This year, more than 180 donors, class champions, bursary recipients and faculty and staff members gathered at the National University of Singapore (NUS) to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Annual Giving (AG) campaign. The event was held to celebrate the spirit of giving at the heart of the campaign, thank donors who have given loyally for the past 10 years and recognise class champions for their dedication to the campaign.
This is a special year as, to mark this significant milestone for the AG campaign, for the first time both the AG Donor Appreciation event and the Commencement Class Giving Awards were combined in a single event.
Giving the opening welcome speech at the event, Professor Tan Eng Chye, Deputy President (Academic Affairs) and Provost, stressed the importance of philanthropy in shaping NUS’story and how philanthropic gifts will allow the University to reach greater heights of excellence.
Prof Tan also highlighted the transformative impact of giving on students and the student experience. “Gifts from AG donors are the primary source of funding for financial aid that NUS awards to financially needy students. A university education is often seen as a social leveller and a means to a better life ahead. Bursaries thus provide relief to needy students, allowing them to donate their time and energy in their academic pursuits and also allow them to partake in other enriching areas of university life, without having to worry unnecessarily about their financial situation.”
The AG campaign has gone from strength to strength over the past 10 years. In 2013, S$4 million was raised, allowing NUS to award 3,000 bursaries, a steady increase compared to the sum S$970,000 which was raised when the campaign first started in 2005.
Loyal AG donor, Dr Kow Mei Kao (’87), who attended the dinner said, “I received my PHD in Chinese Studies at NUS. I am very grateful to the University and I have been giving back to NUS ever since then. I hope that even though my token is small, it will be an encouragement to students to materialise their dreams.”
Twenty-nine Commencement Class champions from all Faculties were also honoured for their enthusiasm and spirit of giving. Their dedication and dynamism shown as they stepped forward to rally their friends for a worthy cause has helped to cultivate a culture of giving to one’s alma mater. On receiving the certificate of appreciation from Prof Tan, student champion, M Unnaamalai, from King Edward VII Hall shared, “It feels good to know that our little efforts are being recognised.”
Commencement Class Champion from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Dwight Tan Jin Zhou, strongly believes that it is important to lend a hand to those studying in NUS who may be facing challenges. He said, “One does not have to wait until you are rich and successful to give. Every little part counts, and there is no better time to give than now, when you are still a student.”
During the dinner, bursary recipients were given the opportunity to mingle with the donors and exchange stories. Many of them were truly touched by the donors’ care and benevolence. Gina Ng and Valerie Ling, students from the Faculty of Science and recipients of the NUS Bursary award shared, “Tonight’s event was a very meaningful and enjoyable one. We get to talk to the donors and get to know them. It is also a chance for us to show our appreciation and thank them.”
Here are the winners of the Annual Giving Commencement Class Awards 2014:
Category: Faculty with over 1,000 graduating students
Presented to Faculty of Science
Category: Best Participation Award: Faculty between 400 and 1,000 graduating students
Presented to Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine
Category: Best Participation Award: Faculty with below 400 graduating students
Presented to Faculty of Dentistry
Category: Best Participation Award: Halls of Residence
Presented to King Edward VII Hall
Category: Outstanding Achievement Award: Department with 100% Participation
Presented to Department of Pharmacy
Congratulations to all our winners. Thank you all for your dedication and generosity!
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