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NUS Faculty of Law establishes Lionel A Sheridan Professorship in honour of founding dean

24 January 2011

CELEBRATING THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF NUS FACULTY OF LAW: Fifteen out of 22 members of the Class of 1961 were present at the reunion on 22 January 2011. They include (front row, from left) Mrs Low Leng Fong, Mrs Devi Sandrasegara, Mrs Aileen Chong, Dr Thio Su Mien, Prof Koh Kheng Lian, Mrs Lakshmi Swaminathan, (back row, from left) Prof Tommy Koh, Mr T P B Menon, Mr Khoo Hin Hiong, Mr Sachi Saurajen, Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong, Mr Amarjeet Singh, Mr Koh Eng Tian, Mr Goh Yong Hong and Mr Ronald Yeo Keat Yew
To commemorate its 50th anniversary, the NUS Faculty of Law established the Lionel A Sheridan Professorship in honour of its founding dean on 22 January 2011. On that evening, the initiative and fundraising campaign for the Professorship were announced at the reunion of NUS' pioneering batch of law students, the Class of 1961.

Prof Sheridan was appointed the first Professor of Law and Head of the Law Department in July 1956. He was instrumental in planning the curriculum for legal studies, setting up the law library and negotiating for professional recognition of local law graduates. When the Department attained Faculty status in November 1959, he was elected as its first dean, in which capacity he served till 1962.

The Honourable the Chief Justice of the Republic of Singapore Mr Chan Sek Keong said: "We were very fortunate to be able to study law in 1957. If Sheridan had not started classes then, all of us might not be here today. ... because we were in the first class of '61, we have a special place in the history of legal education in Singapore and Malaysia."

In his message to attendees of the reunion, Prof Sheridan wrote: "Did one anticipate then that among their number there would be a Chief Justice and other judges, a President of the Law Society, an Ambassador-at-Large and all manner of distinguished persons? Yes, certainly. The expectations entertained by those who lectured, tutored and examined were extremely optimistic."

NUS President Prof Tan Chorh Chuan said that Prof Sheridan had undoubtedly left an indelible mark on the Faculty, best evidenced by the outstanding achievements of his Class of 1961. He said: "The creation of the Chair in honour of Prof Sheridan recognises his contribution to the Faculty of Law, and is a very meaningful way to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Singapore's pioneer class of lawyers."

The pioneer class of 22 law students graduated on 10 July 1961, and counts among its illustrious members Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong, Ambassador-at-Large and former Dean Prof Tommy Koh, former Dean Thio Su-Mien and Emeritus Prof Koh Kheng Lian.