It’s been said that each generation stands upon the shoulders of those who have gone before. You see that spirit in action at the NUS Faculty of Dentistry, where two groups of cohorts have come forward to give their juniors a leg up.
The Class of ’71 Scholarship, set up in 1993, has been awarded to 14 dental undergraduate students while the Class of ’81 is organising a reunion symposium cum fund-raiser in aid of the NUS Dental Faculty Bursary Fund. The event will be held on 17 July and feature talks on the latest developments in dentistry by the Class of ’81 alumni. The funds raised will go towards bursaries to help deserving students.
Dr Eugene Tang Kok Weng, speaking for the Class of ’81, says, “The idea of a 30th-year class reunion went from a simple gathering to a fund-raising scientific symposium. After all we wouldn’t be where we are without the education that we received from the earlier generation and it is natural to want to return a little of that blessing to the next generation. And what better way to thank NUS for having nurtured you than to give back in terms of time and resources.”
Professor Chew Chong Lin, one of the donors of the Class of ’71 Scholarship, agrees. He says, “We have benefitted from our education at NUS and giving back to help and encourage others to achieve their educational goals is a worthy cause. Limited finance should not hinder one’s chance of getting an education.”
Both Prof Chew and Dr Tang have themselves been recipients of what Dr Tang calls “a blessing”. Prof Chew received the Liew Weng Chee Scholarship while Dr Tang received an ASEAN Scholarship and a Merit Scholarship.
Alumni like Dr Tang and Prof Chew are inspiring a new generation of students to give back. Among them are Dr Bien Lai (’06), who received the Class of ’71 Scholarship in 2005 and Dr Hu Shijia (’08), who received the Scholarship in 2007. Dr Hu says, “It was truly heartening to see graduates of the Class of ’71 contributing to their alma mater 40 years on. Having received a helping hand, I would like to pay it forward and help current and future students at NUS. You guys are an inspiration.” Dr Hu, who was teaching paediatric dentistry to undergraduate students at NUS, is embarking on post-graduate studies in paediatric dentistry through the NUS-Overseas graduate scholarship programme.
Meanwhile, Dr Lai is about to return to Singapore to practise paediatric dentistry after finishing a residency at a US graduate school. She says, “I won’t forget the people who helped shape me into the person I am today. I would also like to do something to help.” Class gifts such as these are making a difference to tomorrow’s world by nurturing its citizens today. For more information on making a gift to NUS, please call Ms Ho Yuen Kwan at 6516 5755 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To make a gift to the Facu