SINGAPORE - Two local businessmen on Saturday (Oct 30) were conferred the first honorary degrees by the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) for their contributions to the university.
Mr Philip Ng, the chief executive officer of property group Far East Organization, and Mr Sam Goi, founder and chairman of food group Tee Yih Jia, received their honorary degrees at the physical graduation ceremony of SUTD's Class of 2020 on Saturday.
Mr Ng is also the founding chairman of the university's board of trustees, while Mr Goi is its current patron for advancement.
In a statement, SUTD noted Mr Ng's significant contributions as chairman of the steering committee for the university's establishment in 2009.
"He personally led the discussions with SUTD's first partner universities, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Zhejiang University, to form a three-way education collaboration, enabling the creation of a unique university that embraced the best of what the East and West have to offer to academia and research," the university said.
As the board of trustees chairman, Mr Ng was deeply involved in identifying and hiring the university's academic and administrative leadership.
Mr Ng said: "SUTD is well placed to feature more actively in shaping Singapore's built environment, particularly in environmental sustainability, where there is room for greater academic input and an informed discourse."
Mr Goi, who is a former member of the board of trustees and previous chair of the SUTD Advancement and Development Committee, had provided exceptional leadership on all fund-raising matters, said the university.
In addition, he proactively helped open doors to connect the university with his vast network of potential donors and helped SUTD to build up its endowment fund and achieve fund-raising success within a short time.
Most of the funds raised go towards providing scholarships and financial aid for deserving students, particularly those who need financial help.
SUTD president Chong Tow Chong said that the university is immensely grateful to both men for their contributions.
"SUTD would not be what it is today if not because of Philip and Sam's foresight and stewardship in providing valuable guidance and advice as we built the new university from scratch."