C J KOH PROFESSORSHIP IN LAW (1996)
Lawyer and philanthropist Mr Koh Choon Joo was a reticent man of many talents – as adept in legal principles as he was in the works of Aristotle and Socrates and the world of art. Described as a ‘gentleman lawyer’ by retired High Court Judge Mr Choor Singh, Mr Koh’s quiet wisdom inspired great loyalty among his clients. Well-known lawyer Mr Harry Wee, who worked at Mr Koh’s firm C J Koh & Co, reminisced that Mr Koh’s clients would refuse to consult anyone else in his absence.
Mr Koh read widely, often jotting down his observations in a scrapbook. He said, “To know when and where to do a thing is one of the keys to success in life…A trained mind is a desideratum.”
His success benefited many as Mr Koh gave generously of his time and money. He was Magistrate of the Junior Court, an honorary position. He gave regularly to the Salvatio Army and Boys’ Town. He made generous gifts to NUS to build and develop the Law Library and support students and faculty.
Mr Koh wrote fiction and poetry. He also painted and collected art.
Born in Indonesia in 1901, Mr Koh was sent to England at the age of six. He was admitted to the Middle Temple in 1925. After being called to the Bar, he came to Singapore where he joined Sir Ong Siang Song at his law firm. He later setup his own firm. Mr Koh passed away in 1997.
NUS established the CJ Koh Professorship in his honour. The Professorship will enable the Faculty of Law to engage eminent legal experts,who will teach and participate in research, bringing their knowledge and unique perspectives to the NUS community and to Singapore to further its ever-growing regional and international role.
The Professorship is supported by a gift from the Estate of CJ Koh.
CHAO TZEE CHENG PROFESSORSHIP IN PATHOLOGY AND FORENSIC SCIENCE (2001)
“Let the dead teach the living” was the motto of eminent forensic pathologist Dr Chao Tzee Cheng. Dedicated to uncovering the truth in the bodies he examined, Dr Chao repeatedly proved that dead men do tell tales and that these learnings can be used for the good of humanity. His medical investigations helped to solve such famous cases as the Scripps body parts murder and the Flor Contemplacion case, earning him the title of Justice of Murder. He also undertook investigations in mass tragedies, such the Cable Car tragedy of 1983 and the SilkAir crash, and championed child safety, educating people about behaviours that can result in fatal accidents.
Trained at the University of Hong Kong and Hammersmith College, London, Dr Chao carried out 25,000 autopsies over an illustrious career. He was a Clinical Professor at NUS, President of the Singapore Society of Pathology, Founder of the Medico-Legal Society, and Founding Director of the world-class Institute of Science and Forensic Medicine, which brought together a range of forensics specialties from ballistics to DNA testing.
A powerful orator with a keen eye for detail, Dr Chao’s ability to solve challenging cases raised Singapore’s profile in forensic pathology and elevated its criminal justice system. Dr Chao also helped develop the next generation of pathologists. He was awarded the Public Administration Silver and Gold medals. Dr Chao passed away in 2000.
With support from a fundraising committee chaired by Professor Tan Ser Kiat and from other individuals and organisations who were inspired by Dr Chao, NUS established the Chao Tzee Cheng Professorship to honour Dr Chao. The Professorship enables the University to engage eminent professors in the field of pathology and forensic science to share their expertise, cooperate in research and education with faculty members and contribute to Singapore’s ever-growing regional and international role.
CHEN SU LAN CENTENNIAL PROFESSORSHIP IN MEDICAL ETHICS (2005)
Born in Fuzhou in 1885, Chen Su Lan enrolled in the newly established Medical School in Singapore, topped his class and was in the pioneer group of the first seven medical graduates in 1910.
He served on the Council of the King Edward VII College of Medicine, was president of the Malayan branch of the British Medical Association, the first president and later President Emeritus of the Alumni Association.
While practising full-time as a physician, Dr Chen worked tirelessly to improve the social conditions of his day. He was best known for his anti-opium work. He initiated a fundraising campaign and established the Anti-Opium Clinic in 1933. With the assistance of volunteer doctors, some 7,000 addicts were rehabilitated.
To combat the post-war social problems of poverty, unemployment and crime, he saw a need to reach out to the Chinese-speaking youth and started the Chinese YMCA (now known as the Metropolitan YMCA) in 1946, serving the organisation until his retirement at the age of 80.
He spearheaded the drive by the medical Alumni Association for the establishment of a university for Malaya. Elected to the first Court of the new University of Malaya in 1949, he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Laws in 1952.
Dr Chen passed away in 1972. A man of vision, prodigious energy and moral conscience, the ethos of service to the community was the emanation of his Methodist faith and the central leitmotif of his life.
The Chen Su Lan Centennial Professorship in Medical Ethics was established in 2005 with a gift from the Chen Su Lan Trust to foster humanitarian and ethical values in the practice of Medicine and to equip young doctors with the ethical framework to meet the challenges of the 21st century. This Professorship is in keeping with Dr Chen Su Lan’s commitment to the qualities of professionalism, integrity and ethics in the practice of medicine.
CLASS OF ’62 PROFESSORSHIP (1997)
The Class of ’62 was the bearer of hope; the first to step out into a world that would be theirs to make as they dreamt. Singapore stepped out of the colonial shadow that year and the University of Singapore (NUS’ predecessor), too, found its place in the sun, its own identity after separating from the University of Malaya.
That first cohort lived true to the dreams of the nation. Among them were brilliant doctors, lawyers, civil servants, educators, scientists and the country’s current President Dr Tony Tan – who all contributed much to Singapore’s meteoric rise over the next few decades. To name a few – Mr Dennis Tay, Dr Stephen Chee, Dr Edward Jacob, Mr Lee Ong Pong, Assistant Professor Edwin Lee, Miss Lim Hsiu Mei, Mr Peter Szeto, Professor Augustine Tan, Dr Wong Sze Tai and Dr Wong Yew Cheong – all of whom were members of the fundraising committee.
In 1997, the illustrious cohort gathered to make a gift to their alma mater to celebrate 35 years since their graduation and pass on the riches of a university education to successive generations. Dr Tan, then Deputy Prime Minister, was the patron of the fund.
NUS established the Class of ’62 Professorship in their honour. This was the first alumni class gift towards a professorship. The gift enables the University to welcome eminent professors to the Faculty of Science to teach, conduct research and share their wealth of knowledge with the University community and the country at large. This helps further develop the quality of science graduates and enhances Singapore’s position as a center of excellence in science and healthcare.
COURAGE FUND VISITING PROFESSORSHIP/ FELLOWSHIP IN INFECTIOUS DISEASE AND EPIDEMIOLOGY (2004)
The Courage Fund was initially set up as the Severe Acute Respiratory Symptoms (SARS) relief fund by a group of young junior doctors to provide financial relief to those affected by SARS in Singapore during the outbreak in 2003. The disease had an unprecedented impact on not just public health but all sectors of Singapore’s society and economy. The worst of the impact was on healthcare workers, who were on the frontline against what was described as the first emerging infectious disease of the 21st century.
When the Courage Fund was set up in April 2003, contributions flowed in from many sources – ordinary Singaporean men, women, and children; corporations; overseas Singaporeans; and community organisations. It was a tremendous gesture of support for those affected by this novel emerging virus. The SARS Relief Fund was subsequently merged into the Courage Fund, which was then managed by the National Healthcare Group, Singapore Health Services, Singapore Medical Association, Singapore Nurses’ Association, and Singapore Press Holdings.
The Fund continues today as a tribute to healthcare workers. It offers bursaries to selected health professionals seeking further education, and provides awards for outstanding healthcare workers. It also supports programmes that protect the wider community from the risk of widespread infectious diseases.
With support from the Courage Fund, NUS established the Courage Fund Visiting Professorship/ Fellowship in Infectious Disease and Epidemiology. This professorship enables the University to appoint eminent international experts in infectious disease and epidemiology, who can contribute to various initiatives that build up Singapore’s capability in epidemiology and infectious disease management and control. Appointed professors may conduct teaching and/or research programmes at NUS, the Communicable Disease Centre and other suitable institutions. They also share their knowledge with Singapore’s healthcare professionals to promote capabilities in these critical clinical areas.
CYCLE & CARRIAGE PROFESSORSHIP IN BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (1983)
From a family-owned business that dealt in sundries like soap and nutmegs, to one of Singapore’s largest corporations whose name is synonymous with excellence – the 116-year history of Jardine Cycle & Carriage offers many lessons on what it takes to build a successful organisation.
Singapore’s leading automotive group started as Federal Stores that was set up by the Chua brothers in 1899 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The first modern car, designed by Karl Benz in 1886, had just made an appearance. The Chua brothers started selling bicycles, motorcycles and then cars, under the ‘Cycle & Carriage’ banner. The company moved its headquarters to Singapore in 1926.
The company encountered many obstacles in its path to success – World War I, the Great Depression of the 1930s,World War II, as well as the separation of Malaysia and Singapore. But the company rebounded after every adversity, winning the Mercedes-Benz franchise in 1951.
In 2000, an opportunity arose for the company to purchase an interest in PT Astra International Tbk in Indonesia, the largest vertically integrated automotive player in Southeast Asia and a leader in other industries. In 2002, Cycle & Carriage became a subsidiary of the Jardine Matheson Group.
Today, the Jardine Cycle & Carriage Group represents some of the world’s leading automotive names in Singapore and the region and has diverse business interests ranging from automotives, financial services, agribusiness, heavy equipment and mining, infrastructure, logistics to information technology. It employs 245,000 people across Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and Myanmar.
Resilience, efficiency and commitment to excellence are consistent attributes in the company’s trajectory and are key to its continued success.
The Cycle & Carriage Professorship in Business Administration was established at NUS Business School on the company’s 85th anniversary. The Professorship enables the University to engage eminent professors in management to teach on visiting appointments.