Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences awards first Ian and Peony Ferguson Scholarship
”If men cannot always make history have a meaning, they can always act so that their own lives have.” This quote by the French author and philosopher, Albert Camus, has always inspired Ho Kee Liang, a Year 3 student at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and one of the first recipients of the Ian and Peony Ferguson Scholarship at the National University of Singapore (NUS).
These words are also an apt description of the man who made the Scholarship possible: Mr Ian Ferguson. The generosity and compassion of Mr Ferguson, an engineer and businessman, continue to touch lives a decade after his death through the Ian Ferguson Foundation, which he set up in 1974. Mrs Peony Ferguson, his wife, who helms the Foundation, says, “He was a kind and compassionate person and was always ready to help people and friends in need. My job is to carry out his wishes to give back to society what he gained during in his life. It is good to give to education as it is a stepping stone to bigger achievements, if opportunity permits.”
The Scholarship has been a great comfort for Kee Liang, who lost his mother to cancer a few years ago. He and his twin brother, who is also a student at NUS, do their best to make life a bit easier for their father, who works as a security supervisor. He says, “When I received the Scholarship, I felt a huge sense of relief. I knew my family no longer had to be overly concerned about my university education. Indeed, it gave me peace of mind as I can now focus on doing well in my studies without undue anxiety. ”
Mrs Ferguson, a former teacher, hopes that her husband’s values will live on through the students the Foundation helps. She says, “Giving comes from my heart and I never expect anything in return. Just God’s blessings. I hope that our recipients will also give back to society when the time comes.”
Kee Liang is already giving back to the community. He conducts motivation sessions for students from the YMCA school, helps out at church and participates in fundraising activities. He says, “My involvement with community service and my life experiences have helped me develop a greater compassion for people around me.”
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