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Passing of Former Vice-Chancellor Dr Toh Chin Chye

03 February 2012

The late Vice-Chancellor of the University of Singapore, Dr Toh Chin Chye

Photo: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings
The NUS community is deeply saddened by today's passing of Dr Toh Chin Chye, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Singapore and one of Singapore's founding fathers.

Said NUS Acting President Prof Tan Eng Chye: "During the course of his illustrious career, Dr Toh had played many roles within our University - as a student, faculty member and later as Vice-Chancellor. He had laid a strong foundation for the University, a legacy that has contributed towards the transformation of NUS, and higher education in Singapore."

Dr Toh's long association with the University dated back to the 1940s when he was a Science student at Raffles College. After getting his doctorate in London, he joined the University of Singapore's Department of Physiology in 1953.

During his time as Vice-Chancellor from 1968 to 1975, Dr Toh was responsible for setting up the University's new home at Kent Ridge. He streamlined higher education to support national development by establishing the Faculties of Engineering and Architecture, disciplines previously offered by Singapore Polytechnic. He also launched the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences to promote the flow of talent and ideas across a larger community. Under his leadership, faculty members were encouraged to serve on statutory boards and to extend their service to the nation.

Dr Toh was the founding Chairman of the People's Action Party and served as Deputy Prime Minister from 1959 to 1968. He held several cabinet appointments such as the Minister for Science and Technology and Minister for Health. He left the Cabinet in 1981 and became a backbencher, before retiring from politics in 1988.