One hundred years to the day since the then governor, Sir Frederick Lugard, laid the first stone of what is now the University of Hong Kong's main building, a ceremony was held yesterday to lay the foundation stone for its new campus. Officiating at the ceremony marking the start of work on the centennial campus, chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen praised the tremendous contribution the university had made to the city's development. 'Throughout the years, the university has remained an institution that embodies freedom, diversity and integrity. It has nurtured more than 130,000 graduates, many of whom have become leaders in their various fields,' he said. 'It has engaged in pioneering research that has put Hong Kong on the world map.' The campus adjoining the university's existing campus in Pok Fu Lam is being built to cope with the university's expansion as it prepares for the advent of four-year undergraduate degree courses in 2012 - the standard course now lasts three years. Work is expected to be finished in 2012. Vice-chancellor Professor Tsui Lap-chee said the university was working hard to raise the money needed to complete the campus. 'The government has given us HK$2 billion for the construction ... but we are still short of HK$1 billion ... The construction of the centennial campus is very important to the development of the university,' he said. At the end of the ceremony, Professor Christopher Mody, of the University of Calgary in Canada, the great-great-grandson of Sir Hormusjee Mody - the Indian businessman who donated HK$150,000 towards the construction of the university a century ago - presented a gilt jade-encrusted trowel to Tsang. Professor Mody said he was thrilled that his ancestor's contribution had helped produce a world-class university. The professor, who is in Hong Kong for the first time, said: 'It's great to see in person what my great-great-grandfather did in Hong Kong.' He said he would visit Mody Road in Tsim Sha Tsui, named after his generous relative. Four former university vice-chancellors, including Rayson Huang, who served from 1972 to 1986, attended the ceremony. Huang said it was a dream come true to see the university blossom into the top-notch institution it is today. 'When I was a student here from 1938 to 1941, the site where the centennial campus will stand was just deserted ground,' he said.