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More than S$200 million raised by NUS and SUTD to celebrate Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s 90th birthday

03 Sep 2013

The National University of Singapore (NUS) and Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) have raised philanthropic gifts totalling more than S$200 million to celebrate the 90th birthday of Singapore’s founding Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew. The funds raised will go toward enhancing academic and learning excellence, as well as providing scholarships and bursaries for needy students at the two universities.
 
A donor appreciation dinner was held at the Istana this evening. Distinguished guests in attendance included Prime Minister Mr Lee Hsien Loong, Emeritus Senior Minister Mr Goh Chok Tong and Minister for Education Mr Heng Swee Keat, as well as more than 100 donors and guests.

NUS Initiatives

The gifts to NUS will support bursaries for needy students, scholarships and study awards which will enable students to pursue their studies at NUS, regardless of their financial background, and to access innovative educational programmes and learning opportunities in the University. The gifts will also advance the development and enhancement of high-quality academic programmes in the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, NUS University Town, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and Yale-NUS College. To date, NUS has raised about S$100 million from generous donors.
 
NUS has established the Lee Kuan Yew Endowed Fund to provide bursaries for financially needy students. The amount of assistance that can be given to such students in the university will increase as the fund grows over time.
 
NUS President Professor Tan Chorh Chuan said, “The NUS community and our generous donors are delighted and honoured to be able to mark Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s 90th birthday in such a meaningful way. The generous philanthropic support we have received will allow us to develop and enhance a range of educational initiatives and academic programmes in our university that will greatly benefit our students and community. The Lee Kuan Yew Endowed Fund will help financially needy students to pursue their studies at NUS, and to access the full range of innovative educational programmes and opportunities at our university. These bursaries and the programmes enabled by the generous gifts will help us to preserve and commemorate Mr Lee’s remarkable contributions towards education which have benefitted many generations of Singaporeans.”
 
NUS had earlier conferred on Mr Lee an honorary Doctor of Laws at a conferment ceremony at the Istana in June this year.
 

SUTD Initiatives

Through the generosity of its benefactors, SUTD has raised over S$100 million to date in honour of Mr Lee. Gifts to SUTD will help advance learning excellence and innovation, as well as enrich teaching and research at the University.
 
SUTD is establishing a university-wide Lee Kuan Yew Fund to support scholarships, study awards and bursaries to attract and nurture a new generation of technically-grounded leaders and innovators who will improve lives and make Singapore a better place. The goal is to ensure that deserving but financially needy students be given equal opportunities to pursue a unique multi-disciplinary educational experience at SUTD.
 
The Fund will also create programmes at the pioneering Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities (LKYCIC), one of the first university centres in Asia to push new frontiers in technology and design for urban innovations. Chaired by Ambassador-at-Large Professor Chan Heng Chee, the LKYCIC will conduct research on issues such as density, transport, resource scarcity, sustainability, resilience and aging demographics.
 
SUTD President Professor Thomas Magnanti said, “SUTD seeks to bring together the best minds and ideas to generate significant technological, financial and social impact for a better future. We are gratified that Mr Lee has graciously consented to helping our young but unique university garner philanthropic support to achieve this essential goal. We are deeply appreciative of the tremendous support of our founding donors. Their generous gifts, at this early stage of our development, provide vital resources for the University to progress and excel. SUTD is honoured to play a part, together with our generous donors, in continuing Mr Lee’s influence and legacy, and to pay tribute to an extraordinary man, whose pioneering spirit and immeasurable contributions to Singapore will serve as a role model for generations of SUTD students to come.”
 
Both universities plan to continue their fundraising for the tribute until the end of this year.