The Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research (RMBR) at the National University of Singapore (NUS) has received a generous gift of S$25 million from the Lee Foundation, its third substantial gift in six months. This latest gift enables RMBR to embark on building a new purpose-designed building for its invaluable collection of animals and plants specimens. To be renamed the ‘Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum’, the new building will showcase Southeast Asian biodiversity and environmental issues in an exhibition hall that will be 10 times the size of the current gallery.
Said NUS President Professor Tan Chorh Chuan: “We are indeed grateful to the Lee Foundation for its very generous gift and strong support of the University’s natural history museum. We are also deeply touched by the pledges from the many donors especially the unnamed donor. The University believes strongly in the national significance of this project and has provided the museum with a larger and highly strategic site on our Kent Ridge campus.”
The new Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum will be located adjacent to the NUS University Cultural Centre along Kent Ridge Crescent. When ready in 2014, the Natural History Museum will, with its neighbours the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, the NUS Centre for the Arts and the NUS Museum, be part of an arts and cultural hub at Kent Ridge.
Professor Leo Tan, Chairman of the RMBR Fundraising Committee, said: “The committee, through sheer belief and dogged determination, persevered over the past six months to achieve our minimum target of $35 million within the given deadline, as we had declared ‘failure is not an option’. It seemed like an impossible dream initially. We are extremely grateful for the unprecedented support from the public, foundations and corporations, which has helped us achieve this milestone.”
The Lee Foundation gift brings the total funds raised to S$46 million which will be used towards the development of the new natural history museum building. The RMBR Fundraising Committee will soon embark on the next phase of its fundraising efforts to equip the new museum with high-quality new exhibits for the galleries. The RMBR team also hopes to develop a strong public programme.
Make a gift to RMBR to support programmes that will guide visitors towards a better understanding of natural history and conduct research into conserving our natural heritage.