e s Conferred in One Afternoon at the University's 52nd Congregation Graduates posing for photos with family and friends Academic procession entering the ceremonial ground Procession members stand solemnly on stage as the national anthem is played Very light-hearted after the ceremony: (from left) Mr. Anthony Neoh, Vice- Chairman of the Council; Dr. Lee Hon-chiu; the Rt. Hon. Christopher Patten; Dr. the Hon. Rosanna Wong Yick-ming; Prof. Arthur K. C. Li First degrees are awarded en bloc under stage Higher degrees are conferred individually on stage Public Orator Prof. Andrew Parkin delivering the citation of Sir Michael Atiyah O n the afternoon of 12th December 1996, the Rt. Hon Christopher Patten, Governor of Hong Kong, officiated at the University's congregation for the last time as Chancellor and conferred 3,658 degrees in a ceremony that lasted two hours. By the time of the University's next congregation, Hong Kong will have become a Special Administrative Region of China and there will be a new chancellor presiding over the ceremony. The 52nd congregation was however the first degree-conferring congregation that Prof. Arthur K. C. Li attended as vice-chancellor of the University. The academic procession for the ceremony consisted of 136 members. On the occasion honorary doctorates were awarded to three distinguished persons. Sir Michael Atiyah, OM, FRS, was conferred the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa. A world-renowned mathematician, Sir Michael is the immediate past president of the Royal Society in the UK, as well as Fields Medallist and Master of Trinity College at Cambridge. Dr. Lee Hon-chiu, JP, chairman and managing director of Hysan Development Company Ltd., and the Hon. Rosanna Wong Yick-ming, CBE, JP, convenor of the Executive Council, received the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa. Their citations were written and delivered by Prof. Serena Jin and Prof. Andrew Parkin, who have served as public orators since the 49th congregation in 1995. Sir Michael was originally scheduled to address the congregation but due to health reasons, he had to cancel his trip to Hong Kong. His speech was delivered by Prof. Andrew Parkin on his behalf. In his speech, Sir Michael emphasized the importance for a university to maintain close links with the local community as well as the worldwide community of academic learning. He wishes that ties between the UK and Hong Kong, particularly in the academic context, would continue to be strong in the future. Of the other 3,655 graduates this year, 3,123 were awarded bachelor's degrees, 463 master's degrees, 68 Ph.D degrees, and one MD degree. The number of doctorate recipients this year was a record high, and among them is the University's first Ph.D in music. On the same day, the four colleges and the Part-time Degree Programmes also held graduation ceremonies for their graduates separately. Everywhere on the campus could be found radiant students in academic gowns, bouquets in hand, posing for photos with family members, friends, fellow graduates, and their teachers.