The National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School has established a S$1.11 million memorial fund in honour of the late Professor Leong Siew Meng, a key faculty member of the School who passed away in September 2013 after a prolonged battle with cancer.
The Leong Siew Meng Memorial Fund, aimed at encouraging and supporting the School’s undergraduates in pursuing excellence in the area of marketing, will be channelled towards the Leong Siew Meng Memorial Scholarship, as well as Prizes in Marketing, Principles of Marketing, and Asian Markets and Marketing Management. It will also fund a Bursary for talented students facing financial difficulties. The Fund was created with contributions from the School’s staff and faculty members, former students, close friends, corporate associates, and matching grants from the Government.
Known and respected for his dedication to marketing research and education, Professor Leong was a distinguished member of NUS Business School for more than 30 years, training many of Singapore’s business leaders. He held various key appointments after joining the School in 1981, including Interim Dean (2001 – 2002), Head of the Department of Marketing (2000 – 2001), and Vice Dean of Research (1999 – 2000 and also 2010).
“Siew Meng was an inspiration to his students and fellow colleagues, and touched the lives of many. Despite his battle with cancer, he continued with his research and teaching duties. He showed us what it means to persevere and be positive, facing life’s adversities with courage,” said Professor Bernard Yeung, Dean and Stephen Riady Distinguished Professor of NUS Business School. “We thus set up the Fund to enable Siew Meng’s passion and love for marketing education to live on. We hope to preserve his legacy by encouraging deserving and financially-needy undergraduates to achieve excellence in their academic pursuits. We are also grateful for the support of all our donors who have made this possible,” added Professor Yeung.
Despite being weak and needing a wheelchair due to illness, Professor Leong was dedicated to his students, teaching until two weeks before his passing on 24 September 2013.
“Professor Leong could no longer walk on his own in his last few months of lectures and needed a wheelchair. Another teaching assistant and I helped him to the classroom during that time. What struck me was that Professor Leong could not speak for very long whenever we were on the way to the classroom. His voice was so powerless and I was always worried that he would not be able to teach the class. But once the classes began, he would suddenly turn into a lively lecturer, pushing students to think hard about the principles and practice of marketing. He always had sharp comments and witty humour. His lectures have been the best undergraduate classes I have attended, and his passion and love for teaching deeply touched me,” said Zhang Xing, a doctoral student who was Professor Leong’s teaching assistant.
“I am honoured to be a recipient of the Leong Siew Meng Memorial Bursary, which allows me to focus more on my studies as it relieves my family’s financial worries. My sister is currently our sole breadwinner, so having a portion of my school fees covered by the Bursary means that we will have more money for daily household expenses,” said Joycelyn Ho, a third-year Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) student who is majoring in Marketing. She added: “Apart from motivating me to do my best at NUS Business School so as not to let the donors down, the Bursary also inspires me to pay the kindness forward, such as helping future NUS Business School students after I graduate.”
The Leong Siew Meng Memorial Fund will be available to students from this year.
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