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Rao Zongyi

Prof. Rao Zongyi(Jao Tsung-i) taught at the School of Chinese of the University of Hong Kong for 16 years from September 1952 to August 1968, serving as lecturer, senior lecturer and professor. It is fair to say that his later academic glory grew from here.
      Prof. Rao Zongyi was born in Chaozhou, Guangdong Province in 1917. His works include over 60 books and more than 500 papers.
      He was granted an honorable doctor-of-letters degree by the University of Hong Kong in 1982, and an honorable doctorate in humanities by the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes-Sorbonne in 1993 (as the first winner of such degree in 125 years since the founding of that institution), and honorary doctor’s degrees from five universities of Hong Kong since 1995.
      He is now Emeritus Professor of the Department of Chinese Language and Literature, Wei Lun Honorary Professor of Fine Arts and Honorary Professor of the Institute of Chinese Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Honorary Professor of the School of Chinese of the University of Hong Kong. In recent years, he has been appointed by quite a number of higher-learning institutions as Honorary Professor or Advisor.
      His previous roles include full-time editor and reviser in 1935 and researcher in 1939 at the Center of Guangdong History of the Sun Yat-sen University, professor at the Wuxi Specialized School of Chinese Studies in 1943, lecturer, senior lecturer and professor of the School of Chinese of the University of Hong Kong from 1952 to 1968, the first Chair of Chinese and Head of the Department of Chinese Studies of the National University of Singapore from 1968 to 1973, visiting professor of Yale University from 1970 to 1971, research professor of the Institute of History and Philology of the Academia Sinica, Taiwan in 1972, professor and Dean of the Department of Chinese Language and Literature of the Chinese University of Hong Kong from 1973 to 1978, guest professor of the Religion Section of the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes in 1978 and guest professor in letters and humanities of Kyoto University in 1980, among others.
      Professor Rao’s achievements and contributions have won him numerous academic, cultural and art awards and honors. He has been awarded the Prix Stanislas Julien by the Academie des Inscriptions et Belles-lettres, Institute de France in 1962, Honorary Member of the Societe Asiatique, France in 1980, Order of Arts and Letters by the Ministry of Culture of France in 1993, Life Achievement Award by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council in 1997 (as the first winner of such award), Grand Bauhinia Medal by the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in 2000, Special Prize for Contributions to the Protection and Research of Dunhuang Relics by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, China at the conference marking the 100th anniversary of the discovery of the Buddhist Sutra cave in Dunhuang in 2000, and academician of the International Eurasian Academy of Sciences in 2001.
      In 2003, the Jao Tsung-I Petite Ecole was therefore established by the University of Hong Kong to honor his academic and cultural contributions.
      Professor Rao is recognized for his versatile and erudite scholarship in Chinese culture and also as an outstanding writer and artist. He excels in classic poetic writing, ancient style prose, calligraphy and painting, with publication of over 20 poetic collections and dozens of artistic catalogues. 



 

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