A visionary entrepreneur, philanthropist and innovator, Sir Gordon Ying-Sheng Wu is recognized with an Honourary Doctor of Laws for his passionate commitment to higher education and his transformative impact on East Asia and the world.
Sir Gordon was one of the first international students to come to Canada from Hong Kong, arriving at the University of Manitoba from Hong Kong in 1953. Although Sir Gordon studied at the University of Manitoba for only one year before going to Princeton University to earn his civil engineering degree in 1958, he did not forget the special opportunity the University of Manitoba first afforded him. He has given generously to the University of Manitoba, helping support the construction of the Faculty of Engineering’s new home – the Engineering Information and Technology Complex.
Before Sir Gordon left for North America, his father, the son of a migrant pig farmer, foresaw the expansion of automotive transportation in China and launched Hong Kong’s first taxi service. Upon returning home from his studies, Sir Gordon showed exquisite business acumen, expanding the family business’ portfolio to include hospitality and infrastructure interests. This inspired Sir Gordon to create Hopewell Holdings Limited, a Hong-Kong based company that has helped modernize China, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Indonesia, by building bridges, superhighways and power stations.
Sir Gordon is a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, and an advisor to the China Development Bank. He is also a member of the International Finance Corporation for the World Bank and an associate director for the United Nationals Association in China.
Sir Gordon has donated $118 million to Princeton University and made significant contributions to universities in Hong Kong, the University of Manitoba and the University of Winnipeg. As a result of his community support, Sir Gordon has received numerous awards and honourary degrees from Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the University of Strathclyde and University of Edinburgh. He was Man of the Year (International Road Federation, USA, 1994), Business Man of the Year (South China Morning Post, 1991), Asia Corporate Leader (Asia Finance Magazine, 1991), and International CEO of the Year (George Washington University, 1996), to name just a few of many designations.
The King of Belgium, Albert II, awarded Sir Gordon the Chevalier de L’Ordre de la Couronne in 1985 and the Officer de L’Ordre de la Couronne in 2007. In 1997 the Queen of England knighted him into the Order of St. Michael and St. George. Then, in 2007, he received the Order of Croatian Danica by the Republic of Croatia.
As one of the pioneering forces behind East Asia’s economic rise, Sir Gordon continues to dedicate his prodigious engineering skills and foresight to designing and building vertical axis, wind-powered turbines to help China tap clean energy. At age 73 he has not stopped trailblazing.
Sir Gordon Ying-Sheung Wu