Founding Dean of Science and subsequently Vice-President for Academic Affairs of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), Professor Leroy Chang, passed away in California last Sunday.
Mourning the passing of Prof Chang, HKUST President Paul Chu said that Prof Chang was a much-loved figure known for his energy, quick wit, personal charm, and intellectual refinement.
"Anyone who has the privilege of working with him will remember vividly his unique ability to energize and inspire," Prof Chu said.
"Prof Chang was a first-rate scientist, a first-rate university administrator, and a first-rate human being. His passing is a great loss to the scientific community and to this university, towards which he has contributed so much. To me, this is a loss of a great personal friend of more than 20 years," he added.
HKUST's Founding President Chia-Wei Woo said, "It is simply not possible for me to accept that such a lively person, strong contributor to the University, and close personal friend could leave us like this.
"Leroy was always exuberant and high-spirited, logical and sensible, forceful and clear, efficient and effective – and always full of wit and humor. As Dean of Science and Vice-President for Academic Affairs, he gave up his beloved and world-renowned scientific career to work totally selflessly towards providing a sound academic environment for his colleagues. HKUST's founding members could not have had a stronger comrade-in-arms in building this new university. I so very deeply mourn his passing."
A memorial service will be held on HKUST campus in early September for Professor Chang.
Professor Chang was Dean of Science from 1993 to 1998, and Vice-President for Academic Affairs from 1998 to 2000, when he retired and was honored with the enviable title of University Professor Emeritus.
Professor Chang graduated from Stanford University with a PhD in Physics. In the course of his illustrious academic career, he enjoyed the rare privilege of being honored by five academies of science in the US and China, including Taiwan – Chinese Academy of Sciences, Academica Sinica, US National Academy of Sciences, US National Academy of Engineering, and Hong Kong Academy of Engineering Sciences.