The University of Hong Kong (HKU) is pleased to announce that it will be conferring honorary degrees upon three outstanding individuals in recognition of their shared commitment to humanitarian causes and global leadership in HIV/AIDS research and advocacy.
The honorary degree recipients are:
o The Honorable William Jefferson Clinton, Former President of the United States of America: Doctor of Laws honoris causa
o Dr David D Ho: Doctor of Science honoris causa
o Mr Yao Ming: Doctor of Social Sciences honoris causa.
The University will confer honorary degrees upon Dr Clinton and Dr Ho at the 179th Congregation on December 4, 2008 at 3:30pm at Loke Yew Hall, HKU. Mr Yao will receive his honorary degree at a Congregation to be held in 2009.
HKU's tradition of awarding honorary degrees began in 1916 and past awardees include Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, Lee Kuan Yew, King Edward VIII, and Hu Shih.
William Jefferson Clinton
The Honorable William Jefferson Clinton was the 42nd President of the United States of America, and under his leadership, the country enjoyed the strongest economy in a generation and the longest economic expansion in US history, including the creation of more than 22 million jobs.
Following his time in Office, he established the William J. Clinton Foundation with the mission of strengthening the capacity of people in the United States and around the world to meet the challenges of global interdependence.
The Foundation has 800 staff and volunteers around the world working to improve lives through several initiatives, including the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative which is helping 1.4 million people living with HIV/AIDS access lifesaving drugs. Other initiatives include applying a business-oriented approach worldwide to fight climate change and develop sustainable economic growth in Africa and Latin America.
The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) was established in 2005 to bring together global leaders from all backgrounds, regions, and religions to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges. ‘CGI Asia' is the first of the Initiative's international meetings and will be held in Hong Kong in December 2008.
In recognition of his contributions to his nation and the global community, HKU will confer upon him the degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa.
David D Ho
Dr David D Ho is the Scientific Director and CEO of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center, and Irene Diamond Professor and Physician at the Rockefeller University, New York.
Dr Ho was born in Taiwan and immigrated to Los Angeles when he was 12. After high school, he attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the California Institute of Technology, receiving his BSc degree with highest honours from the latter in 1974. He graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1978, and did his clinical training in internal medicine and infectious diseases at the UCLA School of Medicine and at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Dr Ho has been at the forefront of AIDS research for three decades and is credited worldwide with fundamentally changing the way scientists look at the AIDS virus, initiating a crucial shift in the treatment paradigm to hitting the virus early and hard with a combination of antiretroviral drugs.
Dr Ho heads an alliance of Chinese and American organizations dedicated to helping address the HIV/AIDS crisis in China. His leadership was instrumental in helping China to rectify its AIDS policies and to implement a number of treatment and prevention programs. In addition, he was a key figure involved in setting up the HKU AIDS Institute in 2007 and establishing an onging strategic partnership with the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center/China AIDS Initiative.
In recognition of his contributions to medicine and the global community, HKU will confer upon him the degree of Doctor of Science honoris causa.
Mr Yao Ming is a core member of the national basketball team of China and now plays for the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association (NBA) of the USA.
Mr Yao is a native of Shanghai, China, who joined the national basketball team of China in 1998, took part in three Olympic Games from 2000 to 2008, and led the Chinese national team twice to its best records in history at the Athens and Beijing Olympics. He entered the 2002 NBA draft and was selected by the Houston Rockets as their first overall pick of the draft. Over the six seasons of his NBA career, he was selected as an NBA all-star for six consecutive years. He is now respected and renowned as one of the leading basketball players in the world. His outstanding achievements in basketball have helped to raise awareness of and praise for Chinese basketball, which has in turn helped the development of basketball in the nation. In addition, he is devoted to community services and charitable work, and in 2008, he established his own charitable foundation, The Yao Ming Foundation, to help children in need and give them hope.
Mr Yao has made outstanding contributions in HIV/AIDS advocacy, appearing with Mr Magic Johnson on commercials to support the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, and taking part in various activities on the Mainland, such as visiting children living with the disease. He has helped fight the social and cultural stigma associated with HIV/AIDS with his positive attitude and participation in the prevention and treatment of the disease, and continues to advocate action, care and full integration of people living with HIV/AIDS. In September 2008, Mr Yao was presented with the Award for Outstanding Contributions to the AIDS Response by UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS.
In recognition of his contributions to sport and HIV/AIDS advocacy, HKU will confer upon him the degree of Doctor of Social Sciences honoris causa.
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