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Universities in Hong Kong

CUHK’s second vice-chancellor, Ma Lin, dies at age 93

Prominent biochemist and founding professor of university’s department of chemistry retired in 1987

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 17 October, 2017, 8:46am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 October, 2017, 12:39pm

Professor Ma Lin, a prominent biochemist and the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s second vice-chancellor, died on Monday at the age of 93.

A spokesman said the university was very saddened by Ma’s death and offered its deepest condolences to his family. CUHK and his family will announce the details of his funeral later.

Ma was educated at the former West China Union University in Sichuan province and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in 1947.

He furthered his studies at the University of Leeds in Britain, where he obtained his doctorate in protein chemistry in 1955.

Ma worked for the University of Hong Kong’s department of pathology from 1957 to 1964.

He joined Chinese University in 1964, where he helped establish the department of chemistry, becoming its founding professor and chair in 1973.

Ma was appointed vice-chancellor in 1978, succeeding Professor Li Choh-ming. He retired in 1987.

During his retirement, Ma served as chairman of the board of trustees of Shaw College, the university’s fourth constituent college. The college was named after its patron, media mogul Run Run Shaw, who donated towards its establishment.

Ma was a member of the Basic Law Drafting Committee from 1985 to 1990. He was also a member of the ninth National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference from 1993 to 1998.

On Monday, Chinese University vice-chancellor Joseph Sung Jao-yiu called Ma a profound visionary scholar and educator who was passionate about education. The university became an international comprehensive research university under his leadership, which laid a sound foundation for the the institution’s future development, Sung said.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor expressed her “deep condolences”.

She spoke highly of Ma as an outstanding and well-respected scientist and educator.

“Not only did he lay the foundation for the long-term development of Chinese University, but he also made great contributions to Hong Kong’s higher education,” Lam said.