Citations and Speeches

Citations

54th Congregation (1961)

Sir Douglas William LOGAN
M.A., D.Phil., Hon.D.C.L., Hon.LL.D.

The University of London, 'that benevolent Colossus' as it has been described, is not only a great University but a mother of Universi-ties. Since the Second World War, the birth-pangs of many a University College have been felt within the grey walls of the Senate House, and always among the Obstetricians has been Sir Douglas Logan, its Principal since 1948. Among his multifarious duties as the executive head of a great institution, Sir Douglas has always devoted much of his precious time and his vast experience to the problems of the infant Universities overseas, and just as their first teachers were people who had been trained in the home Universities, so many of their administrators were men who had gained their first experience under his aegis, in the University of London.

We in Hong Kong, though born before the era of 'special relationship', and no close kin to London, experienced the full benevolence of the Colossus in 1953 when Sir Douglas, with Sir Ivor Jennings, visited us and wrote the famous "Report on the University of Hong Kong", in whose shape he is our constant guide and companion.

However, our University is not conferring upon Sir Douglas the degree of Doctor of University Obstetrics, or University Medicine, honoris causa. That prospect is tempting, but we have no such degrees. We are conferring the degree of Doctor of Laws, upon one whose brilliance as an administrator is matched only by the brilliance of his academic career. When he left his Fellowship at Trinity College, Cambridge, during the last War, to take up administrative work, there must have beem much shaking of heads among his colleagues. To think that this accomplished don, with all his learning, his tremendous energy, his genius for getting to the heart of the matter, should now be devoting these gifts to mere administration! But to bring such an enormous University to order and stability after the disorganization of war, to adapt it to new conditions, to add to it various old institutions at home, and new ones overseas, and to expand the whole at emergency speed, these were tasks that for success demanded more tham ordinary intellectual gifts in a Principal. Scholarship's loss, therefore, was learning's gain; and its gain throughout the whole world, as witness the honours which Sir Douglas has received from his own country, from the Commonwealth, and from foreign lands. Among these honours, we dare say, none shall have been more sincerely bestowed than the degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa of the University of Hong Kong.

Citation written and delivered by Dr the Hon. A. M. Rodrigues, Chairman of the Jubilee Committee.