Honorary Doctorate for Ruth Hayhoe

CERC is delighted that on 15 December 2015 one of its distinguished Associate Members, Prof. Ruth Hayhoe, was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the Open University of Hong Kong (OUHK). The citation was read by Prof. Lee Wing-On, who was CERC’s first Director and is now Vice President of the OUHK.

Prof. Lee noted that Ruth Hayhoe is conversant with five languages, including Mandarin and Cantonese, and has devoted a lifetime to intercultural dialogue. Her autobiography published by CERC is entitled Full Circle: A Life with Hong Kong and China. It recounts how Ruth moved to Hong Kong from Canada in 1967 as a 21 year-old, working as a teacher in a local secondary school and undertaking much community work. She spent 11 years in Hong Kong during that period, “falling in love with Chinese people and Chinese culture”.

The next few years took Ruth Hayhoe to Shanghai, London, Toronto, Beijing and again Toronto, but in 1997 – the year that Hong Kong was reunited with China – she was appointed Director of the Hong Kong Institute of Education. This return to Hong Kong explains the title Full Circle. In 2002 she moved back to Canada – perhaps making a figure of eight – but she retains close contact with both Hong Kong and Mainland China.

CERC has published four other books written or edited by Ruth Hayhoe. They include Portraits of Influential Chinese Educators and Portraits of 21st Century Chinese Universities. As noted by Lee Wing-On, “one striking feature of Professor Hayhoe’s academic writing approach is story-telling”. For this pair of books she focused in individuals and institutions, while Full Circle is a deep and meaningful self-portrait.

In the picture above, Ruth Hayhoe is accompanied (left) by her husband, Walter Linde. Lee Wing On is on the far right, and between him and Professor Hayhoe is Mark Bray (HKU).