Says Reverend Dr Louis Tay (’72), a loyal donor to NUS, as he tells us why he never fails to give to his alma mater.
You give regularly and generously to NUS. What motivates you to give every year?
I give because I have been blessed with resources that permit me to give to my alma mater to support current and future students. The University gave me a formal education and enduring relationships – with ex-classmates, Faculty members, people from other disciplines and from my own profession. It was a great privilege to enjoy a University education.
What shaped your thoughts on giving?
It developed out of a sense of gratitude to God, parents and family as well as to country. It also stems from responsibility towards others, especially the young today.
Why is giving to NUS and education important to you?
I was privileged to have parents who fully funded my education in the then University of Singapore. I am now in a position to help students who may not have such means, especially as University fees have increased.
You have increased your support over the years.
Giving to NUS puts the money to good use. My gift to NUS is matched by the government to an amount of up to 3:1. It is also eligible for a tax deduction that is 2 ½ times the amount donated.
What are you hoping to achieve with your gifts to NUS?
I am able to specify that my contribution goes to my former Faculty (Dentistry) as the fees per head are among the highest.
Should alumni give to their alma mater?
I believe the NUS Office of Alumni Relations (OAR) should keep all graduates up-to-date on the needs and developments at the University. For those who have since attained a more comfortable financial status, it is time for them to ‘pay back’ in increasing quantums to help the present students, in gratitude.
Why do people give?
For me, the basis is both spiritual and social.
What does one get out of giving?
My principle is ‘To whom much is given, much is expected’.
In your opinion, what role does private philanthropy play as a force of social good?
One is aware that life is more than material achievements and acquisitions and we all leave a legacy – good or bad. Furthermore, ‘where your treasure is, there your heart is also’ – hence our concern for others must be expressed in acts of charity.
What other causes do you support?
My giving is in imitating (and facilitated by) God who first gives. Tithing and Freewill Offering in Church has led to support of Christian Community Service and Mission causes, and extended to giving to NUS to support current and future undergraduates.
As an alumni, what role does the University play in your life?
I occasionally meet friends and acquaintances at the Shaw Foundation Alumni house as I did recently for the 40th anniversary of the Faculty of Dentistry’s Graduating Class of ’72. The AlumNUS magazine updates and The Straits Times articles on developments at the University are a source of institutional pride. OAR should invite alumni to visit the new facilities, like NUS University Town, and meet current students.
Are you a loyal NUS donor? Share your story with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find out about making a gift to NUS, contact Ms Ho Yuen Kwan at (+65) 6516 5755 or email email@example.com.