Endowed fund honours former NUS President, raises $1.1 mil

From left: Mr Yeo Keng Joon, ASAC Member; Mr Johnny Tan, ASAC Chairman; Prof Tan Chorh Chuan; Prof Tan Eng Chye; and Ms Jenny Lee, NUS Vice President (Endowment and Institutional Development)

NUS alumni, faculty and friends have raised more than $1.1 million for a new endowed fund established in honour of former NUS President Professor Tan Chorh Chuan’s dedicated service and immense contributions to the University and nation. Championed by the NUS Alumni Student Advancement Committee (ASAC), the fund will provide scholarships, bursaries and study awards for up to 20 deserving NUS undergraduates a year from Academic Year 2019/20.

Prof Tan Chorh Chuan served as NUS President from 2008 to 2017, during which time he pioneered new models of education such as the Duke-NUS Medical School, Yale-NUS College, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music and NUS University Town, which have helped boost the University’s reputation for innovative global education and world-class research.

He was awarded the Public Service Star in 2003 for “exemplary leadership” in managing the public health response to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome crisis, as well as the prestigious Meritorious Service Medal in 2015. In January this year, Prof Tan Chorh Chuan was conferred the title of University Professor, NUS’ highest academic appointment. He was also appointed by the Ministry of Health as Singapore’s first Chief Health Scientist and Founding Executive Director of the Office of Healthcare Transformation.


Guests at the appreciation dinner being serenaded by the NUS Symphony Orchestra String Quartet

An appreciation dinner was held on 18 October at the NUS Society Guild Hall to thank the donors for their generosity, during which the cheque was presented to current NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye.

“I was able to commence my studies in medicine in 1978 only because of a scholarship. I am deeply honoured and touched that now, 40 years later, there will be an endowed fund established in my honour that would give many students the same opportunity, particularly those who like myself, come from very modest family backgrounds. I am truly grateful to the many friends, alumni and colleagues who have contributed so generously to this fund. It has been a great privilege to serve the university community as NUS President, and to now receive this high honour for which I am very thankful,” said Prof Tan Chorh Chuan.

Prof Tan Eng Chye said that NUS is indebted to Prof Tan Chorh Chuan for his visionary leadership and outstanding contributions to the University. Addressing donors at the appreciation dinner, he said, “We thank you for enabling us to honour Chorh Chuan’s commitment to student welfare and advancement through this fund. This fund will perpetuate Chorh Chuan’s legacy by helping to nurture future leaders who will serve country and society, as Chorh Chuan has done impeccably in his many capacities throughout his career.” He added that he hoped their efforts would inspire more to give back to their alma mater.

See press release and media coverage.