Partnership between Swire and HKU 100 Years of the Taikoo Professorship

In 1911, John Swire & Sons made its first gift of £40,000 to The University of Hong Kong, establishing the Taikoo Chair of Engineering. In 1919, the Chair evolved into the Taikoo Professorship of Engineering, which became the first named professorship at HKU. This year marks the 100th anniversary of that Professorship, which has been held by eight outstanding academics at the Faculty of Engineering.

In 1967, to mark the centenary of Swire in the Far East, the Group contributed 10 Swire Scholarships and Studentships to enable graduate students to continue their studies while residing at Robert Black College.

To date, there are 350 Swire Scholars from diverse backgrounds and academic fields, including filmmaker Dr Ann Hui 許鞍華 (BA 1969; MA 1973; Hon DSocSc 2014); Professor Vivian Yam 任詠華 (BSc 1985; PhD 1988), Philip Wong Wilson Wong Professor in Chemistry and Energy; Professor Raees Baig 碧樺依 (BSW 2004; PhD 2010) Chairperson of Amnesty International Hong Kong; Dr Zhang Yi 張一 ( PhD 2013) post-doctoral fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; and Dr Erick K’Omolo (PhD 2016), founder of the Maklweta Trust in Kenya.

In 1980, Swire made a contribution towards the building of Swire Hall, a student hostel for 300 undergraduates. There are now over 6,000 Swirians.

Swire’s numerous contributions to the University include the Swire Chair in Japanese; the Swire Marine Laboratory, later re-named the Swire Institute of Marine Science (SWIMS); and Swire Visiting Studentships for senior research officials from the Ministry of Commerce of the PRC Government.