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In Search of the Blessed Ones Ho Man Sum’s Full Dedication in Fundraising for CUHK

In Search of the Blessed Ones
Ho Man Sum's Full Dedication in Fundraising for CUHK

While 2023 sees CUHK celebrating its 60th anniversary, it also marks a milestone for Mr. Ho Man Sum (57/UC/Economics). As one of the first United College graduates, his service to the alumni associations spans 65 years, beginning in the year after he completed his studies. Crediting scholarships offered by the Alumni Association as essential for his admission to the United College, Mr. Ho gives back by dedicating himself to alumni affairs. He has also joined the fundraising committee recently, leveraging on his personal characteristics to solicit donations – even using his mobile phone as the donations hotline. Mr. Ho says he has not been under pressure in this role, because giving is better than receiving, and there are no words to describe the intrinsic joy from helping his alma mater. He was bestowed as Honorary Fellow of CUHK in 2016.

Mr. Ho Man Sum shares his successful experience in fundraising, and welcomes more people to get involved with the initiatives.

In recalling his enrolment in the United College, Mr. Ho describes it as the “fate of 10 cents”: “I nearly studied in Chung Chi College in 1953 but the tuition fees (HK$60) was high. Therefore I opted for pursuing economics at half fees for two years at the Hong Kong College. When I applied for Chung Chi College again in 1955, I was required to take first-year courses (history and geography subjects) because of issues with credit transfer. Coincidentally, I visited a herbal tea shop near Central to get a sugar cane drink for 10 cents. At the shop, I came across an advertisement for 10 scholarships from the alumni association of Hwu Kiu College of Engineering and Commerce. I am fortunate to receive the financial support and attended evening classes as a third-year economics students on full fee-waivers. As Hwu Kiu merged with four other colleges in 1956, I became one of the first United College graduates. I really appreciate the Hwu Kiu alumni association, so I immediately became actively involved in alumni affairs for United College as soon as I graduated.” The 65 years of service to the alumni has enriched his life experience: “I have met alumni from different walks of life, different faculties, gender and profession. We are all like a close-knit family, working sincerely for the good of United College, unlike in the commercial world where people primarily look out for their personal interests. We are always happy to see each other.”

Blessing in Fundraising
Having served on the Board of Trustees of the College for over 30 years and the CUHKFAA Education Foundation Fundraising Sub-committee for more than two decades, Mr. Ho is now the Chairman of the Sub-committee while co-chairing the Fundraising Sub-committee of the United College with the College Head Professor Stephen Wong. “It is a privilege to raise funds for the College. Since we cannot take our own material wealth to the afterlife, we should do more good deeds for others. When I look for donors, I am not looking to seek advantages from them. I only approach those who are blessed with kindness, comfortable in various aspects, and with social standing. This is why I am successful for 90% of the time. I would not feel uneasy to be turned down. We should always do good deeds. I see the fundraising role as a blessing, and a joy to be in a position to help others.”

Mr. Ho's confidence in fundraising can be credited to his follow alumnus, Mr. Thomas Cheung (58/UC/Economics): “The alumni association wanted to extend the CUHK spirit by sponsoring a school. To achieve this, the CUHKFAA Education Foundation was established in 1982 and I was responsible for steering the fundraising initiatives. While Mr. Cheung did not feel interested at first, my hard work in convincing him paid off in the form of a HK$300,000 donation to start the first primary school. Through this experience, he came to appreciate the significance of sponsoring schools, subsequently making multi-million donations for secondary schools and kindergartens. This success also fuels my confidence. Through the years, Mr. Cheung has become a top-donor with over HK$30million donations. Other notable alumni include Mr. William Yau (75/UC/ Economics; 84/GS/MBA), Mr. Joseph Cheung (79/UC/Accounting) and Mr. Charles Lee (86/UC/Social Work), who are always ready to give to the Alumni Associations whenever I approach them. Along with other alumni who have made donations, I am deeply moved by their passion and support for our alma mater.”

Furthermore, Mr. Ho is a driving force behind the publication of the CUHK Alumni Book series, which he describes as the “fate of yum cha”: “In 1999, I visited my son who was working in New York at that time. I joined a CUHK alumni gathering where members shared many interesting experiences that would make a great collection of books. One of the participants, our alumna and journalist Ms. Katie Ho(81/NA/Sociology) reported about the gathering, eventually inducting the first book ‘Our New York Experience – Voice from CUHK Alumni’. The successful series has grown to feature 17 books in different parts of the world. Coinciding with the CUHK 60th anniversary, we would like to extend the book series to cover CUHK alumni in different industries, like accounting and the legal profession. We hope to bring together the alumni's power to support our alma mater's development by putting the spotlight on the enriching stories from CUHK elites in the society.”

Published on "CU Alumni Magazine" Issue 115 by Alumni Affairs Office 2023

Read online: CU Alumni Magazine Issue No. 115 (Chinese Version Only)
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