ALUMNI ASSOCIATION ROTATING VISITING PROFESSORSHIP (1998)
The Alumni Association was established more than 90 years ago as the Singapore Medical College Graduates’ Association. They were later joined by dentistry and pharmacy graduates, sister-disciplines.
In the early years of its proud history, the Association fought for professional recognition for medical officers in the government in terms of salary, status, working conditions and post-graduate study leave. The Medical Service was the first to do away with discrimination between expatriate and local doctors, paving the way for other Civil Service branches to follow in it wake.
The birth of the University of Malaya (NUS’ predecessor) also owes much to the Association whose prominent members, like Dr Chen Su Lan and Dr K Shanmugaratnam, pressed the colonial government to setup the University with the amalgamation of the King Edward VII College of Medicine and Raffles College.
With the establishment of separate professional bodies, the Association moved away from its role as ‘professional guardian’ to a social platform. From 1997, students were welcomed to meet, learn and share ideas with their seniors. It is an egalitarian club. Students and young doctors mingle with deans, consultants and vice-chancellors in a friendly atmosphere regardless of seniority and rank. The Association organises reunions, field trips, dinners, talks and outings and brings doctors, dentists and pharmacists together to network and share experiences.
On the occasion of the Association’s 75th anniversary, its members decided to further strengthen their bond with the alma mater, and they backed up this commitment by supporting the establishment of a professorship at NUS.
NUS established the Alumni Association Rotating Visiting Professorship. As the Association consists of medical doctors, dental surgeons and pharmacists, the Professorship rotates between medical, dental and pharmacy Faculties, enabling the University to bring in distinguished visiting professors in these areas.
The Professorship is supported by the Singapore National Eye Centre and members of the Alumni Association of Medicine.
AMALADASS PROFESSORSHIP IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE (2013)
Mr Amaladass came late to the study of law. He was already 45 years old; a retired police assistant Super intendent. He had started his career as a police constable in 1958. After his retirement, he studied law in London and was called to the Bar in 1980. His determination and integrity won him the admiration of friends and colleagues. In fact, after his sudden death from a heart attack in 2008, one of his close friends made a gift to the National University of Singapore in his memory.
The donor, who prefers to remain anonymous, knew Mr Amaladass for 30 years. He says, “I found him to be very reliable, a principled man, full of humility. I admired his perseverance in going about to achieve his goals that he set for himself.” The gift to NUS is meant to “show future lawyers that even though you may be an ordinary practitioner doing work, as long as you lead a good life, be upright in your dealings with people and be a principled man, people will still remember you and appreciate what you stand for”.
Senior Counsel Sant Singh, who had known Mr Amaladass for more than 40 years, said, “He took his practice of law very seriously and did his best. People remember you by the little things you do and not how much money you make in life.”
The Amaladass Professorship builds on the Amaladass Fellowship, first established in 2009 to commemorate Mr Amaladass’ life and work in criminal law. With a second gift in 2013, the Fellowship was converted to the Amaladass Professorship. The donor hopes that the professorship will promote research in criminal law in Singapore while encouraging NUS Law students to consider a career in that field.
ARTHUR LIM PROFESSORSHIP IN OPHTHALMOLOGY (2014)
The late Professor Arthur Lim was a man of vision, literally and metaphorically. Prof Lim dedicated his life to turning his dream into reality – grooming eye specialists in Singapore and the region. He was responsible for the creation and development of the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC), Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI), the Department of Ophthalmology, National University Hospital, and NUS.
Prof Lim had a big heart. He shared his expertise freely and donated generously towards research and training, even spreading his cataract surgery teaching programme throughout China by establishing the International Tianjin Intraocular Implant Training Centre. Prof Lim said, “If you spread the teachings of good quality eye surgery to your colleagues, they will ultimately restore vision to millions of blind victims in the world.”
Born in Hong Kong in 1934, Prof Lim graduated from the University of Malaya (NUS’ predecessor) in 1956. Over the years, Prof Lim held over 60 major national and international appointments. He served as President of both the Singapore Medical Association and the Medical Alumni Association. Prof Lim, who defined alumni volunteerism, was appointed Chairman of the Universities’ Endowment Fund. Here, too, he lived true to his belief, “A good doctor’s true wealth is the good he does for others in the world”, inspiring many to support education to fulfil the dreams of future generations. SNEC and Duke-NUS established the prestigious Arthur Lim Professorship in Ophthalmology in conjunction with NUS to honour the medical visionary.
The Professorship is supported by a gift from the SNEC Health Research Endowment Fund, which recognises Prof Lim’s lifelong dedication and commitment to developing quality eye care, education and research in Singapore, with far-reaching contributions to the world.
The Professorship will be awarded to an outstanding clinician and researcher who demonstrates academic leadership in medical education and promotes the advancement of new frontiers in medicine – hallmarks that distinguished Prof Lim’s illustrious career.