Outstanding students from the National University of Singapore (NUS) Faculties of Science, Arts and Social Sciences, Engineering, and the NUS Business School will have a chance to receive the Ho Family Prize, established with a gift from Professor Ho Teck Hua (’85), Vice President (Research Strategy) and Tan Chin Tuan Centennial Professor.
This gift is Professor Ho’s way of honouring his father, Mr Ho Beng Siong, for his dedication to his family and his tenacious belief in education as a means to equip individuals to serve the community.
Professor Ho, an expert in economics and marketing, attributes his passions to his father, who was talented in mathematics and constantly emphasised the importance of logical thinking to his children.
As a result, the Engineering graduate believes in using mathematics to solve societal problems; he thus handpicked the programmes the prizes reward.
“My father was a top student who unfortunately had to drop out after Primary Four due to financial difficulty. But he never stopped learning,” reveals Prof Ho.
When the senior Mr Ho moved to Singapore at age 16, the entrepreneurial teenager started a business in buying and selling old newspapers. The resourceful and far-sighted father not only brought up eight children well but also paid close attention to their education, determined to provide them with the opportunities he lacked in his childhood.
With this gift, Prof Ho is hoping to take the lead in setting a family tradition of giving back to the community. He wishes for his children and siblings to follow in his footsteps. He also hopes that prize winners will contribute when they become alumni one day.
“I believe that philanthropy is the pillar of higher education. A healthy endowment enables NUS to become a truly world-class university. Since tertiary education improves social mobility, philanthropy will also help to reduce income inequality,” says Professor Ho.
The prizes are awarded to the best students studying Mathematics, Economics, Decision Sciences and Marketing, and Electrical and Computer Engineering at the four Faculties.
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