Ir Yau Kwok-fai is no stranger to members of PolyU. He has fond feelings for his alma mater. Known as one of our most supportive alumni, he was an undergraduate student studying civil engineering at the then Hong Kong Polytechnic, and later became a donor who led the establishment of three Endowed Professorships. He was also conferred as a University Fellow in 2017 and is currently a proud employer of numerous PolyU graduates.
"Giving back to one's alma mater, honouring one's teachers, supporting teaching and research, and leading by example" is what Kwok-fai believes in and has taken to heart.
When PolyU made headlines in late 2019, Kwok-fai contacted the Alumni Affairs and Development Office to find out how he could assist. He mobilised volunteers from the construction sector, among them many PolyU graduates of different generations, for a massive clean-up on campus. “PolyU is a big family. We want to show our love and care for the students. I hope when they grow up, they will cherish their alma mater like us and care for the future generations.” said Kwok-fai.
His support did not stop there. As the recipient of the Hong Kong Polytechnic Directors’ Award 1989-90 for his outstanding academic achievements and leadership qualities, he understands the importance of being recognised and the guidance given by his Professors. Reflecting on his own experience, he made another donation in late 2019 to establish Entry Scholarships for outstanding HKDSE students so that talents would be granted access to quality education without the financial burden. The donation also supports outreach activities for students to explore the world and to participate in international competitions.
Kwok-fai has taken “Honouring one’s teachers and supporting teaching and research” to another level. In early 2020, he made a donation again to support the “J.M. Ko Medal” and the “J.M. Ko Distinguished Lecture Series”, as a tribute to his former teacher Professor Ko Jan-ming, former Vice President and Chair Professor of Structural Engineering of PolyU. The J.M. Ko Medal recognises outstanding scholars and researchers in structural engineering, while the Lecture Series aims to connect renowned scholars from around the world for knowledge exchange and to facilitate the building of a better world through engineering. It will not only benefit researchers, students and professionals in the field, but also reinforce PolyU as a world-leading institution in civil and structural engineering. Kwok-fai feels that a donor’s gift should be in line with the University’s strategic direction and is confident that his donation will be put to good use, creating a lasting impact for generations.