Tributes to UCL alumnus Vincent Ting Kau Cheung

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It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Vincent Ting Kau Cheung, who died peacefully on Saturday 31 July, surrounded by his family.

Vincent was a distinguished UCL Honorary Fellow and alumnus who displayed exceptional loyalty and generosity to UCL and the Faculty of Laws.

Born in Hong Kong, Vincent studied for the LLB at UCL from 1962 to 1965, during which time he met his wife, Christine Howarth, and became a protégé and lifelong friend of the late Denys Holland, then an Admissions Tutor who later became Dean of the Faculty of Laws.

After qualifying as a solicitor, he became a law lecturer at Kingston Polytechnic (now Kingston University) and acted as a legal advisor to students at UCL, before returning to Hong Kong in 1971, where he became a founding partner of leading law firm Vincent T.K. Cheung, Yap & Co and developed a successful business career.

Vincent was a lifelong supporter of UCL Laws. He was instrumental in setting up the Denys Holland Scholarship, with other alumni and close friends, was a founding member of the Hong Kong Alumni Club and established the UCL Scholarship Hong Kong Foundation for overseas students who wish to study at UCL.

Among many gifts over the years, including sponsoring portrait competitions for former Provosts Sir Malcolm Grant and Professor Michael Arthur, Vincent made possible the creation of a flagship lecture theatre in the Laws Faculty, which he asked to be named in honour of Denys Holland.  The lecture theatre was opened by Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, in February 2011. 

In 2009 Vincent was awarded an Honorary Fellowship for his lifetime service and philanthropic commitment to UCL.

Dr Michael Spence, UCL President and Provost said: "Vincent was one of our closest, most active and most supportive alumni.  His death has greatly saddened many people at the university; I had only been able to speak with him once since joining UCL, but his reputation went before him and I had hoped to meet him properly and get to know him when circumstances allowed.  Our thoughts are with Christine and all of Vincent’s family and I send sincere sympathies from UCL."

UCL’s Dean of Faculty of Laws, Professor Piet Eeckhout, who met with Vincent and his family when visiting Hong Kong, said: "Vincent was such a generous man, as a professional, as a most loyal alumnus and supporter of UCL, and, I have no doubt, also as a father and husband. Vincent and his wife Christine both hosted me with incredible kindness when I visited Hong Kong. I know how much Vincent has done for UCL and for our Faculty, and we will be forever grateful. 

"His name and support will continue to resonate between the walls of Bentham House, and far beyond.  We will continue to honour his friendship, kindness and generosity, as best we can. Our thoughts are with his family in this most difficult time."

Professor Dame Hazel Genn, Vice-President External Engagement & Advancement and Former Dean of UCL Laws, who worked closely with Vincent over many years and is a friend of the family, said: "I met Vincent in Hong Kong in 2008 on my first trip as Dean of Laws.  I was immediately struck by his devotion to UCL, his kindness, humility, and love of life. 

"Vincent’s lifelong generosity to UCL and the Laws Faculty, in particular, has made a real difference to the lives of staff and students alike. He leaves a tangible legacy and so many wonderful memories.

"I feel fortunate to have become friends with Vincent and Christine and will forever treasure the time we spent together in Hong Kong and London. I will never forget Vincent’s slow cooked brisket. Vincent will be sorely missed by so many people and always remembered with huge fondness. My thoughts are with Christine, the family and countless friends at this very sad time."            

Victor Chu CBE, UCL’s Chair of Council (LLB 1979), said: "Vincent was a distinguished leader in Hong Kong’s legal and investment community. Moreover, he will be greatly missed as Chairman of UCL Hong Kong Alumni Scholarships Foundation, founding member of UCL Hong Kong Alumni Association, and Honorary Fellow of UCL. His charm, generosity and unfailing friendship to so many of us in the UCL community will forever be fondly remembered."

Nick Holland, Chair of Denys Holland Scholarship Committee, and godson of Vincent, said: "We are deeply saddened by Vincent’s passing.  Our families have been one from the time that he and Christine first became friends with my parents, Denys and Winnie, in London at UCL in the 1960s. 

"Vincent’s accomplishments were astonishing but his defining characteristics were his generosity and his modesty. Vincent and Christine’s generous gifts to UCL were extraordinary: the Denys Holland Lodge (at Ifor Evans Hall), the Denys Holland Lecture Theatre, their contributions to the Denys Holland scholarship, the incredible wines they provided every year for the Denys Holland Dinner. Their generous decision to ask that these gifts be named in honour of my father touched our family more than Vincent probably knew but they are also telling of his modest nature. Vincent was a great friend to my father, to me and to our family. He was an incredible man whose warmth and kindness shone through. 

"Vincent will be sorely missed by all who knew him, including all of the Hollands. Our thoughts and prayers are with Christine and with Vincent and Christine’s children and grandchildren." 

Vincent was the beloved husband of Christine and devoted father to Alex, Nick, Stephanie and Natalie.


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