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NUS welcomes its 9th Chancellor

28 November 2011

NUS Chairman Mr Wong Ngit Liong (left) with President Tony Tan

(From left) Mr and Mrs Wong Ngit Liong, Minister Heng Swee Keat, President Tony Tan and wife Mrs Mary Tan, Dr Evelyn Lee and Prof Tan Chorh Chuan

NUS hosted a welcome lunch in honour of the University's 9th Chancellor, His Excellency Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam, President of the Republic of Singapore on 28 November 2011. Distinguished guests included Singapore Minister for Education Mr Heng Swee Keat and NUS Pro-Chancellors Dr Andrew Chew Guan Khuan, Mr Ngiam Tong Dow and Dr Cheong Siew Keong, who joined the NUS senior management, faculty, staff and students for the event held at University Hall.

Delivering the welcome address, NUS President Prof Tan Chorh Chuan said: "Today's event is an expression of the deep honour, the great enthusiasm and tremendous warmth with which the whole NUS family greets the appointment of our new Chancellor."

Prof Tan also highlighted the remarkable fact that during the course of President Tony Tan's illustrious career, he has played every possible role within NUS – as a student, a faculty member, a Vice Chancellor, an active alumnus and now its Chancellor. Prof Tan said: "In each of these roles, President Tony Tan has achieved a level of distinction that is quite unparalleled."

President Tony Tan's ties with the University could be traced back to his undergraduate years in NUS' predecessor institution, the University of Singapore, where he studied Physics. He graduated with a First Class Honours degree, topping his class in 1962. After completion of his Master's degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he returned to his alma mater in 1964 as a lecturer with the Physics Department and later with the Department of Mathematics from 1967 to 1969 after obtaining his doctorate at the University of Adelaide. In 1980, President Tony Tan was appointed the first Vice Chancellor of NUS, the youngest Vice Chancellor in the University's history.

President Tony Tan continued to champion the development of higher education in Singapore through his appointments as Minister for Education (1980-1981 and 1985-1991), as well as Minister-in-charge for NUS and Nanyang Technological Institute (1981-1983). Under his leadership, university education in Singapore took great strides and was made accessible to more Singaporeans regardless of their family or financial backgrounds. In 2005, he was presented with the NUS Eminent Alumnus Award in recognition of his role as a visionary architect of Singapore's university sector.

President Tony Tan was sworn in as Singapore's seventh President on 1 September 2011. As State President, he was concurrently made Chancellor of NUS, taking over from Mr S R Nathan, Singapore's former President.