NUS students now have a new distinctive mixed-use facility – the Stephen Riady Centre at University Town (UTown) – to engage in their various activities ranging from rock climbing to practising routines in dance ateliers.
The three-storey Centre is named in recognition of a generous S$30 million gift to NUS from the Stephen Riady Group of Foundations, which includes a S$5 million top-up to the S$25 million gift announced last year. It is expected to get up to S$45 million in matching grant from the Singapore government.
Gracing the official opening of the Centre on 8 March was Guest-of-Honour Mr Heng Swee Keat, Singapore’s Minister for Education. The ceremony opened with a rousing performance from the NUS Chinese Orchestra. Together with distinguished guests, Minister Heng later caught a glimpse of the dynamic student life at UTown through a tour of educational and sports facilities as well as performing arts spaces.
“Beyond the beautiful building and facilities which we see at this impressive Centre, the University is really about the making of hearts and minds,” said Minister Heng. Citing Member of Parliament Ms Denise Phua who said that “those of us who do well, must also do good”, he was heartened that Dr Stephen Riady, Executive Chairman of the Overseas Union Enterprise Limited, made the generous contribution to NUS.
Concurring, NUS President Professor Tan Chorh Chuan thanked Dr Riady for his gift which will assist financially needy students to pursue their studies, to access unique academic opportunities and to support innovative new educational programmes. This will fund 50 student bursaries with priority to Singaporean students, awards to spur interest in sports, arts and culture, as well as support academic programmes including the critical thinking and writing programmes at UTown.
“The broad-based, experiential learning at NUS is of critical importance in preparing students for their future careers, and for the individuals they want to be. I am pleased that the gift will support students in need, as well as programmes that will build on the top-rate holistic learning at NUS,” noted Dr Riady, who had previously said that higher education will make a difference and impact the world.
The Stephen Riady Centre was specially designed to enable a vibrant student life on campus with its teaching and learning spaces, performing arts and athletic recreation facilities, as well as retail and dining outlets. With a unique architecture that won the Green Mark Platinum Award by the Building and Construction Authority, the Centre connects the Town Plaza and the Education Resource Centre to furnish a venue ideal for student activities at UTown.
This article was first published by the NUS Office of Corporate Relations on 9 March 2013 in Latest @ NUS athttp://newshub.nus.edu.sg/headlines/1303/centre_09Mar13.php.
Photo: NUS Office of the Provost.