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CUHK to Establish Lee Woo Sing College

— The residential college system of the Chinese University of Hong Kong continues its meteoric rise. Earlier this year I reported on the establishment of Morningside College and S.H. Ho College at CUHK, followed by the creation of C.W. Chu College and Wu Yee Sun College, all of them founded through substantial private donations.

A press release from CUHK, issued last week, now reports that a fifth new residential college, Lee College, will also be established shortly, thanks to a generous gift from Chinese entrepreneur and philanthropist Lee Woo Sing. Although it sounds like Lee College may be a bit on the large side, at least initially, all the reports coming out of CUHK indicate that the university understands the residential college model perfectly: Lee College has been established “to foster an intimate and collegial community where students and academic staff learn, share and grow intellectually; to provide an environment for congenial college life and learning for students; to provide pastoral care and whole-person education including general education for students; to broaden and to internationalize the students’ perspective through college formal and non-formal education programmes and overseas exchange.” That’s the collegiate way.

CUHK to Establish Lee Woo Sing College

16 October 2007

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) is pleased to announce that its Council today approved the acceptance of a major pledge of HK$150 million for the establishment of Lee Woo Sing College. The donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, has great admiration and respect for Mr. Lee Woo Sing’s long-term commitment to the advancement of education, and his passion and contributions in nurturing talents for the nation and Hong Kong. The new College will therefore be named Lee Woo Sing College to recognize his selfless public service. Having served for many years as a Member of the Council of CUHK and the Board of Trustees of Shaw College, Mr. Lee has always been a staunch supporter of the University and its unique college system. Currently, Mr. Lee is the Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Shaw College, as well as a Member of the Executive Committee of the Council of the University.

Lee Woo Sing College will be able to accommodate up to 1,200 students, consisting of 600 residential students and up to 600 commuters.

CUHK reaffirmed its commitment to further develop and strengthen the college system in its 10-year Strategic Plan, which was adopted by the Council in January 2006. To cater for over 3,000 additional undergraduates upon reversion to a four-year curriculum in 2012, more colleges have to be built. Since May 2006, the University Council has been able to secure a number of huge donations for the establishment of five new Colleges, namely Morningside College, S. H. Ho College, C.W. Chu College, Wu Yee Sun College and now Lee Woo Sing College. With the establishment of five new Colleges, CUHK will have sufficient college places and new facilities to cope with the 3,000 plus additional undergraduates in 2012.

Mission of the New College

The mission of Lee Woo Sing College is to foster an intimate and collegial community where students and academic staff learn, share and grow intellectually; to provide an environment for congenial college life and learning for students; to provide pastoral care and whole-person education including general education for students; to broaden and to internationalize the students’ perspective through college formal and non-formal education programmes and overseas exchange. Apart from seeking to cultivate among students a commitment to personal responsibility and integrity, Lee Woo Sing College will help broaden the students’ understanding of and liaison with Hong Kong, the Mainland and the world, so as to enable them to build a successful career in future, and to encourage them to contribute to their alma mater and the community in order to have enriched lives.

Professor Lawrence J. Lau, the Vice-Chancellor, said “CUHK takes great pride in its college system, which with its intimate environment for interaction and learning has contributed in very significant ways to the quality of the students through general education and non-formal learning. It is most gratifying for CUHK to receive such strong support from the community for its unique college system. I am very encouraged by the overwhelming support, and wish to express the University’s gratitude to the donor of Lee Woo Sing College for the munificent pledge. In just 18 months, the University has been able to obtain donations to establish five new Colleges to provide sufficient places and new facilities for over 3,000 additional undergraduates in 2012. The five new Colleges, in conjunction with the original four Colleges, will provide a spectrum of choice for students to select the type of experience that they prefer.”

Biography of Mr. Lee Woo Sing

An eminent entrepreneur, Mr. Lee Woo Sing has over 60 years’ experience in the finance industry and is the founder of Shun Loong Group. Mr. Lee is currently Non-executive Director of Grand Investment International Ltd and Director of Grand Finance Group Company Ltd. He was one of the Directors of the Far East Exchange Ltd, and when the four Exchanges almalgamated in 1986 to become the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Ltd, he was elected a founding Committee Member. Mr. Lee is also Honorary Advisor to the Chinese Gold and Silver Exchange Society, Honorary President of The Institute of Securities Dealers Ltd and Honorary Consultant of Hong Kong Stockbrokers Association Ltd. Over the years, he has made significant contribution to the advancement of Hong Kong as an international financial centre.

Mr. Lee has also been active in serving the community. He was a member of the Selection Committee of the First and Second HKSAR Government, former Chairman (1993 to 2006) and current Honorary President of the Shanghai Fraternity Association Hong Kong Ltd. He is currently Honorary President of the United Zhejiang Residents Association (HK) Ltd and the Ning Po Residents Association. Mr. Lee is also Financial Securities Advisor of Tianjin Municipality and has been appointed Honorary Citizen of Tianjin.

Mr. Lee Woo Sing is committed to the educational development in Hong Kong and the Mainland. He is a Member of the Council of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) and Board of Trustees of Shaw College. He is an Executive Committee Member of CUHK Council and has been the Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Shaw College since 1999. Since his appointment to the Board of Trustees of Shaw College, CUHK in 1997, Mr. Lee Woo Sing has been a staunch supporter of the College and the University. He has supported the various educational initiatives of Shaw College most generously both personally and, since 1994, in his capacity as Chairman of the Shanghai Fraternity Association. In 1993, backed by Mr. Lee and other Directors, the Shanghai Fraternity Association of Hong Kong made a magnanimous donation of HK$13.5 million towards the establishment of the Shanghai Fraternity Association Research Services Centre on CUHK campus.

In November 2000, again with Mr. Lee’s support, the Shanghai Fraternity Association joined hands with the University to launch the “Home in Hong Kong” project with the aim of providing care and hospitality to the University’s undergraduate students from the Mainland. The Association has also contributed to the formation of the Mainland Undergraduate Association of the University, the first of its kind among local tertiary institutions in March 2004. In addition to promoting the appreciation of Peking opera in CUHK and in Hong Kong, Mr. Lee also supported the Putonghua intensive courses of Shaw College in Tsinghua University and the establishment of the Lee Woo Sing Hong Kong History Resource Centre at the College. He is a Member of the Board of Trustees of Fudan University, Shanghai. In 2003, he was appointed Honorary Professor by Zhejiang University of the College of Economics and the College of Humanities. He is an Honorary Member of the Executive Committee of School Affairs, Shanghai Tongji University.

Mr. Lee is equally committed to promoting traditional Chinese culture and arts. He is Permanent Honorary President of the Hong Kong Culture Association and Honorary President of Mei Lan Fang Jingju (Peking Opera) Art’s Fund. In 1995, Mr. Lee was awarded 中國京劇藝術基金會金菊獎 for his contribution to the promotion of Peking opera.

A native of Ningpo in Zhejiang Province, Mr. Lee was born in Shanghai. He was originally named Wu Xing, but when he began to learn his trade at the age of 14, his father changed his name to Woo (harmony) Sing (voice), the idea being that harmony should be pursued in everything he does, and that he should speak with the same voice as his friends. Mr. Lee has taken his father’s instruction very seriously and has also conducted himself in a practical, modest manner, abiding by the precept that if kindness is received then kindness is given. Thus he has numerous friends all over the world.

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