“Education was the X-factor and our leverage to have a better chance to succeed in life,” says businessman Mr Wong Ah Long (’69). Mr Wong and his wife, Ms Yang Pow Si (’73), recently made a gift to the National University Singapore (NUS) Campus Couples Bursary Fund, part of the alumni-led NUS Alumni Bursary Fund Campaign. The Fund encourages couples who met on campus to make a gift to bursaries in support of financially-disadvantaged students.
The couple met while studying at the University of Singapore, NUS’ predecessor institution, during Rag Day. He was pursuing an MBA and she was studying Business. “You never know who you will meet. The campus is a fantastic crucible for people to develop friendships. My wife is my anchor and my better half,” explains Mr Wong.
The couple have many fond memories of their time at the Bukit Timah campus. There were the many hours spent with their fellow students sipping “teh tarik” at the sarabat stall, affectionately dubbed “The Watering Hole”, and the student Union House.
“University was a very positive experience. It gave us the chance to share and make lifelong friends from many cultures and Faculties. Today, we still meet up as a group at Chinese New Year,” shares Mr Wong.
Mr Wong has watched the University evolve over the years. “NUS has undergone tremendous change. It has grown into an internationally renowned university. The courses are more interesting. And, students have so many opportunities – such as overseas exchanges – that did not exist in my day,” says Mr Wong.
“Notwithstanding its size, the University recognises the importance of friendships and interaction. University Town has succeeded in replicating the intermingling of students from different Faculties that existed at the old Bukit Timah campus.”
Since graduation, Mr Wong has stayed very involved in the University, participating in many activities at the Office of Alumni Relations, the National University of Singapore Society, the Business School and the Science Faculty and served on the Board of Trustees.
“The University and alumni have a symbiotic relationship. They recognise the importance of each other. The success of alumni also reflects the success of the University and vice versa,” he explains.
The gift to the Campus Couples Bursary Fund was a natural next step for Mr Wong and Mrs Wong. “We feel it is the right thing to do and it came very easily to us. We are very fortunate to be blessed – education gave us the opportunity to make a reasonable living,” says Mr Wong. “We would like to help others through our token. It will make us happy, no matter who we are helping.”
Are you a campus couple? Would you like to support the NUS Campus Couples Bursary Fund? For more information about the NUS Campus Couples Bursary Fund, or to make a gift, please firstname.lastname@example.org.
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