At the Credit Suisse Philanthropists Forum 2012 – “The Pacific Century and Philanthropy: Maximising Donor Impact” hosted by the National University of Singapore (NUS), Dr Stephen Riady, Chairman of OUE Group, presented a generous gift of S$25 million to NUS. The gift will support NUS University Town (UTown) and Yale-NUS College. The Forum, which serves as a platform for philanthropists and non-profit organisations to share their experiences, was held at UTown, a new residential college system that offers students a rich living-learning experience.
Delivering the welcome address, Deputy President (Academic Affairs) and Provost, Professor Tan Eng Chye said, “It is apt that today’s workshop is taking place at UTown, for UTown demonstrates how our University can work with and through philanthropic support – collectively, we scale greater heights in education and research, and deliver an outcome that is impactful and contributes positively to society.”
In the first plenary session, moderated by Dr Rob John, Senior Visiting Fellow, Asia Centre for Social Entrepreneurship & Philanthropy, NUS, representatives from international philanthropic circles, Dasra, Keio University Research Institute and New Day Asia, shared different approaches to collaborative giving.
Professor Tommy Koh, former Singapore ambassador to the United Nations, chaired a session in which NUS academics illustrated the impact philanthropic contributions have on the University. Associate Professor and Senior Consultant Dr Allen Yeoh, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, NUS, shared that research, funded by philanthropy, has facilitated better prediction and treatment of childhood leukaemia. The Master of Angsana College at UTown, Professor Adeline Seow, spoke about helping her students engage meaningfully with the communities around them and nurture philanthropic initiatives beyond their graduation days. Professors Leo Tan and Peter Ng also explained how philanthropic support will make possible the preservation of Singapore’s natural history through the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum for future generations.
Following lunch at UTown’s Chua Thian Poh Multi-Purpose Hall, Credit Suisse Vice-Chairman Mr Lito Camacho introduced the “Why I Give” donor forum. The speakers were Dr Stephen Riady; Dr Fabio Landazabal, Senior Vice President and Area Director Asia Pacific of GlaxoSmithKline; and Mr Keith Chua, Co-Trustee of the Mrs Lee Choon Guan Trust Fund, who discussed their reasons for giving including family values, religious beliefs and corporate responsibility. The forum was chaired by Professor Tan Tai Yong, Vice Provost of Student Life, NUS.
Following Dr Riady’s announcement of a S$25 million gift to NUS, he said, “I am delighted to support NUS’ vision for leadership in higher education. I am also confident that NUS will be successful in achieving its vision for its students. It is with pleasure that I make my contribution to the progress of this great institution.”