Shaw College alumni awarded The Ten Outstanding Young Persons Award

(From left) Professor Justin Wu, Dr Emily Hung, Professor Simon Ng, Ir Professor Alan Lam, JP, and Mr Shum Kin-wai

(From left) Professor Justin Wu, Dr Emily Hung, Professor Simon Ng, Ir Professor Alan Lam, JP, and Mr Shum Kin-wai

Making its way through 38 years, the College had nurtured many leaders of society with intelligence and morality. Shaw College alumni accomplished outstanding achievements in different professions, contributing to the society with their knowledge and fully reflected Sir Run Run Shaw's founding aspiration of the College, "Learning, innovation and benefitting humankind". The following 6 Shaw alumni were awarded The Ten Outstanding Young Persons Award:

Year awarded
The Ten Outstanding Young Persons Award
2010 Dr Dexter Leung (Medicine 1997)
2010 Professor Simon Ng (Medicine 1995)
2013 Mr Shum Kin-wai (Integrated BBA Programme 1996)
2015 Dr Emily Hung (Medicine 2000)
2015 Ir Professor Alan Lam, JP 
(Mechanical and Automation Engineering 1999)
2022 Professor Shannon Chan (Medicine 2007)

Professor Justin Wu, Associate Head cum Chair of Alumni Affairs Committee, was the guest moderator for Shaw Link. The six alumni awarded The Ten Outstanding Young Persons Award (TOYPA) shared with Professor Wu their unforgettable memories of college life, and also their stories of success and beliefs, hoping to inspire young people and fellow students.
* The guest moderator and interviewees are referred to by their English names
Life in Shaw College
Justin: Why did you choose to join Shaw College? Can you share with us your unforgettable memories or moments in College?
Emily: Shaw College was a young College, it is now in its prime (laughs). The College was flexible in handling matters related to student affairs. I felt that my needs were fully understood and listened to, and I am very grateful for that.
Alan: I was a non-resident student, I chose Shaw College because we only needed to fulfill the attendance requirement of assemblies on a monthly basis but not weekly (laughs). Being assigned to Shaw College was a serendipity. Through the College General Education course "Basic introduction to commerce", I discovered my potential and ignited my innovative thinking, which led me to embark on the entrepreneurial path.
Simon: I was one of the first batch of residential students, and I felt that the College considered things from students' perspective and did not impose too many restrictions. I once participated in the residential hall student association election, my cabinet's name was "Chuan Xin Gan Ge" (meaning: a brand new feeling) (laughs). Although my cabinet lost, it was a valuable experience that taught me how to face failure.
Shum: I was also a non-residential student. In the past, it was not only about focusing on careers. Shaw College allowed me to have more space to think about what I really wanted to study and do. I often went to Chung Chi College Elisabeth Luce Moore Library for music-related materials and rediscovered my favorite music.
Justin: There is no traditional burden for Shaw College, and it indeed allows students to have more freedom to explore their strengths.
Dexter: Shaw College was a new College when I joined, I thought there would be few restrictions and we could be adventurous. To me, the most unforgettable was the warm feeling of college life. What I remember most is that it was raining heavily one day, I didn't bring umbrella and was standing at the school bus stop. Professor Andrew Chan happened to be driving by and offered to drive me to the University station. During the ride I told Professor Chan that I had taken his course of "Basic introduction to commerce", and he responded to me amiably. I was most impressed by how college teachers cared about their students. In fact, my first love also happened at Shaw College. Although it ended in smoke, it was happy and precious.
Shannon: I was lucky to be assigned to Shaw College though it was not my first choice. It was difficult for me to apply for a hostel place at that time as the area I lived in was not a remote area. Since there were quite a lot of hostel places in Shaw College, so I could easily get a place in Kuo Mou Hall. I was a member of the swimming team and rowing team, after team training, teammates would run back to college together, everyone was full of youth and vigour! The study in the medical school was very vigorous so I rarely participated in hostel activities. I was thinking if I could go back to my first year of College, I would join the resident association of student hostel, participate in more hostel activities, and mingle with other resident students.
Inspiration · Target · Achievement
Justin: Young people nowadays may be confused about the future. Is there any experience or wisdom you can share with the fellow students?
Shum: As you grow up, make the most out of your talents and choose your own path. Think about whether the industry is what you love, whether you want to continue after spending time on it and won't feel like it's just work.
Alan: I was at a crossroad after completed my doctoral research, should I start my business or research? As Shum said, we should choose a path for which we will not regret, and that we won't feel like work but life. I chose to start my own business and returned to university for teaching at the age of 37. We can make plans if things can be presumed, but life is not like that. I believe that as long as we tried our best to get prepared, the results will turn out to be beyond our expectations. The College has given me a lot of inspirations, which, when connected, made me who I am today.
Shannon: I feel that students nowadays care less about international news. There are a lot of people in need in other parts of the world. Volunteers do not necessarily have to be doctors. Apart from self-development, I hope students can try to step out of their comfort zone, care about the global society, and accumulate life experience.
Justin: Opportunities are indeed for those who are hardworking and be always prepared. The road ahead may not be a broad one, but different experiences do add value to oneself. We talk about interdisciplinary today, how do you encourage communication and collaboration?
Simon: Currently there is no one specialty knows about everything, we often need to collaborate with engineering departments on different tasks such as robotic surgery.
Alan: The generation today is driven by innovative technology and knowledge-based economy, including a lot of interdisciplinary elements which pose a key impact on personal development and network construction. Inspired by the university and college general education, I also published books as an engineering major. Emily, as a medical major, also tried to start her own business and set up a mask factory.
Emily: Alan invented over 100 products and he really impressed me. Stepping out of the comfort zone into another discipline requires courage. When my husband and I set up the mask factory, we were trying to do what we could in the pandemic, and accepted that "failure is success in progress". As a doctor, I can only see 20-50 patients a day, but the mask factory can produce millions of masks which can protect hundreds of thousands of people. This is in line with my mission as a doctor.
Justin: Seize the opportunity and work your magic, even the results may not be what you expected.
Dexter: The application of artificial intelligence has emerged across different disciplines, and this may create new professions. I think innovation is necessary for us to move forward, otherwise human beings will be replaced. Different experiences create synergy effect and help us broaden our horizons.
Shannon: In clinical practice, surgery and engineering often need to work together. Success cannot be achieved with only medical knowledge or engineering knowledge. We, therefore, need to step out of our own specialties, learn from others and not be bounded by traditional believes.
Challenges the College is facing
Justin: Recently, there are concerns about the facilities of Shaw College getting old and people advise students not to choose Shaw College because of that. What do you think?
Simon: Old facilities can be solved by money, but the extensive and active network of Shaw alumni is not comparable by all other colleges. The character, network and interpersonal relationship of the College are also very important.
Emily: I am lucky to have Alan and Dexter as role models, they extend themselves in their professions, and contribute to the College and alumni association. I deeply felt that how the graduates are willing to support their juniors, and was inspired to work for the College. This spirit of inheritance is not something the facilities can compare to.
Alan: Disrepair of facilities is temporary, what matters the most is the core value. The innovation, flexibility, freedom, and possibilities of the College are more worthy. Graduating from Shaw College is not the end of our educational journey, but the beginning of another wonderful life journey. Shaw College is warm. Its alumni network and mentorship programme help our development in the workplace. We are not alone after graduation, instead we have the support from the alumni community. Here, I would like to thank Professor Andrew Chan who led me to join the alumni association. At first, I felt the alumni association only held meetings. After restructuring, young alumni formed an executive committee in which everyone was active to organise activities, allowing closer connection of alumni. I would also like to thank Professor Justin Wu for his help on the restructure. In 2017, I followed the example of "The Ten Outstanding Young Persons" and proposed to establish "Star of Shaw" outstanding alumni award to unite Shaw alumni.
Justin: Organisations which spend a lot of time in meetings are usually of low efficiency (laughs).
Justin: If you would share your belief with Shawers, what would it be?
Simon: "Cultivating one's virtue and going deeply into what one has learnt" 
Be brave enough to innovate and accept failure. Be knowledgeable, humble and virtuous to succeed.
Alan: "Explore the endless possibilities" 
If things can be preset, we can do planning, but life is not like that, so we have to explore possibilities.
Shum: "Starting from ourselves to broaden the horizon" 
Progress requires dedication and reflection.
Emily: "Strive and thrive" 
Strive to be the best version of ourselves, make peace with the outcome, thrive and live freely with no regret.
Dexter: "Nurturing moral character and prepare yourselves that you may serve" 
Only with perseverance and sincerity can things be accomplished. If we only serve others without ever improving oneself, our service will be of low quality.
Shannon: "Keep the faith, and not be afraid of difficulties or lose out" 
Keep the faith and try to do what we like, we won't be disappointed even if we fail.

(From left) Professor Justin Wu, Professor Shannon Chan and Dr Dexter Leung
(From left) Professor Justin Wu, Professor Shannon Chan and Dr Dexter Leung

This article was originally published in the Newsletter of the College, Shaw Link in Jan 2024.