HKU Centenary Celebrations: A 1926 graduation certificate returned to its holder's alma mater
31 Oct 2011
To celebrate the University of Hong Kong's Centenary, as well as the Centennial of the Faculty of Engineering, the Department of Civil Engineering invited Zhao Shuqing (趙淑清), the daughter of alumnus Zhao Jinsheng (趙今聲), to visit HKU. Ms Zhao prepared her father's graduation certificate as a souvenir for her father's alma mater. HKU Vice-Chancellor Lap-Chee Tsui received this precious gift at the Vice-Chancellor's Office on October 27, 2011 (Thursday).
After the presentation ceremony, Ms Zhao visited the Hong Kong University Archives to view artefacts of her father's time and gave a talk to Civil Engineering teachers and students, during which she shared the lives and times of her father and other early engineering students at HKU.
Ms Zhou, who now lives in Tianjin, said, "My father was fortunate to have had the opportunity to receive his education at The University of Hong Kong, to which he attributes his achievements and contributions after graduation. He had a life-long love of his alma mater and expressed his wish to visit his alma mater once again. But due to his old age he was never able to realise his wish. Today I am here, with his 1926 Graduation Certificate in hand, and I feel completely overwhelmed and excited. I am delighted to pass my father's Graduation Certificate to the Vice-Chancellor for the University's safekeeping."
Mr Zhao received government funding to enter HKU in 1923 where he studied Civil Engineering. He graduated with First Class Honours in 1926. During his studies, he attended the historical speech of Dr Sun Yat-sen (孫中山演說) at HKU in 1923 and also invited Mr Lu Xun (魯迅) to deliver speeches at HKU in 1927.
He served in higher education in China for 60 years and was appointed Vice President of Tianjin University in 1964. He was also a renowned expert on port engineering and helped to train a large number of port engineering experts. Mr Zhao passed away in 2000 at the age of 97.
When HKU celebrated its 80th anniversary, Mr Zhao wrote an article "Hui Yi Xiang Gang Da Xue" (《回憶香港大學》) to show his passion towards his alma mater. To continue this passion, his daughter decided to give his graduation certificate to his alma mater, HKU. This certificate is the oldest Engineering graduation certificate collected at HKU.
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HKU Vice-Chancellor Lap-Chee Tsui receives the certificate from Zhao's family
HKU alumnus Zhao Jinsheng's graduation certificate