Bachelor of Applied Science (BASc) 1971, Master of Business Administration (MBA) 1973, Honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) 2005
When eighteen-year-old Patrick Fung arrived at the University of Toronto in 1967, he felt alone and homesick for Hong Kong.
But, he says, the warmth of the Canadian people helped him settle in, and today, as Chairman and Chief Executive of the Wing Hang Bank, he encourages other young Asians to enjoy the experience that is a U of T education.
Fung joined the Wing Hang Bank in 1976 and was appointed chief executive in 1992. The bank is the sixth largest in Hong Kong. He is also on the Dean’s Advisory Council of the faculty of management at U of T and a member of the court of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
Even though Fung initially experienced some culture shock when he arrived in Toronto more than 40 years ago, he said that living in a foreign country and studying in a new language offered him a great opportunity to be independent and learn from others.
“One of the good things about U of T is that it is very multicultural. I enjoyed it very much. I boarded with an Italian family and my lab partner was a guy by the name of Jose Ferrera, from Portugal, so it was quite interesting,” he says.
His advice for prospective students from Asia: “Be curious. Take advantage of what’s available on campus. It’s in the heart of the city, close to Chinatown, if you miss Chinese food. It’s a great place, so go out and enjoy, explore.”
Fung says if he has one regret about going to U of T it would be that he didn’t take more liberal arts subjects. “I might have had a broader view earlier on.”
Published Nov. 28, 2013