Professor Christopher Tang is a big believer in expanding students’ visions beyond wealth creation.
The former dean (2002-2004) of the National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School not only founded the globally recognised UCLA-NUS Executive MBA (EMBA) Program in 2003, but he is also committed to supporting its most outstanding NUS students. Named after Prof Tang’s late mother, the See Lai Ngor Prize is awarded to the top student doing well academically as well as the “most caring student”, as voted by classmates.
“I want to show my commitment and support to recognise our students who do well in this life-transforming programme for executives who seek to expand their vision beyond wealth creation. The UCLA-NUS Executive MBA Program was founded to create business leaders who care about the triple bottom line: people, planet and profit. I would imagine the most caring award should go to someone who cares about others and the planet and who inspires others to do the same,” Prof Tang explains the decision behind setting up the prize.
During his years as dean, the visionary professor was instrumental in developing the strong identity of the NUS Business School, growing its status internationally. Today, he is a UCLA Distinguished Professor and the holder of the Edward W. Carter Chair in Business Administration at the UCLA Anderson School.
So does he miss being at NUS? “There are so many fond memories, such as sending off our BBA students at 5am for their Rag and Flag fund raising activities, meeting students at the canteen for me to learn from them regarding how we can improve the school, convincing donors to support our students by offering scholarships and bursaries, meeting alumni in Singapore and China to learn from them regarding how we can make our school more international,” says Prof Tang.
The gift is also his way of remembering his late mother, whom he admires greatly for bravely leaving an abusive husband to give her sons a better chance at surviving physically and mentally in the late 1960s.
“It took her a lot of courage because her decision was not supported by even her own mother. Her courage has enabled her sons to receive doctoral degrees and to establish successful careers. Her commitment to fight for a better life for others shaped the way I think and act. This is the virtue I have adopted throughout my life,” he muses.
Prof Tang received a graduate scholarship at Yale University and a research fellowship at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center. Grateful to these two great institutions, the passionate teacher wants to be an example of the giving to encourage students to help others as well.
“By paying forward and by helping others, we can make the world a better place.”
To find out more about giving to NUS, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org