Times may change but Huang's legacy lingers at HKU

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 01 October, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 01 October, 2005, 12:00am

First Chinese vice-chancellor honoured with statue in tribute to his contribution

Today's leaders of the University of Hong Kong paid tribute to the legacy of its first Chinese vice-chancellor at an unveiling ceremony for a statue in his honour.

Dr Rayson Huang, one of HKU's longest-serving vice-chancellors, presided over a period of rapid campus expansion and academic growth during his 14 years in post from 1972 to 1986.

'Rayson's impact on the HKU campus can be seen by simply walking around it,' pro chancellor David Li Kwok-po, who commissioned the statue, told guests at Tuesday's ceremony.

'The distinctive red-brick buildings on the main campus and the way the campus links from the east to west gates were made possible by Rayson's vision and determination to see it grow.

'He sought out and won the support of benefactors and without his Herculean effort we certainly would not have the campus that we have today.'

The range of subjects offered had also broadened with new departments including dentistry, business studies, fine art, music and Japanese studies set up.

Dr Huang said: 'For me, no honour can be greater than this. This sculpture has a special significance for me. It will give me a warm, filial feeling that I have a continual presence in my alma mater at all times, wherever I may be.'

Professor Johannes Chan Man-man, dean of law, who had been a student and then a law lecturer in the 1970s, and Dr Linda Tsui Yee-wan, the first female president of the student union, recalled life under Dr Huang's leadership.

Dr Tsui said the student movement had been at its height in the early 70s and gripped by a wave of pro-China feeling. Yet there had been frequent meetings between student leaders and Dr Huang to discuss university affairs.

'Professor Rayson Huang holds my deepest respect,' she said. 'The university would not be what it is today, if it had had a different leader in the 1970s.'

After the unveiling Dr Huang displayed his musical talent, performing on the violin with a student string quartet two songs by Canto-pop songwriter Michael Lai Siu-tin.

Dr Rayson Huang: A Study in Bronze, by Hong Kong artist She Wai-ming, is being placed in the foyer of the Rayson Huang Theatre.