Eminent alumni lauded

21 April 2017 | General News
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Recipients of the Distinguished Arts and Social Sciences Alumni Award were (from top left clockwise): Mr Dhanabalan, Dr Heyzer, Mr Abdullah, Mr Ho, Prof Lim and Mr Chan

NUS Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) celebrated the outstanding achievements of six distinguished alumni from the faculty at the FASS STARS Awards 2017 on 21 April.

The Distinguished Arts and Social Sciences Alumni Award was presented to Former United Nations Under-Secretary General Dr Noeleen Heyzer; Member of the Presidential Council for Minority Rights Mr Abdullah Tarmugi; Former Ambassador Mr Harry Chan Keng Howe; Senior International Advisor of Temasek International Mr S Dhanabalan; NUS Emeritus Professor Lim Chong Yah; and Executive Chairman of the Banyan Tree Holdings Limited Mr Ho Kwon Ping. 

The prestigious award was established in 2015 and is conferred on alumni in recognition of their distinguished scholarship and outstanding service to the Faculty, the University and Singapore. This year’s outstanding recipients have also shown excellence in various fields locally and abroad, contributing significantly to the promotion of the arts and social sciences.

Their sterling contributions remind us of the importance of the disciplines in the social sciences and humanities as vital training for social engagement, particularly in an ever-changing, global order.

FASS Dean Professor Robbie Goh said, “We are honoured to commemorate the accomplishments of these six distinguished alumni of the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. They have excelled in their respective fields, and made noteworthy contributions not only to the nation but also to the global community. 

“Their sterling contributions remind us of the importance of the disciplines in the social sciences and humanities as vital training for social engagement, particularly in an ever-changing, global order. Their achievements also remind us of the importance of the faculty’s teaching and research missions, and that these should never function in an intellectual vacuum, but rather in vital dialogue with society.”

A Member of the NUS Board of Trustees, Dr Heyzer shared that the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Singapore deepened her thinking and interest in society and the world around her. “My teachers and the Social Science discipline provided me with my first serious exposure to intellectual analysis and debate based on social realities. This contributed to the solid foundation that has served me well and has helped me navigate the challenges and complexities throughout my career, creating positive change through the United Nations,” she added.

After an illustrious political career spanning 27 years, Mr Abdullah now serves as a Member of the NUS Board of Trustees and the Presidential Council for Minority Rights. Speaking of his university days, Mr Abdullah said, “My undergraduate years at the University of Singapore were a time of growth, of learning and of finding out more about myself and the phenomena and people around you.” It was a time of ferment, that interval between preparing for and living the rest of your life, he added.

Close to 160 Faculty Research Awards, Faculty Teaching Excellence Awards, Faculty Service Awards and Faculty Long Service Awards were also given out to acknowledge the contributions and achievements of faculty and staff in research, teaching and service.

See press release and media coverage.