Robert H.N. Ho ’56, H’11 has been appointed Member of the Order of Canada (C.M.), one of that country’s highest civilian honors. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, announced the appointment on December 27.
The Order of Canada celebrates “people whose service shapes our society; whose innovations ignite our imaginations; and whose compassion unites our communities,” the Governor General’s office noted in its announcement. Ho was praised in particular for “transformational philanthropy in support of Canadian healthcare and universities.”
Robert Ho’s service, innovation, and compassion on behalf of higher education have long extended to his alma mater. Colgate awarded him a doctorate of humane letters in 2011 in recognition of his efforts to secure the University’s position as a leading liberal arts institution in a global society.
“Colgate University is very proud of Mr. Ho,” said President Brian W. Casey. “His generosity and vision have helped move Colgate to the very forefront of scientific research and pedagogy — I am not surprised that Canada has chosen to recognize this remarkable person, who has not only transformed Colgate, but also his community and country in many ways.”
Ho’s philanthropic support has shaped the physical and intellectual landscape at Colgate. The Robert H.N. Ho Fund for Chinese Studies supports the China Study Group; the Robert H.N. Ho Endowed Chair in Asian Studies recognizes a distinguished, tenured professor who elevates the program. The Robert H.N. Ho Lecture Room in Lawrence Hall is a popular venue for presentations and classes while the Robert H.N. Ho Science Center is an anchor of the academic quadrangle.
As part of the transformational gift that opened the Ho Science Center in 2007, Ho named the University’s Ho Tung Visualization Laboratory in memory of his grandfather. Upgrades to the facility, underwritten by Ho in 2017, have extended its capacity to serve as a distinctive tool for interdisciplinary education.
Ho earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Colgate and a master’s in journalism at Columbia University. He is an emeritus member of Colgate’s Board of Trustees, a charter member of the James B. Colgate Society, and a recipient of the University’s Wm. Brian Little ’64 Alumni Award for Distinguished Service.
In 2013, Ho was also recognized by the province of British Columbia with an appointment to the Order of British Columbia. Details of Robert H.N. Ho ’56, H’11 philanthropic activities can be found at http://www.rhfamilyfoundation.org/#!/about/