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Ten good years and more ahead for NUS' University Scholars Programme

23 September 2010

AT A RECENT MEDIA INTERVIEW: (From left) Former USP Director Prof Peter Pang, founding Dean Prof George Landow and Present USP Director Prof John Richardson

USP STUDENTS: At the programme's 10th anniversary dinner celebrations

ADMIRING THE USP PHOTO COLLAGE: Dr and Mrs Lee Shiu, sponsors of the Lee Shiu Summer Programme at USP

The NUS University Scholars Programme (USP) celebrated its 10th anniversary with a series of programmes which included a dinner celebration at the Grand Hyatt Ballroom in the evening of 11 September 2010, attended by some 250 local and overseas guests comprising USP global, industry, academic and other partners as well as staff and students.

Among the distinguished guests were USP patrons Dr Lee Shiu and wife, Mrs Jennie Lee, of the Lee Shiu Centre for Intercultural Learning Summer Programme in Hong Kong; and founding Dean of the USP Prof George P Landow and Mrs Ruth Landow, who had travelled from Brown University to join in the celebration.

Said Director of the USP Prof John Richardson, "When I joined USP just over a year ago, I took on a thriving programme. Launched in Sep 2000, the USP provided students with an environment for exploration, collaboration, and creative discovery with unique modules designed to develop interdisciplinary thinking. Learning extended beyond the classroom through a wide range of interdisciplinary research, internship, community involvement, and study abroad opportunities. Our students thought for themselves, travelled the world, initiated projects, and were recognized for their talent, independence and drive by colleagues in NUS and by future employers."

"The kind of global education that USP offers is a signature of USP," said NUS Assistant Vice President (University & Global Relations) Prof Peter Pang who was Director of the Programme from 2003 to 2009. Commenting on USP's abundant opportunities for overseas exposure and learning, he cited examples ranging from short study trips to top universities such as Harvard University, Stanford University, The University of British Columbia and Yale University, to longer cultural immersion programmes at Peking University and Waseda University. He also highlighted USP's other academic programmes such as study trips and student initiated overseas service-learning community projects.

Speaking at the anniversary dinner, founding Dean Prof Landow shared with the guests USP's founding vision that then Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore Dr Tony Tan had championed, namely, "a bold initiative to develop, within this culture of excellence, the intellectual and personal and leadership qualities of promising young men and women at NUS." Prof Landow had hoped for USP to grow into a model suitable for Singapore, and he believed it had succeeded.

The celebratory dinner was an enjoyable event for its attendees - there were engaging speeches by USP directors and students and delightful music and dance performances by students. At the dinner, Prof Wang Gungwu, newly appointed Rector of the NUS University Town's residential college which will house USP students from next year, presented the USP Long Service Awards and Teaching Excellence Awards to recipients.

In addition to the anniversary dinner, other programmes in celebration of the USP's 10th Anniversary include a public lecture on social media by Prof Landow on 13 September 2010, and a tea session the next day where USP students met and interacted personally with Prof Landow and his wife.