Sixty years ago, the Jen family came to Singapore from Hong Kong and found success here. Now, the Seybold & Suean Lin Jen Scholarship at the National University of Singapore (NUS), established by Dr Frank Jen in the memory of his parents, is helping Singapore’s next generation move forward in life.
The Seybold & Suean Lin Jen Scholarship supports four medical students annually at the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine over four years of study. Set up in 2007, the Scholarship has been awarded to eight students so far.
Dr Jen, a US citizen and a retired professor of Business from the State University of New York, Buffalo, says, “An educated human being is of tremendous value to society. When you give to education, you are investing in a human being.”
Talking of giving to NUS, he says, “Singapore is where my father found success and I have faith in NUS delivering results.”
Dr Jen, a staunch believer of Confucianism, which calls for community action in improving the human condition, says that it is critical to break out of any “cocoon economy” where the rich live inside their cocoon while others suffer.
Even though Dr Jen’s own childhood was comfortable, he heard enough stories of his father’s struggles and the help that he received from a wealthy uncle to be aware of the need to help those less fortunate. “The financially strapped student’s only crime is that he or she was born into a poor family. Governments and private charities have to help develop their potential.”
To the Jen Scholars, some of whom he met at a lunch, Dr Jen says, “Continue to improve yourselves and take care of the world.” To give an idea of his worldview, he quotes the words of a Chinese idiom, which says, “Take care of the old (and not just your old), take care of the young (and not just your young).”
For himself, Dr Jen says, “I hope the Jen Fund will last well beyond my lifetime.”
Dr Frank Jen’s gift was made through the NUS America Foundation, Inc, a California nonprofit organisation recognised by the Internal Revenue Service as a tax-exempt public charity under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Its mission is to support the advancement of the National University of Singapore’s mission of global education, research and service by facilitating charitable giving and fostering support from US-based alumni and friends of NUS.
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