City University adopted the Chinese saying as its motto during our 15th anniversary celebrations in 1999. The motto encapsulates our educational philosophy and the attitude we want our students to develop.
The first two words suggest the respect for one's professional knowledge; they encompass the requirement to combine academic professionalism and career ethics as called for in the modern era. The last two words emphasize the relationship between the individual and the society; they encourage personal growth and development, and advocate group spirit and the need to care for the society.
Officium et Civitas is the Latin translation for the motto. Officium captures the rich connotations of the word and denotes a high-minded sense of duty, including high office, with a very positive moral connotation. Civitas refers to both town/city and "union of citizens (commonwealth)" which is most appropriate for City University.
The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the university's first Council Chairman, the Honourable Tung Chee-hwa, has kindly written the motto for us in Chinese calligraphy. It can be seen on a stone in the university's garden.