1 December 2015

CUHK Awards Honorary Doctorates to Five Distinguished Persons



The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) will confer honorary doctorates on the following five distinguished persons at its 79th Congregation to be held on Thursday, 3 December, in recognition of their outstanding contributions to their respective areas of achievement to educational, academic and cultural progress and the promotion of community welfare.

Dr Leo Rafael REIF is President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Co-Chairman of the Steering Committee of the National Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, U.S.A, and a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.  His research is centered on three-dimensional integrated circuit technologies and on environmentally benign microelectronics fabrication.  Dr Reif has made a number of important contributions to MIT and the education sector.  He led the design and implementation of the strategy that allowed MIT to weather the global financial crisis, and promoted a major faculty-led effort to address challenges around race and diversity.  Dr Reif is a pioneer in online learning who believes that higher education should be fair and available to all.  He spearheaded the formation of edX with Harvard University that brings free online learning resources to people around the world and his innovative idea has been followed by many other tertiary institutions.  Dr Reif has received a number of honours including the Presidential Young Investigator Award, U.S.A., the Aristotle Award of Semiconductor Research Corporation, U.S.A., the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award, U.S.A, and the 2015 Frank E. Taplin, Jr. Public Intellectual Award, U.S.A.  The University will confer upon Dr Reif the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa for his remarkable contributions to higher education.  (Dr Reif is unable to come to Hong Kong to attend the Congregation due to a prior commitment.  His degree will be conferred in absentia.)

Eminent sculptor Prof. WU Weishan is currently Director of the National Art Museum of China, Vice President of the China Artists Association and President of the China Academy of Sculpture of the Chinese National Academy of Arts.  He pioneered a new style of Expressive Sculpture, a technique which seeks to integrate the concept of traditional Chinese philosophy with aesthetics, blazing a new trail of contemporary Chinese sculpture.  He has created many sculptures of historical and cultural notables, including Lao Tzu, Confucius, Lu Xun and Qi Baishi, demonstrating the spirit and personality of the Chinese people.  Professor Wu is well versed in human history and theories of eastern and western art history.  His sculptural works were once appreciated by Mr. Ban Ki-Moon as ‘reflecting not only the soul of a country but also that of all mankind.’  He is also committed to promoting Chinese art and culture in the international cultural arena by organizing and exhibiting his works in many overseas exhibitions, and has won prestigious awards including the Pangolin Award of the Society of Portrait Sculptors in the U.K. and Gold Medal of the Louvre International Art Exhibition in France.  Professor Wu has a long association with CUHK.  Currently an Honorary Fellow and an Adjunct Professor of the Faulty of Fine Arts, he has sculpted many important University figures including Dr. Choh-ming Li, Mr. Ch’ien Mu, Prof. Yang Chen-ning and Prof. Charles Kao.  He also designed and crafted the sculpture ‘The Integration’ which symbolizes the founding mission of CUHK to celebrate the University’s Golden Jubilee.  The University will confer upon Professor Wu the degree of Doctor of Literature, honoris causa for his contributions to Chinese art and culture.

Prof. BAI Chunli is a renowned scientist in nanoscience.  He is currently President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, President of The World Academy of Sciences and President of the Board, National Center for Nanoscience and Technology in China.  As the first Chinese scientist to actively engage in research in nanotechnology, he led his team to successfully develop China’s first ultrahigh vacuum scanning tunneling microscope and the first laser atomic force microscope.  Professor Bai has been instrumental in furthering China’s nanoscience and nanotechnology research, and has initiated and coordinated a number of national key projects.  His effort has strengthened the metrological capabilities of the research facilities in public institutions as well as manufacturing sectors that are engaged in nanotechnologies.  Professor Bai has been honoured with numerous fellowships and honorary doctorates from academies and universities worldwide.  He also received the International Medal from the Society of Chemical Industry, the Medal ‘For contributions to the development of nanoscience and nanotechnologies’ from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, as well as over ten national, provincial or ministerial scientific research awards in mainland China.  In recognition of his exemplary contributions to China’s scientific and technological development, the University will confer upon Professor Bai the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa.

Prof. Shinya YAMANAKA is currently the director of the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application at Kyoto University.  He also serves as a senior investigator at the Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco.  As one of the world’s leading stem cell researchers, he is renowned for pioneering the iPS (induced pluripotent stem) cell technology and received a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2012 with the British developmental biologist Sir John Bertrand Gurdon.  Reprogrammed from mature human cells, iPS cells can develop into other cell types or tissues, bringing promising development in regenerative medicine, while avoiding the ethical dilemma posed by deriving stem cells from human embryos.  Professor Yamanaka hopes that iPS cells can be used to develop new drugs and improve people’s health.  He is also proactive in promoting science among the general public.  For his remarkable accomplishments, Professor Yamanaka has received an array of awards and honours, including the Shaw Prize and the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award in the US and is a member of several national science academies including the US National Academy of Sciences, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Japan Academy.  The University will confer upon Professor Yamanaka the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa for his phenomenal achievements in medical research.

Prof. LIU Mingkang is a renowned financial expert and former Chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission.  He is currently Honorary Dean of the Lingnan College at Sun Yat-sen University, Senior Fellow of the Hong Kong Institute of Bankers, BCT Distinguished Research Fellow of the Institute of Global Economics and Finance, and Honorary Professor of the Faculty of Business Administration at CUHK.  Professor Liu is a problem-solving expert on the Chinese banking system, and was appointed to key positions in many banks and government departments.  In 2003, Professor Liu was appointed as the first chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, to regulate China’s troubled banking industry. Pushing forward a comprehensive reform of the state-owned banking sector, he managed to improve the provision coverage ratio, strike a balance between innovation and regulation, significantly reduce the proportion of non-performing loans, and build a stronger regulatory system.  He was honoured with a Risk Manager of the Year award by the Global Association of Risk Professionals, and a Lifetime Achievement Award by The Asian Banker magazine.  The University will confer upon Professor Liu the degree of Doctor of Social Science, honoris causa, in recognition of his significant contributions to the banking industry.

Dr Leo Rafael REIF
Dr Leo Rafael REIF

Prof. WU Weishan
Prof. WU Weishan

Prof. BAI Chunli
Prof. BAI Chunli

Prof. Shinya YAMANAKA
Prof. Shinya YAMANAKA

Prof. LIU Mingkang
Prof. LIU Mingkang

Search for Press Releases