Honouring alumni contributions
NUS Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) honoured Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong with the Distinguished Arts and Social Sciences Alumni Award (Lifetime Achievement) for his outstanding contributions to the Faculty, NUS and the nation, as well as his resolute support of education and research in the social sciences. Six exceptional alumni were also conferred with the Distinguished Arts and Social Sciences Alumni Award. The awards were presented at the FASS STARS Awards 2018 (FASS Service, Teaching, Alumni, Research, Long Service Awards 2018) on 22 March.
Mr Goh graduated from the University of Singapore, NUS’ predecessor institution, in 1964 with First Class Honours in Economics. Upon graduation, he joined the Administrative Service of the Singapore Government, where he dedicated more than 50 years of distinguished service to the nation. Mr Goh’s enduring interest in community wellbeing continued even after his retirement from the Cabinet in 2011, and he advocated the importance of connecting policymaking with affirmative action. His unwavering support for education and research in the social sciences led him to moot and serve as advisor to FASS’ Social Service Research Centre.
Accepting his award, conferred by NUS Chairman Mr Hsieh Fu Hua, Mr Goh said that FASS is a good place to produce leaders for society, the public sector, business as well as philanthropy, and especially in politics. “The Humanities teach you to look at civilisations, communities, people and economies both at the macro and micro level. They teach us to understand human nature and society, identify and analyse problems, anticipate trends and challenges and think out solutions for them,” he elaborated.
In his welcome address, Professor Robbie Goh, FASS Dean said that a challenge for the Faculty is how to nurture students with the same combination of intellectual passion and spirit of service to society as demonstrated by Mr Goh. “This dual mission is particularly important in an era of fierce competition for talent amongst the best universities, as well as various socioeconomic disruptions and threats from which Singapore is not spared,” he elaborated.
Prof Goh added that the Faculty will continue to strive towards recruiting talented educators and researchers globally, as well as strengthen its commitment to and engagement with society. “Rapid industry changes and disruptions mean that the increasing risk of redundancy in the Singapore work force is very real,” he said. In response, from next semester FASS will be offering more than 240 modules for Continuing Education and Training, allowing adult learners to benefit from access to more than 20 percent of the Faculty’s comprehensive curriculum of about 1,200 modules offered annually.
NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye conferred the Distinguished Arts and Social Sciences Alumni Award on six recipients:
• Dr Lee Soo Ann, Senior Fellow, NUS Economics and Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at NUS (Class of ’60, ’69)
• Mr Arthur Yap Hock Seng, Former Chairman, NUS Alumni Chapter in Vancouver, British Columbia (Class of ’63)
• Ms Pang Cheng Lian, Director, Temasek Foundation Cares and Mee Toh Foundation (Class of ’66, ’70)
• Dr Lee Tzu Pheng, an award-winning and internationally acclaimed poet (Class of ’68, ’72)
• Mr Edward Lee Kwong Foo, Chairman and Lead Independent Director, Indofood Agri Resources Ltd (Class of ’70)
• Mr Viswa Sadasivan, CEO, Strategic Moves (Class of ’83)
These outstanding alumni have achieved excellence in various fields locally and internationally, with their work contributing to the betterment and promotion of the arts and social sciences.
The event also saw STARS Awards presented to 158 faculty and staff for their contributions and achievements in the areas of service, teaching, research and long service.