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NUS mourns the passing of Mrs Lee Kuan Yew

04 October 2010

MDM KWA GEOK CHOO: Wife of Singapore's Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and one of the founders of the Lee & Lee law firm
It was with great sadness that NUS received the news of the passing of its alumna Madam Kwa Geok Choo, wife of Singapore's founding father and first Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew, on 2 October 2010.

Mrs Lee was highly respected as the self-effacing but decidedly influential pillar of strength behind Mr Lee's success as a legendary political figure. She was also a devoted mother to her two sons and a daughter, all of whom are leading illustrious careers of significant impact to Singapore. Most notably, her eldest son, Mr Lee Hsien Loong, is the present Prime Minister of Singapore.

Mrs Lee Kuan Yew was an esteemed lawyer and a brilliant student. She enrolled in Raffles College, a predecessor institution of NUS, in 1940 and resumed her studies there in 1946 after the end of World War II. In 1947, she graduated from Raffles College with a Diploma in Arts leading to a Queen's Scholarship to study law at Cambridge University where she became the first woman in Malaya to achieve the top position in Part II of the Law Tripos.

She founded the Lee & Lee law firm with Mr Lee Kuan Yew and his brother Mr Lee Kim Yew in 1955. The firm supported a scholarship to students in the NUS Faculty of Law which Mrs Lee lent her name to. The Kwa Geok Choo Scholarship was established in Academic Year 1993/1994 through a pledge of $18,000 per year over 12 years.