Published on: 18-Oct-2014
Singapore’s most senior policewoman Zuraidah Abdullah, Cultural Medallion artist Ho Ho Ying, and pop star Stefanie Sun lead alumni honours list
Senior policewoman Zuraidah Abdullah has blazed a trail where no woman had gone before – to become the highest-ranking female officer in the Singapore Police Force as Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police (SAC).
The 52-year-old civil engineering degree holder from Nanyang Technological Institute is one of 31 outstanding Nanyang Technological University (NTU) graduates who were honoured at the university’s Alumni Homecoming this evening.
Alongside Madam Zuraidah (Class of 1985, Civil and Structural Engineering), accomplished artist Mr Ho Ho Ying (Class of 1962, Arts), and pop icon Ms Stefanie Sun (Class of 2000, Business), were also conferred the Nanyang Distinguished Alumni Award – NTU’s highest honour for its alumni. Education Minister Mr Heng Swee Keat presented the awards in front of 1,500 alumni and guests at NTU’s Nanyang Auditorium.
NTU President, Professor Bertil Andersson said, “We are so proud and excited to honour these accomplished alumni who represent the finest examples of NTU graduates across many fields. They demonstrate to our students the value of an NTU education. I hope our alumni’s success will inspire our students to follow in their footsteps and make a mark in society and the global arena.”
Launched in 2005, the Nanyang Alumni Awards honour alumni’s exemplary achievements in diverse fields, or their significant contributions to the betterment of NTU, the community or the society. Individuals are selected for the honour they bring to the university through outstanding accomplishments in four categories: the Nanyang Distinguished Alumni Award, the Nanyang Alumni Achievement Award, the Nanyang Outstanding Young Alumni Award and the Nanyang Alumni Service Award.
Among the nine recipients of the Nanyang Alumni Achievement Award are Ms Low Yen Ling (Class of 1996, Business), Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Social and Family Development & Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth; 3D-printing scientist Professor Chua Chee Kai (Class of 1985, Engineering), at NTU’s School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering; Google’s Jolly Good Fellow Tan Chade Meng (Class of 1995, Applied Science); top financier Tan Chin Hwee (Class of 1995, Accountancy), the Asian founder of Apollo Global Management.
National shooter and Commonwealth Games Gold medallist Ms Teo Shun Xie (Class of 2011, Science), who is one of the six recipients of this year’s Outstanding Young Alumni Award, is the youngest awardee at age 25.
For their dedication and commitment to the University’s causes and initiative, 13 alumni are honoured with the Nanyang Alumni Service Award. Amongst them are seven who have served or are currently serving in NTU’s overseas alumni chapters.
Distinguished alumni recognised for outstanding careers and community service
Madam Zuraidah Abdullah was honoured with the Distinguished Alumni Award for not only her accomplished career in the police force but also her active contributions to society as Chairman of the Malay Heritage Foundation and a member of the National Library Board. She had also served as self-help group Mendaki's chief executive officer and was the first woman on the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) board.
The first Malay woman graduate to join the police force in 1986, Madam Zuraidah credits her university training for giving her the foundation on which to build a successful career. The biggest lesson she learned in university that has stayed with her today, she said is, “To turn challenges into opportunities and never give up.”
“My cohort was the first batch of students who went to Nanyang Technological Institute (NTI). Although NTI was new, we made the best of the situation and benefited from it as we had many excellent lecturers and facilities in NTI, which students continue to have at NTU. Later when we graduated in 1985, the economy was bad and jobs in engineering were hard to come by. We did not give up. Instead, many of us took the opportunity to venture into non-engineering careers and did well.”
For acclaimed veteran artist Mr Ho Ho Ying, 79, his involvement in the arts has been a lifelong pursuit. A pioneering artist of the modern art movement and an influential art critic, Mr Ho is renowned for his avant-garde Chinese calligraphy and abstract expressionistic works. He is also well known for his writing, under the moniker Zi Mu. Mr Ho, who was conferred the Cultural Medallion in 2012, said, “I have strived hard for the arts. Today, I am glad that my achievements in the arts is being recognised by the university.”
Mr Ho credits his training at then-Nanyang University’s Chinese Language and Literature department for significantly shaping his professional development. “Many Chinese theories, such as poem, ancient verse, lyric form, Chinese history, and various ideologies from the ancient philosophers that I studied in university have had a great impact on me," he said.
Reflecting on her achievement, Singapore's Pop Princess Ms Stefanie Sun, 35, who was unable to attend the event, said, “I would like to thank my alma mater NTU for bestowing this honourable award on me. My parents were both teachers, my father incidentally, was an Associate Professor in the Electrical and Electronic Engineering department for 20 years. My world for many years had been mostly focused on academia, Mathematics was my forte and I would never have imagined myself having a 14 year-career – and counting – in the entertainment industry.”
Sharing her tips for success, the stellar singer who has amassed over 200 music awards, said, “I urge all of my juniors to do as I do, to not just pursue what you truly adore doing, but to endeavour to take it to a pinnacle of excellence, even if it did not seem like a future, even if, not by other people's standards, but in your own mind, that there is this level of perfection that you could imagine and it may never appear to get any lower, and barring all, to go for it.”
NTU today has more than 190,000 alumni across 144 countries and territories worldwide. The university keeps in close touch with its graduates through events such as the annual Homecoming and via its 79 alumni associations in Singapore and around the world, including China, India, Europe and the United States.
For more information on the Nanyang Alumni Awards, visit: www.ntu.edu.sg/NanyangAlumniAwards/
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Feisal Abdul Rahman
Senior Assistant Director (Media Relations)
Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University
Tel: (65) 6790 6687
About Nanyang Technological University (NTU)
A research-intensive public university, NTU Singapore has 33,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, and Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and its Interdisciplinary Graduate School. It has a new medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London.
NTU is also home to world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI), Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N) and the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight (ACI).
A fast-growing university with an international outlook, NTU is putting its global stamp on Five Peaks of Excellence: Sustainable Earth, Future Healthcare, New Media, New Silk Road, and Innovation Asia.
Besides the main Yunnan Garden campus, NTU also has a satellite campus in Singapore’s science and tech hub, one-north, and a third campus in Novena, Singapore’s medical district.
For more information, visit www.ntu.edu.sg.
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