NTU launches book on its history penned by founding president Cham Tao Soon

The Nanyang Technological University (NTU) launched on Monday a book charting the story of its predecessor, the Nanyang Technological Institute (NTI).

The book is a first-hand account of the institution's growth by its first president, Professor Emeritus Cham Tao Soon, who headed NTU for 22 years.

Prof Cham oversaw the development of the institution from when it was set up in 1981. In 1991, it became NTU, a full-fledged university.

Prof Cham said: "My story is meant to be as truthful as possible, with parts of it on how I dealt with bureaucracy, Nanyang University alumni and other stakeholders... This wasn't just a project to start a technological university, but also part of a solution to address the economic and political challenges of the time."

Former Singapore president S R Nathan, who was the guest of honour at the book launch, said: "The book starts at the tail end of an important decision by the Government to build a second English-language national university on the campus of the former Nanyang University."

It was left to Prof Cham, then a young engineer in his 40s, to work out the ways and means to grow the fledging institution, he said.

Mr Nathan, who was also NTU's chancellor from 1999 to 2011, added that the university's success today, reflected in several global rankings, can be traced back to Prof Cham's contributions.