As a young university, HKUST has been blessed to attract strong support from the community.
One such generous supporter is Dr Cheng Yu Tong who has made a major donation of $90 million towards the construction of a new Research and Academic Building. That building took a first step towards becoming a reality on 25 April with the groundbreaking ceremony for the new edifice named in honor of Dr Cheng who through the Chow Tai Fook Foundation has done much to support charitable causes in Hong Kong throughout its history. Dr Cheng’s benevolence towards HKUST is an affirmation of his faith in social progress through innovation, a faith passionately shared by our University.
The Cheng family was out in force at the ceremony, with Dr Cheng and his two sons Dr Cheng Kar-shun and Mr Cheng Kar-shing in attendance, along with senior executives of the Chow Tai Fook Cheng Yu Tung Foundation and Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd, prominent leaders of the community and senior administrators of the university, including the President.
The 8-storey building covers a total floor area of 10,000 square meters. But what is noteworthy about it is that its design and configuration are the result of meticulous research and even site visits to similar facilities at world-leading universities such as Oxford, Cambridge and Caltech. Nothing less than first class facilities for a first class research university.
It is a building to make the heart of scientist or scholar race. It houses laboratories that cater to multidisciplinary uses and comes with an open plan that is easily configurable to different uses. But it is not just research that will be given a boost. It comes equipped with a large-scale multi-purpose lecture theatre too, which can double as a venue for artistic performances.
Dr Cheng should be pleased that we will be getting very good value for his money—a multi-purpose building for multi-disciplinary research, with teaching and artistic performances thrown in.