NUS wel­comes Pres­i­dent as new chan­cel­lor

The New Paper - - NEWS - SEOW BEI YI

Pres­i­dent Hal­imah Ya­cob’s char­ac­ter­is­tic con­cern for the less well-off and the need to ad­vance com­mu­ni­ties was un­der­lined yes­ter­day by Na­tional Univer­sity of Sin­ga­pore’s (NUS) pres­i­dent Tan Chorh Chuan when he wel­comed her as its 10th chan­cel­lor.

He re­called her stress­ing on sev­eral oc­ca­sions at the univer­sity’s board of trus­tees’ meet­ings the im­por­tance of giv­ing poor stu­dents fi­nan­cial aid so that they can ac­cess the full range of the univer­sity’s pro­grammes.

“She also urged us to en­cour­age and sup­port more ac­tive en­gage­ment of our stu­dents with the wider com­mu­nity,” Prof Tan said at a lunch in the NUS Univer­sity Hall.

In­deed, her sense of pub­lic ser­vice and un­wa­ver­ing ded­i­ca­tion to serve and ad­vance the lives of in­di­vid­u­als and com­mu­ni­ties, par­tic­u­larly the dis­ad­van­taged, are her most en­dur­ing qual­i­ties, he noted.

The chan­cel­lor’s post at NUS, ac­cord­ing to its Con­sti­tu­tion, is filled by the Pres­i­dent of Sin­ga­pore.

Pres­i­dent Hal­imah, an alum­nus of the NUS Law Fac­ulty, was a mem­ber of the univer­sity’s board of trus­tees from 2006 to 2011. Last year, she re­ceived an honorary de­gree from the univer­sity.

Yes­ter­day, she un­veiled the univer­sity’s of­fi­cial flower, an orchid named Papil­io­nanda Na­tional Univer­sity of Sin­ga­pore.

The hy­brid shares an an­ces­try with Sin­ga­pore’s na­tional flower, the Papil­io­nan­the Miss Joaquim.

TRANS­FOR­MA­TION

In her speech, Pres­i­dent Hal­imah out­lined NUS’ trans­for­ma­tion over the years in stu­dent de­vel­op­ment, re­search and start-up cul­ture.

Apart from pro­vid­ing an ed­u­ca­tion, NUS had fo­cused as well on de­vel­op­ing stu­dents who be­come ac­tive con­trib­u­tors to so­ci­ety, she noted.

Now, it is also a “global re­search pow­er­house”, and has a vi­brant start-up and en­tre­pre­neur­ial cul­ture among stu­dents and fac­ulty mem­bers, she said.

“In­no­va­tion and en­trepreneur­ship re­main im­por­tant cor­ner­stones to Sin­ga­pore’s con­tin­ued suc­cess in the fu­ture.”

by­seow@sph.com.sg

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