Alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the National University of Singapore (NUS) have come together to raise funds to honour the late Mr Wong Ah Long, a former member of the NUS Board of Trustees, a distinguished alumnus and an active member of the NUS community. The gifts will perpetuate Mr Wong’s belief in education and helping students in financial need by supporting bursaries, which will be named after Mr Wong.
Gifts totalling over S$669,000 from Mr Wong’s fellow alumni, family, friends as well as NUS faculty and staff, were announced at a dinner held on 19 January 2017 to celebrate his life and legacy. Mr Wong was most remembered for his loyal service to NUS, as well as his role in championing fundraisers to further various University causes. At steady state, the funds are expected to provide support for up to 26 deserving needy students each year.
The late Mr Wong graduated from the University of Singapore, NUS’ predecessor institution, in 1969. After graduation, Mr Wong remained very involved in the University, participating in many alumni activities, and held numerous advisory roles across the University. He also served on the NUS Board of Trustees from year 2000 to 2008. In recognition of his dedication and outstanding service to the University, Mr Wong was conferred the NUS Distinguished Alumni Service Award and the Distinguished Science Alumni Award in 2005, and the Eminent Alumni Award from the NUS Business School in 2003.
NUS Deputy President (Academic Affairs) and Provost, Professor Tan Eng Chye, said, “NUS is indebted and grateful to Ah Long for his immense contributions to the University. He was a committed and passionate member of our community who believed in the value of education and its ability to change lives for the better. He was a tireless fundraiser and, thanks to him, countless students have benefited from a transformational education at NUS. This fundraising effort in his memory is a fitting way to keep alive Ah Long’s dedication to helping needy students as well as his close association with the University.”
NUS alumnus Mr Yeo Keng Joon, who championed the fundraising efforts for the Bursary, said, “Ah Long is a dear friend. I would be failing as a fundraiser and as his friend if I did not champion an initiative to honour and leave a legacy for this great man. He has indeed touched many people and impacted them. The pace and quantum of the fundraising speak volumes of the high esteem and respect that our community has for Ah Long. I would like to thank everyone who has supported this initiative so generously.”
Professor Shih Choon Fong, a close friend and colleague of Mr Wong and former President of NUS, added, “I had the honour of serving on the NUS Board of Trustees for several years alongside Ah Long. We were privileged to count him as our alumnus. He provided us with sound counsel and leadership and was dedicated to ensuring that NUS, and all who form part of the NUS family, were able to reach their full potential. Ah Long was a big man with a big heart, with a generosity of spirit matched only by his love for his alma mater.”
Mrs Wong Pow Si, wife of the late Mr Wong, said, “My husband strongly believed that education should be made accessible to all deserving students. He was also passionate about mentoring and inspiring young people to pursue meaningful life aspirations. This student bursary in memory of him is therefore one which he would have appreciated very much.”