More than 300 journalists, academics, local business leaders, students and alumni gathered on 31 August in HKU’s historic Loke Yew Hall to celebrate the first chapter of the JMSC under the leadership of its founding director, Professor Ying Chan.
‘When I came home to Hong Kong and started at HKU in 1998, I thought I would spend two or three years before going back to New York City, my other home for more than two decades,’ Professor Chan said.
‘Now, here I am, 18 years later, with many new friends and colleagues I have come to know as we live through challenging times for journalism.’
Professor Chan returned to The University of Hong Kong, her alma mater, in 1998 to begin work setting up the JMSC. Since then, almost a thousand students have graduated from one of the Centre’s four degree programmes as it has gone on to build an international reputation as Asia’s leading journalism school.
Some guests flew into Hong Kong for the event from as far away as Washington DC, Seattle, Toronto, Shanghai, Beijing, Singapore, Seoul, and elsewhere.
Jim Laurie, former director of the JMSC’s Broadcasting Programme, hosted the show, which included videos from alumni and employers, along with a biopic of Professor Chan by Oscar-winning film director and JMSC Honorary Professor Ruby Yang.
HKU President and Vice Chancellor Peter Mathieson thanked the community and donors for supporting the JMSC, along with Professor Chan. ‘The success of the JMSC has been the result of Ying’s unwavering leadership and vision for nearly two decades, and on behalf of The University of Hong Kong, I want to thank you Ying for your dedication to the University,’ Mathieson said.
Incoming JMSC Director Keith Richburg also thanked Professor Chan for the foundations that she has built, referring to her nickname ‘Typhoon Ying’. ‘When a typhoon comes through what’s usually left is destruction, in this case creative destruction … but there’s always the foundation that’s left if you notice, and Ying has left for me a really good solid foundation at the JMSC,’ he said. ‘Let’s keep on going and writing the next chapter of the JMSC.’
The evening was brought to a close with Bloomberg TV anchor Angie Lau interviewing Prof Chan about her career, plans for retirement and where her passion for journalism comes from.
Signing off from her role leading the JMSC, Professor Chan said, ‘Follow your heart and do the right thing. … Being a journalist is about being a good person.’
Click here for more photos from the evening.