At HKU, we are fortunate to have the determined support of a community that believes in the power of education. These benefactors express their love for the University and realises their philanthropic aspirations through legacy gifts.
Here are the heart-warming stories of two of our bequeathers — Ms Mok Sau-King and Dr Robert Tam Yik-Fong. They will always be remembered for how they turned their passions into legacies that live on here at HKU.
Create a meaningful and lasting legacy that fulfils your hopes and wishes.
A life-long educator
Whose legacy lies in inspiring those who follow
The greatest gift is the gift of learning
An Extraordinary Ordinary Woman
Ms Mok Sau-King
Ms Mok Sau-King 莫秀琼 (BA 1956; DipEd 1957) started her career as an Assistant Education Officer, rising to Principal Lecturer at Colleges of Education across Hong Kong. She devoted her entire life to bettering the education system and her enthusiasm for education continued to burn brightly through her legacy gift to the University.
This generous gift, a HK$46.8 million bequest from the estate of the late Ms Mok, will be committed to the establishment of Mok Sau King Outstanding Young Professorships and Mok Sau King Visiting Professorship Scheme. It has also created the state-of-the art Library Innovation Centre to enrich teaching and learning activities through its new video recording studio, interactive classroom and cutting-edge production equipment.
Nothing can compare to the gift of education. The University has named a teaching facility at the Centennial Campus as the “Mok Sau King Lecture Hall 莫秀琼講堂” in honour of Ms Mok and to remind us of her selfless dedication and commitment to education.
Modesty, diligence, prudence, filial piety – virtues expected of a woman raised in a traditional large family during the 1930s to 1950s.
Mok Sau-King (fondly referred to as “Aunt Seventeen” in the Mok family) possessed them all, yet she refused to live within the confines of tradition. She knew too well that only through education could she and all women be their own masters and live independently as equals in a male-oriented society. Seizing all opportunities for learning, and working relentlessly with dedication, she contributed to Hong Kong’s education sector and equality of the sexes, with a quiet dignity and an indefatigable work ethic.
This donation from her estate exemplifies the spirit of HKU and Hong Kong as well as represents Aunt Seventeen’s gratitude to her alma mater and magnanimous love for her hometown.
Barbara Mok and Betty Yip
Executrices of the Estate of Ms Mok Sau-King
(from left) Ms Barbara Mok 莫瑋坤 (LLB 1980; PCLL 1981; LLM 1988), Dr Kan Lai-bing 簡麗冰 (BSc 1957; PhD 1968), long-time friend of the late Ms Mok Sau-King; and Ms Bernadette Tsui 徐詠璇, Associate Vice-President (Development & Alumni Affairs)
His Legacy Lives On
Dr Robert Tam Yik-Fong
Born in 1902, Dr Robert Tam 譚益芳 (BA 1930, Hon University Fellow 1996, Hon DSocSc 1998) grew up in turbulent times, with little hope of being able to afford university education. Yet, he was fortunate to receive a government scholarship to study Arts at HKU, where he spent some of his happiest years and forged some of his most lasting friendships as a resident of May Hall. In 2004, Dr Tam passed away at the great age of 103.
After graduating from HKU, Dr Tam returned to Mainland China and offered his services to the country, where he witnessed a land torn asunder, with people suffering from dire poverty and the outbreak of war. These experiences led him to the belief that poverty could be alleviated through education. His vision — to bring education to as many young people as possible — is where he found his philanthropic focus.
Remarkable career success in the banking industry afforded Dr Tam the financial wherewithal to accomplish that vision. For decades, he demonstrated his support of education and love of the University through his trust, generosity and unswerving loyalty. From 1985 to 1988, Dr Tam and his younger sister Ms Tam Wun-Tsun 譚蘊真, who shared the same belief in education, donated HK$11 million to establish the Robert Tam Library Endowment Fund. In recognition of the siblings’ generosity, the University’s senior staff quarters on Sha Wan Drive — Pine Court 松蔭園 and Tam Villas 衡益村, were named after their grandfather Tam Lui-Chung 譚侶松 and father Tam Yik-Hang 譚亦衡 .
The Library held a special place in the heart of Dr Tam and in the 1990s he made a further gift of HK$50 million to support the University’s Libraries.
Dr Tam’s love of HKU never faded
In 2016, the University received a legacy gift of HK$35 million from the late Dr Tam and Ms Tam, which contributed to the construction of the Centennial Campus, and the establishment of the “Tam Wun Tsun HKU Horizons Student Enrichment Award 譚蘊真才能拓展獎”.
To honour this gift, the University named a teaching facility at the Centennial Campus as “Robert Tam Conference Chamber 譚益芳會議廳”, which includes the “Tam Wun-tsun Seminar Room 譚蘊真研修室”.
Dr Tam’s decision to bequeath his fortune to HKU is a moving testimony to his belief in the power of education and his confidence in his alma mater to nurture leaders who will work for the betterment of the world.
Dr Robert Tam on his 101st birthday (2003)
Dr Robert Tam (4th left) in a play performed at the Inter-Universities Sports meet of 1930
The Libraries have a key role to play in the education and training of new graduates and support for such a central institution is support for the University as a whole… everyone, including the Hong Kong community, benefits from a strong University Library.
Dr Robert Tam
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