NUS sets up endowed fund in honour of Tan Chorh Chuan

More than S$1.1 million has been raised in honour of Professor Tan Chorh Chuan’s immense contributions to NUS and Singapore during his tenure as NUS President

Alumni, faculty and friends of the National University of Singapore (NUS) have come together to establish a new endowed fund that will support students through scholarships, bursaries and study awards. The fund is set up in honour of Professor Tan Chorh Chuan for his years of dedicated service and outstanding contributions to the University and Singapore during his tenure as NUS President. 

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NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye (second from right) receiving a cheque of S$1,129,928 from Mr Johnny Tan, Chairman of the Alumni Student Advancement Committee (ASAC) at NUS (second from left); and Mr Yeo Keng Joon, Member of ASAC at NUS (first from left); for the new endowed fund.
Accompanying them on stage are Professor Tan Chorh Chuan (third from left); and Ms Jenny Lee, Vice President (Endowment and Institutional Development), NUS (first from right).

To date, gifts totalling more than S$1.1 million have been raised in the fundraising campaign championed by the Alumni Student Advancement Committee at NUS. The fund will disburse awards from Academic Year 2019/2020 onwards, and is expected to support up to 20 deserving students each year. The gifts will enable the University to apply for the prevailing Singapore government matching grant. A cheque for the amount was presented to NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye at a donor appreciation dinner that was held on 18 October 2018.

NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye said, “NUS is indebted to Prof Tan Chorh Chuan for his visionary leadership and outstanding contributions to the University. Chorh Chuan has always believed strongly in the value of education and its ability to transform lives for the better. This new endowed fund will help to realise the potential of our students by providing them with bursaries, scholarships and study awards. I thank our many donors for their generous contributions towards this endowed fund. I hope that their efforts will inspire more to give back to their alma mater.”

Prof Tan Chorh Chuan said, “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, who 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.”     

Prof Tan Chorh Chuan’s contributions to NUS and Singapore

An NUS alumnus, Prof Tan served NUS with distinction for the past 13 years – first as Provost in April 2004, and subsequently as President from December 2008 to December 2017. A former lecturer in the Department of Medicine, Prof Tan became the youngest dean of the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at NUS at the age of 38. The initiatives he had spearheaded has helped the University to become one of the world’s leading universities with a reputation for innovative global education and world-class research. These initiatives include Yale-NUS College, Duke-NUS Medical School and NUS University Town. 

Prof Tan was awarded the Public Service Star award 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 2018, Prof Tan was conferred the University Professorship by NUS in recognition of his distinctive contributions to the University. 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.