SINGAPORE - On the glittering occasion of the 85th anniversary of the National University of Singapore's (NUS) Science Faculty on Saturday night, President Tony Tan Keng Yam - an alumnus himself - praised it for its strong and outward-looking curriculum that prepares students for their future careers.
Addressing about 300 faculty members, alumni, staff and students dressed for the evening on campus, he said that the faculty, which was founded in 1929, has "remained steadfast in its task"of equipping Singaporeans with the knowledge and skills for the nation's growth, through decades of change.
First, he noted that the faculty played an important role in the 1960s and 1970s producing graduates in the fundamental sciences as Singapore industrialised. It also "shaped the nation's science education landscape" by training science teachers.
Second, many new specialisations were introduced in the 1990s to meet the needs of local industries, he said. For example, graduates were produced for the biomedical, chemical and pharmaceutical sectors.
Since then, Dr Tan said the faculty has also grown from strength to strength in its research capabilities. He praised it for its research in graphene and semiconductors, as well as in stem cells.
Looking ahead, Dr Tan, who graduated in 1962 from the Physics Department, added: "(NUS and the faculty) must remain adaptable and innovative to meet the new challenges in a fast-changing, increasingly interconnected and complex world."
On Saturday night, the NUS Science Faculty honoured 16 alumni for their leadership, service and research, as well as for their contributions to science.
They included Professor Bernard Tan Tiong Gie, who joined the university in 1968 and now lectures in the Department of Physics, Hwa Chong Institution principal, Dr Hon Chiew Weng, and Dr Wee Yeow Chin, founding president of the Nature Society Singapore.