Few British Columbians seem to live and breathe the teachings of the Buddha as does Robert H.N. Ho.
Indeed, we are fortunate to call Dr. Ho one of our own, although many great cities around the world – Hong Kong, New York and London to name a few – would like to make a similar claim.
After a successful career in business and journalism, Dr. Ho did not simply retire to the golf course. Rather, he turned his attention to our cultural landscapes. Through the Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation, he launched the United Kingdom’s first permanent gallery of Buddhist sculpture at the Victoria and Albert Museum; he brought the mythical Terracotta Warriors from China for their first visit to Canada; and he began art education programs to inspire creativity among young people in Hong Kong.
The Foundation has endowed the Center for Buddhist Studies at Stanford University, and funded the establishment of Buddhist Ministry Studies at Harvard Divinity School.
Here at UBC, Dr. Ho carried on the legacy of his grandmother and helped establish North America’s first Buddhism and Contemporary Society program through the Tung Lin Kok Yuen Canada Foundation.
And the Robert H.N. Ho Research Centre at Vancouver General Hospital, which houses some of the top UBC scientists in cancer and mobility health research, has enabled groundbreaking research with immediate, far-reaching benefits for seniors and people suffering from prostate and ovarian cancers.
Dr. Ho, you once said that Buddhism stresses the need for kindness at every level, from personal relations to global action. You are living proof that one man’s kindness and compassion can reverberate around the world.
Madam Chancellor, for his tireless philanthropy, I ask you to confer the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa upon : Robert Hung Ngai Ho.