Ronnie Chan, chairman of Hang Lung Group Ltd. (00010.HK), said it has been a motto of his family that if someone knows how to make money, the person should also opt to give it away, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Tuesday.
The remarks came after the Morningside Foundation, a charity controlled by the tycoon’s family, offered a US$350 million donation to Harvard University, the largest ever gift in the history of the prestigious US institution.
The university has named the department which will be supported by the Chan family donation as the T.H. Chan School of Public Health. T.H. Chan was the father of Ronnie Chan.
Chan’s late father once went through a miserable period when he was young. He had a passion for giving to others in need, especially if it was related to education and healthcare.
In 1985, when the senior Chan was terribly ill, Ronnie and his father had a good discussion where they came to the conclusion that the family should donate its wealth to charitable organizations, the report said.
In the latest philanthropy act, Chan chose to give money to Harvard rather than to mainland charities as the tycoon as concerned about bureaucracy and corruption in China.
The family had however made significant contributions to the mainland in the past. It funded, among other things, renovation of the Imperial Palace since 1994. The family foundation has also been sponsoring about 500 students from five top universities in the country, including Beijing University and Tsinghua University, each year since 1996.
Chan has been training his two sons, making them climb their way up from lower ranks in the group and helping them gain philanthropic experience through voluntary work.
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