SUTD names its largest lecture theatre after pioneer architect who donated $30 million

Emeritus Senior Minister Mr Goh Chok Tong officiates the opening of the Albert Hong Lecture Theatre.ST VIDEO: MELODY ZACCHEUS
Dr Albert Hong placing the key to open the Albert Hong lecture theatre.
Dr Albert Hong placing the key to open the Albert Hong lecture theatre.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR
(from left) Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, SUTD President, Prof Thomas Magnanti, Dr Albert Hong, SUTD Board of Trustee Sam Goi And SUTD Provost, Prof Chong Tow Chong.
(from left) Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, SUTD President, Prof Thomas Magnanti, Dr Albert Hong, SUTD Board of Trustee Sam Goi And SUTD Provost, Prof Chong Tow Chong.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR
(sitting from left) SUTD President, Prof Thomas Magnanti, Dr Albert Hong and Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong at the newly opened Albert Hong lecture theatre.
(sitting from left) SUTD President, Prof Thomas Magnanti, Dr Albert Hong and Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong at the newly opened Albert Hong lecture theatre.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

SINGAPORE - The Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) has named its largest lecture theatre after pioneering Singaporean architect, Dr Albert Hong, to honour his $30 million donation to the institution.

The Albert Hong Lecture Theatre has a seating capacity of 530 people and is designed as a "central meeting venue for discourse and knowledge exchange", said the university.

Dr Hong's donation will aid in "advancing SUTD's teaching and research goals, as well as provide more bond-free scholarships to assist deserving students", it said.

The ceremony was officiated by Emeritus Senior Minister Mr Goh Chok Tong, the university's patron for advancement, on Tuesday (Feb 28).

Dr Hong, 82, is chairman of RSP Architects Planners and Engineers, and designed iconic buildings such as Clifford Centre, Bayshore Park condominium and Republic Plaza.

Prior to SUTD's formation in 2009, he had advocated the establishment of a second school of architecture, apart from the one at the National University of Singapore.

In 2013, Dr Hong had pledged the donation in SUTD's fund-raising campaign to commemorate the late founding Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew's 90th birthday that year.

The philanthropist has made donations over the years to support numerous causes.

For instance, he had donated $2 million to Raffles Institution in 1992 and has a hall named after him.

His gift to SUTD is his largest contribution to date.

Dr Hong said education is dear to his heart.

"Back in 2013, I pledged this unrestricted gift to SUTD and wanted them to make good use of it. My aim is straightforward - to help the underprivileged receive the education they deserve.

"No deserving students should be denied formal education because of lack of financial support. All I ask is for the students to serve the country after graduation, and give back as they have so richly received."

About 100 SUTD scholarships and bursaries are disbursed every academic year.

Dr Hong has, through his company RSP, provided internship opportunities to SUTD students and hired its graduates.

SUTD Provost, Professor Chong Tow Chong, said the university is proud to name its lecture theatre after Dr Hong, one of Singapore's most distinguished and highly respected architects.

He said: "We are very grateful to Dr Hong for his generous support, which will help nurture innovative and technically-grounded graduates who will go on to shape the future through technology and design."

SUTD will also establish the Albert Hong Lecture Series to stimulate discussions and broaden intellectual capacity among students, faculty and experts.