Chairman of Wofoo Plastics and Chemicals Group Dr Joseph Lee is a renowned entrepreneur and philanthropist, and has been making outstanding contribution towards advancing the development of education, public and community service in Hong Kong over the years. Dr Lee graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology in the United States and joined the family business after returning to Hong Kong. In 1980, Dr Lee started his own company, which has grown to be one of the largest PVC compound manufacturers in Asia.
Besides his success in the business sector, Dr Lee devotes much of his time to serving the public with a long-standing commitment to corporate social responsibility. In 1997, Dr Lee set up the Wofoo Foundation and has since served as its Chairman, with the mission to “nurture the youth, care for the elderly and foster a better Hong Kong.” He is also President of Wofoo Social Enterprises which provides diversified services in the aspects of elderly care, youth development, education and community work.
Dr Lee has been dedicated to serving the community in various capacities including as District Governor of Rotary International District 3450, Chairman of the Committee on the Promotion of Civic Education, Chairman of the Hong Kong United Youth Association, and Hong Kong Deputy to the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China for three consecutive terms. He is now Chairman of the Environment and Conservation Fund Committee, Deputy Chairman of the Consultative Committee on Economic and Trade Co-operation between Hong Kong and the Mainland, and Vice Chairperson of the Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Fund Task Force of Commission on Poverty. With a deep concern for education, Dr Lee took on the roles as Council Member of City University of Hong Kong and Court Member of Hong Kong Baptist University. Currently, Dr Lee serves as Court Member of The University of Hong Kong and Director of the Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong.
PolyU has also benefited from Dr Lee’s benevolence. In 2013, Dr Lee made a generous donation in support of PolyU’s Mainland Experience Scheme, and the development of holistic education for students. In the same year, PolyU named a lecture theatre after Wofoo Foundation in recognition of Dr Lee’s dedication to public and community service, and his staunch support to PolyU.
In 1991, Dr Lee received the Young Industrialist Award from the Federation of Hong Kong Industries. He was first commended by the HKSAR Government in 2000 with the Bronze Bauhinia Star and later appointed Justice of the Peace in 2003. He was further awarded the Silver Bauhinia Star and Gold Bauhinia Star in 2008 and 2013 respectively. In 2015, Dr Lee was appointed Officer of the Order of Saint John.
Chairman Yang, University Council Members, President Tong and Honoured Guests,
First of all, I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation to The Hong Kong Polytechnic University for conferring the honorary title of University Fellowship upon me.
I have no greater joy than to see friends here who share with me this honour because we have a common vision and passion, and knowing that our commitments to our society have never been stronger. I am particularly happy to have many friends at the University like President Tong, Professor Angelina Yuen, Professor Daniel Shek and many others. In particular, the friendly smile of President Tong is always welcoming. Today is indeed a day of celebration of friendship and fellowship!
Since the setting up of Wofoo Foundation in 1997 and Wofoo Social Enterprises in the mid-1990s, I have been making dedicated efforts to develop the younger generation among other endeavours with an aim to develop a better Hong Kong. I share the view of Dr John Maxwell, an internationally recognized leadership expert, speaker and author, who once said that “the growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership” and “true success comes only when every generation continues to develop the next generation.”
Today, I would like to express my gratitude to PolyU and many friends that I am happy and privileged to be given the opportunity to work with you in supporting the important work of student development of PolyU through channels such as Wofoo Leaders’ Network (WLN) chapter, Global Youth Leadership Program and Mainland Experience Scheme. In particular, WLN strives to nurture adolescents to become “responsible citizens,” promote their all-round development, and cultivate core values such as love and care, respect, responsibility and honesty. I am thankful that more and more participating students have been nurtured to be “responsible citizens” and service leaders, and have gained a broader and deeper understanding about the motherland and the world. I am confident that they will be effective catalysts for positive social change and development at local, national and global levels.
Furthermore, I am proud of the success of PolyU and its commitment to be a socially responsible university, actively promoting University Social Responsibility among universities around the globe to impact the world. On 25th September, I was honoured to be invited to officiate at the opening of PolyU’s Social Innovation Festival. I am encouraged to find such a programme at PolyU which is making a significant impact on promoting “design and society” to both professionals and the community at large.
I would like to once again express my gratitude that so many friends have come here today. Most importantly, I am honoured to be able to serve the community with them. We serve because Hong Kong is our Home. We care for Hong Kong and we hope Hong Kong can be a happier place because we can make others happier by showing our care. Thank you.