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UM receives donations of MOP 120 million
Today (12 April) Dr. Stanley Ho, Lui Che Woo Foundation Limited, Macau Henry Fok Foundation, and Ms. Susana Chou each donated MOP 30 million to the University of Macau Development Foundation (UMDF) to help establish four residential colleges on the new campus. The donations will allow the University of Macau (UM) to better implement “whole-person” education and nurture outstanding graduates with leadership skills for the local community.
At the donation ceremony, Dr. Stanley Ho’s representative Dr. Ambrose So; representative ofLui Che Woo Foundation Limited Mr. Francis Lui; representative of Macau Henry Fok Foundation Mr. Fok Chun Wan; and Ms. Susana Chou presented the donations to Dr. Chui Sai On, Chief Executive of Macao SAR and Chancellor of UM, who received the donations on behalf of UMDF. Dr. Tse Chi Wai, representative of the founding members of UMDF and Vice Chair of the Trustees Committee of UMDF, expressed deep gratitude to the four donors for their generous donations as well as their support for the residential colleges. Dr. Tse said: “Late last year we founded UMDF with the purpose of seeking support from the community for the development of the University. The Foundation got off to a good start with numerous donors making donations immediately after its establishment. Subsequently we launched a special fundraising activity to try to find patrons who are willing to make donations as the endowment fund for each residential college on our new campus, a patron who is willing to make a donation in the form of an endowment fund to support the establishment and development of a residential college. And today we are very pleased to announce that we have found four such patrons who have each agreed to donate MOP 30 million. Their donations mark a new milestone in the history of the local community’s support for higher education.”
The donations will be managed by UMDF as a permanent fund and will be used for the sole purpose of supporting the development of UM. Allocation of this permanent fund will be based on the actual operational needs of the residential colleges, such as scholarships, prizes and awards, lectures, visits, student exchange programmes, and so on. Utilization of the donations will be carried out in the name of the donors where appropriate so that students benefitting from the fund can appreciate the donors’ benevolence and follow their examples by repaying the society in their own ways. As a token of gratitude to the donors for their generous donations, UM will name the four residential colleges as “Stanley Ho College”, “Lui Che Woo College”, “Henry Fok College”, and “Cao Guang Biao College” respectively.
On the new campus, approximately ten residential colleges will be established, and each one will accommodate 300 to 500 undergraduate students. The residential college system, which focuses on “cultivating people”, and the faculty-based system, which focuses on “imparting knowledge”, will perfectly complement each other. The combination of the two systems means that each student will simultaneously belong to a residential college and a faculty. Each residential college will be inhabited by students of different disciplines and years of study, and various competitions and recreational activities will be organized to enrich students’ lives and help them acquire good interpersonal skills. A caring and stimulating atmosphere will be created to encourage cross-disciplinary interaction and free exploration of knowledge, which will in turn help students grow, broaden their horizons, and develop their creative thinking abilities. Each residential college will be a living-and-learning community that enables students to establish meaningful, lasting friendships, and such friendships will become their greatest mutual assets for their future growth.
Dr. Stanley Ho now serves as a member of the Standing Committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and the Chief Executive Officer of the Sociedade de Jogos de Macau, S.A. A staunch believer in the maxim that “one should always seek to repay the society for what he or she has gained from the society”, he has long been committed to public welfare and charitable causes, especially educational and cultural development, and has made remarkable contributions to Macao, Hong Kong and China. Dr. Ho has closely followed the development of UM, and since UM’s foundation he has served as a member of the University Council. This year he stepped downfrom the UC and was appointed a member of the University Assembly. He is also a co-founder of UMDF and Chair of the Trustees Committee of UMDF. For all these years he has spared no effortin pushing UM towards excellence through donations and scholarships. He often encourages young people to study hard, see learning as a lifelong process, and place the pursuit of knowledge before the pursuit of wealth because, to quote his words, “Money comes and goes; knowledge nourishes one’s soul. Wealth vanishes in the blink of an eye; the benefits of knowledge last for life.” He says he is very excited to have the opportunity to make this donation and help with the establishment of a residential college on the new UM campus. He says he hopes his donation can promote the development of higher education in Macao and help UM nurture future leaders for the local community to ensure that Macao is a place “governed by Macao people with a strong degree of autonomy under the ‘one country, two systems’ policy” as was envisioned by the Central Government. He also hopes that UM can instill a high sense of social responsibility into students so that one day they can repay the society and contribute to the harmonious progress of Macao and China. Dr. Ambrose So presented the cheque to UM on behalf of Dr. Ho. He said: “Dr. Ho always honors his commitments to the society and has set a brilliant example. Not only has he made considerable contributions to the society, but he also cares about the learning needs of the staff and their children. Deeply inspired by his example, we all share the common goal of promoting the educational development of Macao.”
Macau Henry Fok Foundation was founded by the late Dr. Henry Fok Ying Tung, former Vice Chairman of the National Committee of CPPCC and a renowned business tycoon in Hong Kong. A distinguished philanthropist, Dr. Fok Ying Tung made immeasurable contributions to the economic and educational development of China. Mr. Fok Chun Wan, his second son, said: “My father was committed to contributing to the educational cause for one purpose—helping China grow stronger and more prosperous. We made this donation to UMDF to help with the establishment of a residential college on the new UM campus. We hope it can help UM nurture some future leaders for the country. We also hope it will encourage more people from all walks of life to follow suit and contribute to the development of whole-person education at UM.”
Ms. Susana Chou served as the President of the Legislative Assembly of Macao SAR for the first three terms. Her father Mr. Cao Guang Biao is the President of Hong Kong Weng Sun Co., Ltd. and founder of Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Limited. Mr. Cao Guang Biao is an active philanthropist and has been particularly supportive of the educational development of China. He often stresses that, “Education is the cornerstone that underpins the prosperity of all nations.” Ms. Susana Chou inherited her father’s benevolence and has also spared no effort in promoting the development of education in Macao. After leaving her post as the President of the Legislative Assembly of Macao SAR, she founded the Tong Chai Charity Association with her own money. Tong Chai Charity Association aims to reach out to those in desperate need of help and to contribute to educational development. Ms. Susana Chou says: “The new UM campus will have a far-reaching impact on the development of higher education in Macao and China. We feel greatly honoured that UM will name one residential college after my father. We hope our donation will help UM nurture more outstanding graduates for the country and promote the development of higher education in Macao.”
UM’s educational values state that the University gives priority to general education and aims to nurture outstanding graduates with professional skills, extensive knowledge, and great integrity for the society through implementing high-quality “whole-person” education for undergraduate students. The new campus which is expected to be completed within three years will bring a host of exciting new changes for the University, including a world-class learning environment and state-of-the-art facilities. These new changes will help the University improve teaching quality as well as competitiveness in all areas, thereby enabling UM to achieve the goal of becoming a world-class university. The residential college system will be piloted in the East Asia Hall on the existing campus in the 2010/2011 academic year in order to give students a taste of the multi-faceted life under such a system.