Island Shangri-la Hotel, Hong Kong
A $30 million (HK$234 million) grant from the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, a non-profit institution and Hong Kong’s largest community benefactor, will support the construction of the University of Chicago’s new center in Hong Kong, establishing a hub for education, research and collaboration. It adds to and complements the University’s centers in Beijing and Delhi, expanding the University’s work and engagement in China and Asia.
The new facility was officially named the Francis and Rose Yuen Center in Hong Kong, in honor of University Trustee Francis Tin Fan Yuen, AB’75, and his wife, Rose Wai Man Lee Yuen, in recognition of their financial support of its construction, their dedication to the University’s global engagement and their long-standing commitment to the University’s work in Hong Kong and China. The announcement was made on Nov 21 in Hong Kong by President Zimmer, with Carrie Lam, Chief Secretary of Hong Kong, Anthony Chow, Deputy Chairman of the Hong Kong Jockey Club Board of Stewards and Francis Yuen, AB’75, Trustee, officiating the naming ceremony.
The new center provides the University community and colleagues in the region with a broad base for collaboration in one of Asia’s most vibrant cities, while bringing new opportunities for social impact in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong Jockey Club Programme on Social Innovation, supported by the trust, will be operated by Booth’s Social Enterprise Initiative. The programme, which will be housed in the Hong Kong Jockey Club Chicago Booth Academic Complex, will offer a range of opportunities to enhance the social impact sector in Hong Kong and engage Booth students and alumni in Hong Kong and Asia. The social impact sector encompasses the businesses, nonprofits and government agencies that seek to solve social, environmental or cultural problems.
The Yuen Center is designed by internationally renowned Bing Thom Architects and is scheduled to open in 2018. Construction started after the Groundbreaking Ceremony in June this year. The historical site at Mount Davis was originally part of the Jubilee Battery in the late 1930s and 1940s, then a British Army Royal Engineers’ mess and quarters in the 1950s, and later a detention center. The design includes adaptive reuse of key heritage buildings as part of the Hong Kong Jockey Club Heritage Preservation Project. The public will be able to attend tours and exhibitions highlighting the history of the site and have access to hiking trails.
A reception was held in the evening at Island Shangri-la Hotel with the honorary presence of The Honourable Tung Chee Hwa, former Chief Executive of HKSAR Government; Chairman Lien Chan, AM’61, PhD’65, Trustee Emeritus; Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury KC Chan; Secretary for Education Eddie Ng; US Consul General Kurt Tong; Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, Chief Executive Officer of the Hong Kong Jockey Club; Joe Neubauer, MBA’65, Chair of the University of Chicago Board of Trustees and Francis Yuen, AB’75, Trustee.
Among the 250 distinguished guests, University presidents, institutional partners, corporate supporters, alumni and parents were in attendance to share the excitement of the naming announcement of the new center.