One of the University’s oldest Halls of Residence, Raffles Hall, has raised close to half a million dollars from its inaugural fundraiser for the Hall’s financially disadvantaged residents. The newly established Raffles Hall Alumni Bursary Fund will disburse more than 20 bursary awards valued at $2,000 each to deserving students starting from Academic Year 2017/2018.
The Fund received a total of $468,675 from more than 120 alumni spanning the 1960s to recent years and also organisations such as the Tote Board and DBS Bank. The amount will come up to more than $1 million with a matching government grant. The Raffles Hall Alumni Bursary Fund still welcomes contributions.
Guest-of-Honour Supreme Court senior judge Justice Tan Lee Meng, who was Master of Raffles Hall from 1980 to 1997, graced the fundraiser on 27 March. Acknowledging the national week of mourning that marked the passing of Singapore’s founding Prime Minister the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, Justice Tan shared some anecdotes of his encounters with the late Mr Lee, an NUS eminent alumnus.
Engineering graduate Mr Arnan Koh from the Class of 2014, who attended the fundraiser, said: “Justice (Tan) recounted how the former Prime Minister always kept thinking about Singapore at the national and international scale but never forgot small matters like how potential mosquito breeding ground in the water collected in the banana trees around Raffles Hall during his visit and instructed people later on to drill holes to fix this.”
The fundraising effort was spearheaded by founding President of the Raffles Hall Association Mr Sonny Yuen, who was a Hall resident from 1982-1985 and had served as President of the Raffles Hall Junior Common Room Committee. The Association includes a group of Raffles Hall alumni and residents who initiate projects and activities to help reconnect alumni, while cultivating stronger ties between alumni and current students.
Reflecting the time at Raffles Hall as “a formative period in which we grew as individuals and forged lasting friendships with like-minded peers”, Mr Yuen said: “The fundraiser was a meaningful way to celebrate our long-cherished ties with Raffles Hall, and to contribute to a worthy cause to enable future students to similarly enjoy a fulfilling Raffles Hall experience as we had.”
Raffles Hall Master Associate Professor Ho Chee Kong said he was heartened to see that Raffles Hall meant so much to its alumni. “We are immensely grateful for the generosity of our alumni and friends who have come forward with their support. The new Raffles Hall Alumni Bursary Fund gives a strong boost to existing efforts to extend help to more NUS students at Raffles Hall so that they can benefit from a life-changing experience living and learning at NUS,” he added.
This article was first published on 7 April 2015 in NUS News at http://news.nus.edu.sg/highlights/8832-new-bursary-to-help-raffles-hall-residents