National University of Singapore (NUS) has unveiled a Donor Wall and a series of wall panels to recognise and honour the many benefactors who, through their generosity and passion, enabled the University to transform itself from a small medical college in 1905 to the leading global university it is today.
The Donor Wall and panels, which take pride of place at the University Hall Atrium, document the University’s metamorphosis and growth through its predecessor institutions – King Edward VII Medical School (1913), Raffles College (1928), University of Malaya (1949), Nanyang University (1955), University of Singapore (1962) and National University of Singapore (1980) – and acknowledge the committed men and women who made significant contributions at every stage of its progress by giving to the University.
Speaking at the unveiling ceremony, which was attended by members of the University’s Board of Trustees, senior administrators and friends, NUS President, Professor Tan Chorh Chuan, noted that philanthropy was not new to the University. He cited the story of Mr Tan Jiak Kim, who petitioned the government of the then Governor of the Straits Settlements to establish the first medical school in Singapore, and then galvanised the community to raise $87,000 for the cause. Prof Tan said, “At each successive stage of the University, philanthropic contributions from the community were critical in allowing the institutions to grow, to flower, to combine together to create the NUS that we know today.”
The University’s enduring tradition of philanthropy and the growing support from the community and beyond are heartening, he said, as “we move together to pursue our collective vision and goal to make NUS a global leading University”. He added that the Donor Wall is “a symbol of deep gratitude for the support and help which has enabled the University to develop”, pointing out that ample space has been left on the wall to accommodate the names of future benefactors.
Prof Tan thanked all those who have supported the University, among them the alumni, noting that alumni giving grew by nearly 50 percent last year. There’s also been an increase in giving among staff and faculty. Addressing the Board of Trustees, who are some of the University’s major benefactors, Prof Tan thanked them for sharing their personal expertise, energy and connections in helping to shape the direction of the University and to raise philanthropic support.
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