LEE FOUNDATION PROFESSORSHIP IN US-CHINA RELATIONS (2013)
The Lee Foundation, established in 1952 by pre – eminent business man and philanthropist Dr Lee Kong Chian, channels three-fourth of their gifts towards educational and learning institutions.
The Lee Foundation continues to build on the legacy of Dr Lee, who was passionate about education and gave generously to educational and research institutions. He was called “a superlative friend to education”. The son of a first-generation immigrant, he came to Singapore with little formal education, but went on to win a scholarship to China and study engineering. When his education was disrupted by the 1911 revolution, he came back to Singapore and started working as a teacher, while continuing to study after work. He was the first Chancellor of the University of Singapore, NUS’ predecessor institution. Dr Lee passed away in 1967.
The Lee Foundation has made transformative gifts to the National Library, NUS and other educational institutions, supporting scholarships, bursaries, professorships, medical studies and other initiatives and programmes.
NUS established the Lee Foundation Professorship in China-US Relations to honour an organisation that has worked for the betterment of lives and society through education for more than six decades. The Professorship enables the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP) at NUS to welcome an eminent academic with deep insights into the bilateral relations of two of the world’s largest powers. The interaction between the countries exerts a fundamental impact on global peace and prosperity. Asia-Pacific is a key arena for both superpowers, which places LKYSPP in an ideal position to study and teach the dynamics between the two countries and its implications.
The Professorship is supported by a gift from the Lee Foundation.
LEE KONG CHIAN CENTENNIAL PROFESSORSHIP (2005)
LEE KONG CHIAN CENTENNIAL PROFESSORSHIP IN CARDIOVASCULAR RESEARCH (2005)
Dr Lee Kong Chian’s spectacular business success is surpassed only by his legacy of philanthropy. The man who would earn the title ‘Prince of Philanthropy’ came to Singapore from Fujian, China, in 1903 as a poor 10-year-old boy of little education. He went on to establish a multi-million dollar business, was Chairman of OCBC Bank till his death in 1967, and was the first Asian Chancellor of the University of Singapore (NUS’ predecessor institution).
But what Dr Lee is remembered for most is his generosity to a host of causes, particularly education. The Rt Hon Malcolm Macdonald, former Chancellor of the University of Malaya, called Dr Lee “a superlative friend to education”. One of NUS’ principal benefactors, Dr Lee gave generously to the University of Malaya, the National Library, the Singapore Medical Research Fund to set up the Institute of Medical Specialities at Singapore General Hospital, and many other educational institutions in China and Malaysia as well as social causes. The Lee Foundation, which he established in 1952, carries on his sterling legacy.
NUS established the Lee Kong Chian Centennial Professorship and the Lee Kong Chian Centennial Professorship in Cardiovascular Research to honour one of the country’s legendary figures.
The Lee Kong Chian Centennial Professorship is awarded to eminent academics, who have demonstrated an exceptional level of achievement in their field of study and work at the forefront of intellectual enquiry. They contribute substantially to teaching, provide leadership in research and entrepreneurship and build industry partnerships.
The Lee Kong Chian Professorship in Cardiovascular Research is designated to Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School and the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine. This professorship helps improve outcomes of treatment in many of today’s complex and often difficult to manage cardiac and vascular problems in our rapidly ageing population.
The Lee Kong Chian Centennial Professorships are supported by gifts from the Lee Foundation.
LEE SENG TEIK & LEE HOO LENG PROFESSORSHIP IN PLASTIC SURGERY & REGENERATIVE MEDICINE (2014)
Over his illustrious career, Professor Lee Seng Teik, Emeritus Consultant of Singapore General Hospital’s (SGH) Department of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery, has been at the vanguard in his field. His numerous achievements include research studies in genetic craniofacial anomalies and long-term outcome studies in cleft lip and palate.
He was Head of the SGH Plastic Surgery Department and the Burns Centre from 1985 to 1998. In 1990, he started the stem cell lab in the National Burns Centre.
In 2005, Prof Lee initiated the Adult Stem Cell Research Group on the Outram campus, based at the Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI), for translational research in plastic surgery, neurology, ophthalmology and oncology.
When the conjoined Nepalese twins Ganga and Jamuna were separated in a mammoth 103-hour operation, Prof Lee led the reconstruction team and covered their brain with artificial skin. This was a first for Singapore.
As a Distinguished Singapore Volunteer Overseas, Prof Lee has actively been involved in humanitarian work for over 30 years.
Mr Lee Hoo Leng is a private investor and held directorships in various companies. He is also an alumnus of Raffles College and NUS (’52) and a Global Council member for the Asia Society, an educational organisation that promotes partnerships between Asia and the US in a global context. He is also a close family friend of Professor Lee Seng Teik.
The Lee Seng Teik and Lee Hoo Leng Professorship in Plastic Surgery and Regenerative Medicine will enable new insights into tissue and organ regeneration, resulting in new therapies relevant to ageing populations, tissue engineering of organs, tissues for replacement therapy and also translational research in both acute and chronic wound healing.
The Professorship is supported by gifts from Professor Lee Seng Teik and Mr Lee HooLeng.
LEO TAN PROFESSORSHIP IN BIODIVERSITY SCIENCE (2013)
Professor Leo Tan (’69) has worn many hats in an outstanding career – teacher, researcher, administrator – but he is, essentially, a man of science who loves nature and has given his all to preserving Singapore’s natural treasures for the enjoyment and education of future generations.
Prof Tan has always fought the odds and emerged triumphant. His quiet manner and gentle smile belie a fierce resolution. He fought for 40 years for the preservation of Labrador Park, Singapore’s only rocky coast, from development. As Director, he turned the sleepy Singapore Science Centre into one of the world’s top 10 science centres. As Chairman of NParks, he championed the idea of densely populated Singapore as a City in a Garden and the Gardens by the Bay because “nature heals”. And he championed the massive Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum to house the vast collection of Southeast Asian flora and fauna dating back to the 1800s from the historic Raffles Museum and raised the funds to turn his dream into a sustainable reality. As he says, “Science is culture, just as art is culture. It is our heritage, our natural heritage.”
Prof Tan received the Public Service Medal in 1995, the Public Service Star in 2001 and the President’s Award for the Environment in 2007, among other accolades. NUS established the Leo Tan Professorship in Biodiversity Science to honour an eminent alumnus and faculty member. Prof Tan received his B.Sc and PhD degrees from the University of Singapore (NUS’ predecessor). He is the Director (Special Projects), Dean’s Office, Faculty of Science and advisor to Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum. The Professorship will enable the University to strengthen the important discipline of biodiversity, natural heritage and conservation.
The Professorship was spearheaded by former President Mr S R Nathan and supported by generous gifts from the Lee Foundation, Stephen Riady Group of Foundations and other individuals.
LI KA-SHING PROFESSORSHIP IN POLITICAL SCIENCE (2014)
LIKA-SHING PROFESSORSHIP IN ECONOMICS (2014)
LI KA-SHING PROFESSORSHIP IN PUBLIC MANAGEMENT (2014)
Hong Kong business magnate and philanthropist Mr Li Ka-shing lost his father at the age of 15 to tuberculosis. Speaking about his childhood hardships, he said, “The burden of poverty and this bitter taste of helplessness and isolation sort of branded on my heart forever the questions that still drive me. Is it possible to reshape one’s destiny?…”
The answer, he believes, lies in education. Due to his family circumstances, Mr Li, a high-school dropout who was forced to quit school at an early age, established the Li Ka-Shing Foundation in 1980 to bring about societal changes through supporting education and healthcare initiatives. Speaking about the Foundation, which he calls his “third son”, Mr Li said, “… I have dedicated to this son not only my assets but all my heart … committed as I am to serve his causes, reshaping destiny through education and seeking efficient initiatives that can forever help those in need.” As of February 2015, the Foundation has made grants in excess of US$1.92 billion with approximately 44 per cent going toward projects that advance education.
Commonly referred to as ‘Superman’ for his outstanding business prowess, Mr Li started work in a plastics factory, and later manufactured plastic flowers for export. Today, as the Chairman of Cheung Kong and Hutchison Group, he heads a conglomerate whose interests touch every aspect of life in Hong Kong and around the world including ports and related services, property and hotels, retail, infrastructure, energy and telecommunications.
In 2007, NUS established the Li Ka-Shing Professorships at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. Mr Li has spoken about his respect for Mr Lee, who “has dedicated his own life to serving others, to building a nation of peace, opportunity, and promise”.
The Professorships enable the School to welcome illustrious individuals who share their expertise in their respective fields with students and faculty and contribute to Singapore’s knowledge base. Their insights in these key areas – International Relations, Economics and Public Management – will also support the country’s expanding role in the region and beyond.
LIEN YING CHOW PROFESSORSHIP IN MEDICINE (1995)
Entrepreneur and philanthropist Dr Lien Ying Chow was orphaned at the age of 14 and never had the opportunity of a formal education. It was a loss he felt keenly, both for himself and others like him. Arriving in Singapore in 1920 with just 10 Hong Kong dollars in his pocket, Dr Lien started giving a portion of his income to education from the age of 22, which was to become a commitment or a lifetime.
Dr Lien went from an assistant at a ship chandler to a successful businessman, banker, hotelier and property tycoon. In 1947, he founded Overseas Union Bank with just 27 employees. Within 10 years, they had branches across Singapore, and in Hong Kong, Tokyo and London. It was the first Singapore bank to open in New York in 1973.
Pursuing his twin goals of education and community development, Dr Lien contributed to various aspects of Singapore’s development and success. He was part of the post-World War II relief efforts, advocated for political rights of immigrants and supported Malaya’s bid for independence. In 1966, he became newly independent Singapore’s High Commissioner to Malaysia, helping to heal the fractured relationship between the two countries.
He established and supported schools, and played a lead role in the founding of Nanyang University and, later, in its merger with the University of Singapore (NUS’ predecessor). He became Pro-Chancellor of NUS in 1992 and received an Honorary Doctor of Letters from the University.
In 1980, he set up the Lien Foundation to help the socio-economically deprived.
With support from the Lien Foundation, NUS established the Lien Ying Chow Professorship in Medicine. The Professorship is expected to provide leadership in medical research and education. His or her influence will extend to the shaping of Singapore’s healthcare landscape, including areas of chronic diseases management and end-of-life issues, which are the key priorities to the Lien Foundation.
LIM CHONG YAH PROFESSORSHIP IN ARTS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES (2001)
Economist and scholar Emeritus Professor Lim Chong Yah was told by Nobel laureate Sir John Hicks, “You have to help your part of the world. And you can only help if you know about it.” Professor Lim was then working on a D.Phil at Oxford under Sir John.
Prof Lim took this message to heart. As a young boy, he saw rubber tappers starving to death and worked as a bread delivery boy to make ends meet. Over an illustrious career spanning six decades, he used his knowledge as an economist to make a difference to the lives of people.
Born in Malacca, Prof Lim (’55) studied economics at the University of Malaya (NUS’ predecessor) thanks to a Malacca Settlement Scholarship. He said, “I owe my life to education.”
For 23 years, Prof Lim served in various capacities at NUS – as Professor, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, and Head of the Department of Economics and Statistics. He talent spotted people, and so under his leadership, staff strength grew as did course offerings. Solid research was carried out. Prof Lim is also a prolific writer. He retired from NUS in 1992 and was designated Emeritus Professor.
Outside the University, Prof Lim was the founder Chairman of the National Wages Council, which played a key role in managing the economic recessions of 1985–1986 and 1998–1999. Even after stepping down after almost 30 years, Prof Lim continues to speak up for equitable distribution of wealth. He also set up the Skills Development Fund, which sponsors training for workers.
NUS established the Lim Chong Yah Professorship to honour his contributions to Singapore. The Professorship enables the University to appoint eminent professors who bring entrepreneurship, scholarship and international perspectives to the University community and contribute to Singapore’s growth.
The Professorship is supported by gifts from trade and employee unions, private and public sectors.
LIM KIM SAN PROFESSORSHIP IN BUSINESS POLICY (2000)
Singapore’s public housing system is a coveted model for other countries, but it was a different story in the early ’60s when Mr Lim Kim San became Chairman of the Housing & Development Board (HDB) on a voluntary basis. The country faced a dire housing shortage with more than 400,000 people living in ramshackle buildings. Under Mr Lim’s leadership, HDB built up to 13,000 units annually, a five-fold increase over previous years.
Mr Lim ascribed his success to three things: “We broke the contractors’ cartels, decided to do
Our own earth works, and the third decision was standardisation.”
Born in 1916, Mr Lim received a Diploma in Economics from Raffles College and made his first million by the age of 34. He was also director at United Chinese Bank (later UOB). But a visit to a shop house in Upper Nanjing Street, home to 200 people, inspired him to make a difference. He later recalled, “It was an inhuman and degrading existence. My God, I thought, I must really help these people.”
Mr Lim went on to hold key positions, among them Minister for National Development, Chairman of the Public Utilities Board, and Chairman of the Port of Singapore Authority. To each role, he brought an entrepreneurial approach, saying, “The whole thing boils down to two things: understanding our objective, and man-management.”
The Lim Kim San Professorship in Business Policy was established in 2000 to honour the late eminent alumnus. The Professorship supports renowned academics in business policy to lecture, share ideas and carry out research on collaborative projects. Their contributions help Singapore play a significant role in regional and international business sectors.
The Lim Kim San Professorship in Business Policy received significant contributions from corporations such as Singapore Press Holdings, where Mr Lim was then Executive Chairman. Several eminent Singaporeans led by Dr Wee Cho Yaw, then the Chairman of United Overseas Bank Limited, championed the fundraising for this Professorship.
LIONEL A. SHERIDAN PROFESSORSHIP (2011)
The Founding Dean of Singapore’s first Faculty of Law, Professor Lionel A Sheridan’s personality and vision loomed large over his students. This is especially true of the pioneer batch of 22 law students (’61), now some of the country’s luminaries, who witnessed the school’s transition from new department to full Faculty of Law, championed by Prof Sheridan. This illustrious cohort – among whom are former Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong and Professor Tommy Koh (Ambassador- at-Large and former Dean) – initiated a fundraising campaign to set up a Professorship in honour of their Dean. The campaign was launched on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of their graduation.
Prof Sheridan, who received his PhD from Queen’s University, Belfast, came to Singapore in 1956, aged
29. Singapore needed locally trained lawyers and Prof Sheridan set about building the law school on a shoestring budget. The Department of Law was set up in what was then the University of Malaya (NUS’ predecessor institution), with Prof Sheridan as Head of Department.
As the first Head of Department of Singapore’s first law school, Prof Sheridan shaped the study and teaching of law in the country. He directed the curriculum, set up a law library and negotiated for professional recognition of local law graduates. He actively campaigned for the Department to become a full Faculty, which it did in 1959, with Professor Sheridan as Founding Dean.
As former Chief Justice Chan said at a gathering of his cohort,“If Sheridan had not started classes then, all of us might not be here today.”
The gifts to set up the Lionel A Sheridan Professorship reflect a similar optimism for a new generation of law students and perpetuate the legacy of Singapore’s first Law Dean. The Professorship will contribute to the Faculty’s continued progress and development as a leading law school.
LOW TUCK WONG DISTINGUISHED PROFESSORSHIP (2011)
Dato’ Low Tuck Kwong, Founder and Chairman of Indonesia-based mining company PT Bayan Resources, was named one of South-east Asia’s Heroes of Philanthropy by Forbes magazine. A self- made man, Singapore-born Dato’ Low has always given generously to help people. He is passionate
about supporting education, as evident in his generous donations to universities in Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines. He contributes to various charitable groups in the region, helps in disaster relief and also maintains a zoo for animals made homeless by the destruction of their habitat.
Dato’ Low started a construction company in Indonesia in 1973, before venturing into coal mining in 1988. Under his astute guidance, PT Bayan Resources has gone from strength to strength, with exclusive rights to mine a total concession area of over 81,265 hectares. The company’s vision of delivering premium products, high quality service and sustainable growth while minimising environmental impact has made it one of the country’s success stories.
The Low Tuck Kwong Distinguished Professorship was established at the NUS Business School to honour Dato’ Low as a dynamic entrepreneur and philanthropist. The Professorship enables the School to appoint a leading academic who has demonstrated excellence and international recognition in the field of Finance, Accounting or Business Strategy, especially one with an interest in the area of energy resources.
The Low Tuck Kwong Distinguished Professorship is supported by a gift from Dato’ Low Tuck Kwong.