Co-founder of Hong Kong's only private university, Dr Chung Chi-yung, dies aged 93

Dr Chung Chi-yung, who helped found the city's only private university, dies at the age of 93

PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 March, 2014, 5:17am
UPDATED : Monday, 03 March, 2014, 9:24am

Dr Chung Chi-yung

Prominent educator and co-founder of the city's first and only private university, Dr Chung Chi-yung, died yesterday aged 93.

She died peacefully with relatives at her bedside at Ruttonjee Hospital at about 5am.

Chung, a lifelong and prominent educator, had been living at the Shue Yan University residence at Braemar Hill, North Point, where she was vice-president and principal.

Her husband of 69 years, and the university president, Dr Henry Hu Hung-lick, had been "mentally prepared" for the loss, according to the head of journalism and communication department, professor Leung Tin-wai.

Leung added that the university would announce funeral arrangements today. There was no doubting Chung's contribution to education in the city, Leung said: "She's done so much for her students. Many academics are now teaching at Shue Yan because of her."

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying last night offered his condolences to Chung's family, saying she was a respected educator who nurtured many students.

Secretary for Education Eddie Ng Hak-kim said he was "deeply saddened" by Chung's death and she had worked "selflessly to develop higher education".

"Hong Kong people will remember her forever," Ng said.

Chung was born in Changsha, Hunan, on July 29, 1920. She graduated from the law department of National Wuhan University in 1944.

The following year, she married Hu, a former legislator. Later, the pair moved to France, where Chung earned a doctoral degree in laws from the University of Paris in 1953.

The couple moved to Hong Kong in 1955, and from 1956 to 1971, Chung taught at United College and Chung Chi College - two of the three founding colleges of Chinese University - followed by Baptist College and Chu Hoi College.

With the help of Hu, a barrister, Chung founded Shue Yan College on Sing Woo Road, Happy Valley, in 1971.

In 1977, the college acquired a seven-storey building on Monmouth Path, Wan Chai, to accommodate its growing number of students, pending the completion of its permanent premises granted by the colonial government at Braemar Hill. With substantial financial and personal support from the couple, it became a university in 2006.

In recognition of her contribution to higher education, the Hong Kong government honoured Chung with the Gold Bauhinia Star in 2000.

Chung's health had deteriorated since 2001 when she had a stroke. She is survived by her husband and two sons, who are also vice-presidents of the university.