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Tan Chorh Chuan receives honorary Doctor of Science at Duke University

16 May 2011

CONFERRED HONORARY DOCTOR OF SCIENCE: Prof Tan hooded by the Duke University Faculty Marshall (in top picture), and presented with his honorary degree by Prof Brodhead at Duke University’s 159th Commencement

Photos: Duke Photography
NUS President Professor Tan Chorh Chuan was conferred an honorary Doctor of Science by Duke University at its 159th Commencement, on Sunday, 15 May 2011 in Durham, North Carolina, US. The honorary award was given in recognition of Prof Tan’s contributions as an international leader in biomedical sciences, public health and higher education.

The conferment, which was part of Duke’s 159th Commencement, took place at Duke’s Wallace Wade Stadium. Prof Tan was one of seven honorees who received their Duke honorary degrees in front of an estimated 14,000 graduates, postgraduates and their families. Other honorary degree recipients included Rita Dove, an English professor, author and former US poet laureate; James B. Hunt Jr., a former North Carolina governor and public education advocate; Alan Page, a US National Football League Hall of Fame member, judge and education activist; Lisa Randall, a professor of theoretical physics and a leading expert on particle physics and cosmology; Eric Shinseki, Secretary of the US Department of Veterans Affairs, former US Army Chief of Staff and a Duke graduate; and Mr John Chambers, the Chair and CEO of Cisco Systems. Mr Chambers was also the Commencement Speaker.

During the ceremony, Prof Tan was presented by his Duke Trustee sponsor Mrs Susan M. Stalnecker, who is Vice President of Finance and Treasurer of E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Company, and his faculty sponsor, Dr Victor J. Dzau, Duke’s Chancellor for Health Affairs and President and CEO of the Duke University Health System.

Duke President Professor Richard H. Brodhead read out a brief biography of Prof Tan’s achievements, citing his integral role in making the Duke-NUS partnership work, orchestrating Singapore’s multifaceted response to the SARS epidemic in 2003, and efforts in Singapore’s Biomedical Sciences Initiative.

“Professor Tan, in you Duke recognises a hero in Global Health”, said Prof Brodhead.

Prof Tan was hooded by the Duke University Faculty Marshall, and presented with his honorary degree by Prof Brodhead at a platform before graduands and parents.

Duke awarded more than 4,500 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees during the ceremony on Sunday. The University's graduation weekend from 13 to 15 May was packed with special events held by individual schools, departments and programmes to celebrate 2011 graduates.

Following the Commencement, Prof and Mrs Brodhead hosted a lunch for the honorees, guests, trustees, and Duke leadership at Hart House, the President’s residence at Duke. Prof Tan was accompanied on his trip to Duke by his wife, Dr Evelyn Lee.

To view the Duke University Commencement video, please click here.