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NUS honours 15 alumni for outstanding contributions to alma mater and society

23 November 2017 | Education
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CEO and Chairman of Venture Corporation Mr Wong Ngit Liong conferred NUS Eminent Alumni Award

The National University of Singapore (NUS) today honoured the achievements of 12 outstanding alumni and a three-member alumni team at the prestigious NUS Alumni Awards 2017. Held biennially, the Awards recognise alumni who have excelled locally and internationally, and have made significant contributions to the University and society. The Awards were presented in three categories, namely the Eminent Alumni Award, Distinguished Alumni Service Award and Outstanding Young Alumni Award.

NUS President Professor Tan Chorh Chuan said, “On behalf of the University, I would like to extend my heartiest congratulations to all our award recipients this year. These outstanding individuals who have distinguished themselves in a wide range of sectors – from celebrated captains of industry to renowned researchers and artists – exemplify NUS’ core values of imagination, agility, resilience and boldness to seize opportunities, through their many contributions and achievements in work and in service to the community. As we celebrate the remarkable contributions of our alumni, NUS remains committed to create the best environment for exceptional and inspiring individuals to do the best work and unlock their true potential.”

This year, NUS conferred the Eminent Alumni Award on Mr Wong Ngit Liong for his achievements in industry, his spirit of public service as well as his exemplary service to NUS and the University’s larger alumni community. The Eminent Alumni Award is presented to alumni who have distinguished themselves nationally or internationally for their exceptional and sustained contributions and achievements in public and community service; in arts, sports, culture or entrepreneurship; or in a profession or scholarly field.

Eminent Alumni Award 2017 Recipient – Mr Wong Ngit Liong

Mr Wong Ngit Liong, who graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Electrical Engineering in 1965 from the University of Malaya, NUS’ predecessor institution, was the Chairman of the NUS Board of Trustees for 12 years from 2004 to 2016. Under his steadfast leadership and bold vision, NUS was transformed from a respected local teaching institution dedicated to manpower development, into a leading global university today, highly regarded for its scholarship and research.

As the Chair of the NUS Council, Mr Wong steered NUS through the complex and challenging process of institutional autonomy, which involved substantial restructuring of NUS’ administrative, financial and corporate functions and processes. He also strengthened key capabilities such as strategic planning and built fresh competencies in development and investment. The successful corporatisation of NUS was a major enabler in the University’s steep trajectory of growth. Following corporatisation, Mr Wong worked closely with the NUS management team to establish a robust governance framework, appoint a Board of Trustees and establish a new culture of collaboration between NUS management and the new Board.   In 2012, Mr Wong was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal by the Singapore Government in his capacity as Chairman of the NUS Board of Trustees.

Mr Wong contributed his insights, expertise and time to Singapore’s overall progress and development. He has served on the boards of several key agencies including the Economic Development Board, Trade Development Board (predecessor to International Enterprise Singapore), DBS Bank and Singapore Exchange. He was also on several high-profile committees such as the Committee to Review the Salaries of the President, Prime Minister and political appointment holders, the Constitutional Commission to review the Elected Presidency, and the 2002 Economic Review Committee.

Mr Wong is a driving force in the industry. He began his career in the United States with Hewlett-Packard (HP) Company, where he held a series of management positions. He returned from Silicon Valley in the late 1970s to set up HP’s office in Singapore. In 1984, he founded Venture Corporation, a home-grown company that designs and manufactures electronic and engineering products. The Venture Group now comprises 40 companies operating globally, and employs 12,000 staff worldwide.

Today, Mr Wong continues to helm Venture Corporation as its Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, and remains involved in the University’s activities.   

Distinguished Alumni Service Award Recipients

Five NUS alumni were conferred the Distinguished Alumni Service Awards for rendering excellent and sustained service to NUS, its predecessor institutions and/or the alumni community.

The award recipients were:

  • Mr Peter Seah Lim Huat, Chairman of DBS Group Holdings Limited, DBS Bank Limited and SIA - In recognition of his outstanding achievements and transformative leadership impact
  • Ms Chew Gek Khim, Executive Chairman of The Straits Trading Company Limited - In recognition of her outstanding achievements, visionary leadership and philanthropy
  • Professor Chua Nam-Hai, Andrew W. Mellon Professor and Head of Laboratory of Plant Molecular Biology, The Rockefeller University; Deputy Chairman of Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory - In recognition of his outstanding achievements and scientific contributions
  • Ms Lim Hai Yen, Playwright and Artistic Director, The ETCeteras - In recognition of her outstanding achievements and dedication to the arts in Singapore
  • Emeritus Professor Chen Hsiao Yun Louis, Founding Director of Institute for Mathematical Sciences - In recognition of his outstanding achievements and research excellence

Outstanding Young Alumni Award Recipients

This year, NUS presented the Outstanding Young Alumni Award to a team for the first time. The recipients of the team award were the co-founders of Carousell: Mr Quek Siu Rui, Mr Marcus Tan Yi Wei and Mr Lucas Ngoo Cheng Han.

Six other young NUS alumni were also honoured for their achievements and outstanding contributions to their chosen fields. These award recipients were:

  • Dr Azariah Tan Peng Chay, Pianist
  • Ms Betty Tsai, Associate Scientist, R&D, Procter & Gamble International
  • Mr Jeffrey Tiong Jee Hui, Founder and CEO of PatSnap Pte Ltd
  • Mr Mohamed Fairoz Bin Ahmad, Founder and Executive Director of Chapter W
  • Dr Neo Mei Lin, Research Fellow, St John's Island National Marine Laboratory and Tropical Marine Science Institute, National University of Singapore
  • Dr Sin Yong, Doctor and Magician

Please refer to the Annex for the full list of NUS Alumni Awards 2017 recipients.

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