SUSS renames school after S R Nathan

President Halimah Yacob greeting Mrs Urmila Nathan, widow of former president S R Nathan, at the Singapore University of Social Sciences yesterday, as Mrs Nathan's guest, businesswoman Jennie Chua (left), university president Cheong Hee Kiat (second
President Halimah Yacob greeting Mrs Urmila Nathan, widow of former president S R Nathan, at the Singapore University of Social Sciences yesterday, as Mrs Nathan's guest, businesswoman Jennie Chua (left), university president Cheong Hee Kiat (second from right) and Chancellor Aline Wong (right) look on.

Move recognises social, community causes championed by late president who was university's patron

President Halimah Yacob officially renamed Singapore University of Social Sciences' (SUSS) School of Human Development and Social Services in honour of Singapore's sixth president, Mr S R Nathan, who died in 2016.

The school is now the S R Nathan School of Human Development, to recognise the social and community causes championed by Mr Nathan, who was patron of SUSS.

At the renaming ceremony yesterday, Madam Halimah, who was guest of honour, said: "This new name recognises the potential impact of the school's academic programmes and research, which are clearly aligned with Mr Nathan's lifelong commitment of uplifting fellow Singaporeans and forging closer social cohesion."

Madam Halimah, who is now the patron of SUSS, reminded the audience that the school's programmes are especially important for Singapore as society ages.

The school will focus on fields such as childhood education, adult learning, gerontology and counselling.

The university's president, Professor Cheong Hee Kiat, said at the event: "Mr Nathan was genuinely interested in our university's work. He visited us and participated in a good number of our university events.

"He was a strong advocate and supporter of our mission to provide lifelong education that equips our students to serve society."

LIVING UP TO THE NAME

Now with Mr Nathan's name attached to the school, we want to live up even more to the things he stood for - uplifting society and caring for the people who really need help.

PROFESSOR CHEONG HEE KIAT, president of the Singapore University of Social Sciences, on renaming the School of Human Development and Social Services. It is now called the S R Nathan School of Human Development.

Before he became president in 1999, Mr Nathan had a distinguished career in the civil service, and also served as High Commissioner to Malaysia and ambassador to the United States.

His widow, Mrs Urmila Nathan, also attended the ceremony with her daughter, Ms Juthika Ramanathan, and grandchildren Monisha and Kheshin Cheong.

She said: "Our family is deeply touched that SUSS has named one of its schools after my late husband."

She said the family was proud to be associated with the school's vision and values.

Prof Cheong said: "Now with Mr Nathan's name attached to the school, we want to live up even more to the things he stood for - uplifting society and caring for the people who really need help."

Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung and Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Social and Family Development Faishal Ibrahim also attended the event.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 23, 2018, with the headline 'SUSS renames school after S R Nathan'. Print Edition | Subscribe