Crescent School’s building campaign received a huge shot in the arm with a $5 million donation, the largest gift in the school’s history.
The donation came from the family of Crescent alumnus Ming Wai Lau.
Headmaster Geoff Roberts said Lau attended the school for grade 12 and his experience influenced his family’s decision to make such a large donation.
“Lau said that it had a transforming impact on his character development,” Roberts said. “He has extraordinary memories of teachers, activities, and wanted to make sure that the school continued its good work.”
The campaign donation came from Lau’s father, Joseph Lau Luen Hung, chairman and CEO of Chinese Estates Holdings.
“He lives in Hong Kong and may never benefit directly,” said Roberts of Hung’s generosity. “His family foundation is committed to furthering education. It is one of their important areas of philanthropy.”
On May 10, an assembly was held at the school, where Ming announced to the student body that the donation was made for the campaign.
“You could hear a pin drop when he said they donated $5 million,” said Roberts. “For an alumnus to come back and give that much money to a school which he spent one single year, it gave the boys a really great sense of continuity.”
The donated funds will be used to improve facilities including the construction of the new Centennial Academic Wing which will house middle school students. The top floor will be dedicated to upper school university seminar prep rooms.
Donations to the campaign will also go toward upgrading the library to allow for more social interaction between students.
“Libraries need to change with the evolving need of all students,” said Roberts. “I remember my library and when you walked in, someone said ‘shh’ to you. Well that’s not a true emerging library.”
Funds will also go to enhancing pre-existing programs at the school, such as the school’s international outreach program.
Roberts said is in awe of the Lau family’s generosity.
“Choosing to give to a school when they believe in education, that is a humbling experience to me and it affirms the best qualities of humanity.”
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