At a dinner held on 13 November 2009, members of the NUS community gathered to commemorate the inauguration of five Centennial and Distinguished Professors. In his welcome remarks, NUS President Prof Tan Chorh Chuan recognised these top academics for their global leadership in their respective fields and celebrated their commitment to make NUS their intellectual home.
Cancer scientist Prof Daniel Tenen was conferred the title of Saw Swee Hock Centennial Professor in Medical Sciences. Prof Tenen, a Professor of Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at Harvard Medical School and Director of NUS Cancer Research Centre of Excellence, leads the Cancer Stem Cells Programme which focuses on cancers that affect Singaporeans. This Professorship is named in honour of the generosity of Prof Saw Swee Hock (‘61), member of the NUS Board of Trustees, to his alma mater.
The Stephen Riady Distinguished Professorship was conferred upon Dean of the NUS Business School Prof Bernard Yeung. The former Abraham Krasnoff Professor of Economics and Management at New York University’s Stern School of Business is renowned for his accomplishments in the field of Economics, Finance, Strategic Management, International Business and Accounting.
Prof Randall Morck of the University of Alberta, Canada, was conferred the title of visiting James Riady Distinguished Professor. Prof Morck is widely recognised as the first systemic investigator of corporate finance and is an authority on corporate governance, corporate ownership and corporate finance.
The Stephen Riady Distinguished Professorship and James Riady Distinguished Professorship are named in honour of the President and CEO of the Lippo Group, to recognise the Group’s support of the NUS Business School.
Two NUS professors with long and deep collaborations with the University also received Distinguished Professorships that evening. Prof Shen Zuowei, who is currently a Deputy Head in the Department of Mathematics, was conferred the title of Distinguished Professor in recognition of his pioneering work in the fields of wavelet and Gabor frames.
Prof Paul Matsudaira, who recently joined NUS as the Head of the Department of Biological Sciences after 24 years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), also received the award of Distinguished Professor. He was honoured for his leadership in the understanding of actin cytoskeleton and technology development for cell research.
As Prof Tan concluded in his speech, it is only because of the unwavering belief of the Centennial and Distinguished Professors and the University’s benefactors in NUS that “we are getting ever closer to achieving our high goals of becoming a leading global university, at the cutting edge of research and at the forefront of global education.”