In May 2010, the JMSC received a generous HK$2 million donation to fund scholarships.
The cheque was presented by Kuok Hui Kwong, managing director and chief executive officer of the SCMP Group, and Shum Choi Sang, chairman of the Wah Kiu Yat Po Readers’ Loan Fund for Post-Secondary School Students. Professor Lap-Chee Tsui, Vice-Chancellor of 3The University of Hong Kong, and Professor Chan Yuen Ying, Director of the JMSC, accepted the donation at a ceremony held in the Convocation Room.
The funds, from the SCMP Wah Kiu Yat Po Journalism Scholarship Fund, will be used for scholarships for students wishing to study at the JMSC.
Professor Chan welcomed the audience — a mixture of journalists, representatives from the South China Morning Post (SCMP) and the scholarship fund, JMSC staff and students. She thanked the donors for their generosity.
“This donation will be tremendous in supporting our education and helping our students, not only from Hong Kong but also from all over the world and the Chinese mainland, to take part in our programme.”
Ms Kwok sung the praises of journalists: “There are many unsung heroes in various professions. Some save lives, some risk their lives in pursuit of great causes, and some support others with their time, concern, care and attention,” she said.
“And then there are those heroes who rally the support and attention of others by making sure that word gets out about matters that are important and need to be shared. You could say that this describes a journalist’s role.”
Three JMSC Master of Journalism students took part in the ceremony. Lorea Solabarrieta was the master of ceremonies and Phillippa Stewart and Natalie Wong, both of whom have benefited from scholarships this year, spoke about how this had enabled their studies.
Stewart expressed her heartfelt thanks to those whose generosity had made her year in Hong Kong possible.
“This year has been the most interesting and exciting year of my life,” she said. “If anyone would have told me a year ago that I would have interned at the Jakarta Post, worked at Forbes [Magazine], been to Vietnam to record a piece for ABC, was about to go to New York and had a cover story on the SCMP weekend magazine, I would not have believed them!”
Natalie Wong talked about her experience of studying journalism in Hong Kong as a mainlander: “I think the most precious thing has been to think internationally and not as a mainland Chinese person.”
Professor Tsui, reminded everyone of HKU’s excellent regional and international reputation, congratulated the SCMP and the JMSC for their ongoing partnership and said he hoped that the scholarship would bring many more bright young stars into the world of journalism.
As funds within the Wah Kiu Yat Po Reader’s Loan Fund for Post-Secondary School Students mature, it is expected that an estimated HK$2 million more will be released and made available to the JMSC.