Edwin S.H. Leong
MSc 1974, Hon LLD 2023
Dr. Edwin Leong’s global philanthropic mission is rooted in a core desire to help support society’s most vulnerable people.
A proud University of Toronto alumnus, Dr. Edwin Leong generously advanced the global field of child health in 2019 with a $25-million gift to establish the Edwin S.H. Leong Centre for Healthy Children at U of T, in partnership with The Hospital for Sick Children.
The Leong Centre uses the groundbreaking science of precision prevention, which combines genomics, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and public health data to develop interventions for healthier, happier children. Dr. Leong’s gift—the largest to U of T from outside Canada—came on top of his donation in 2018 to establish the Edwin S.H. Leong Scholarship in graduate studies.
Dr. Leong graduated from the University of Toronto with a master’s degree in computer science in 1974. Today, he is Chairman of Tai Hung Fai Enterprise Co. Ltd. (大鴻輝興業), a diversified property investment and development company he founded in 1977.
The company’s success spurred Dr. Leong to establish the Tai Hung Fai Charitable Foundation (大鴻輝慈善基金) in 2005 to help provide care and medical support for disadvantaged seniors and underprivileged children. The foundation also funds scholarships, fellowships and a professorship for research studies related to healthy aging and paediatrics.
Dr. Leong’s and the Tai Hung Fai Charitable Foundation’s gifts include support for the Henry G. Leong Mobile Integrative Health Centre at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, named for Dr. Leong’s father, which has been offering free health screening and monitoring services for seniors in Hong Kong since 2007. Dr. Leong has also helped establish the Henry G. Leong Community Support Centre for the Elderly to provide one-stop-full-spectrum services to elders with dementia and their caregivers.
In addition, Dr. Leong has established five endowed professorships in his father’s name: at Chinese University of Hong Kong, a professorship in gerontology and geriatrics; at Hong Kong University, one professorship in social work and administration and one in neurology; and at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, a professorship in seniors’ vision health and another in biomedical engineering.
Dr. Leong, who earned his undergraduate degree from the University of British Columbia, gave $24 million to the Faculty of Medicine at UBC in 2018—the largest gift in the school’s history. The gift established the Edwin S.H. Leong Healthy Aging Program, which provides research aimed at helping people live longer and enjoy a better quality of life in later years.
At U of T, the leading-edge Edwin S.H. Leong Centre for Healthy Children and its Council of Deans will help researchers from multiple disciplines and institutions to harness the latest advances in the science of child health and pair them with developments in artificial intelligence and machine-learning technologies.
The Leong Centre at U of T is the most recent step in Dr. Leong’s global philanthropic mission to apply the latest innovations in medicine and public health to support children and seniors, ensuring greater health and happiness across the lifespan and protecting society’s most vulnerable—around the world.