News Details | 15-Jul-2009

Singapore’s leading philanthropist and business leader, Dr Lee Seng Gee, receives NTU Honorary Degree

Dr Lee Seng Gee, Chairman of the Lee Foundation received the Degree of Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa) from President of the Republic of Singapore and Chancellor of Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Mr S R Nathan, in a private ceremony held early this week. The honorary degree is conferred in recognition of Dr Lee’s life-long achievements as a distinguished business leader, an outstanding philanthropist and his significant contributions to education in Singapore.

Among the guests at the ceremony were the Chairman, NTU Board of Trustees, Mr Koh Boon Hwee; Pro-Chancellors – Mr Chandra Das, Mr Wee Cho Yaw and Mr Herman R. Hochstadt, NTU President Dr Su Guaning and Dr Tony Tan, Chairman of National Research Foundation.

Dr Lee Seng Gee honoured the legacy of his father, the late Tan Sri Dr Lee Kong Chian, by his distinguished stewardship of both the Lee Foundation and the Lee Group of Companies.  He exemplified with distinction the values of diligence, duty, discipline, and dedication to promoting education.  The Lee Foundation, under his leadership for over four decades, has become the first name of philanthropy in Singapore.

Dr Lee’s unwavering support for education in Singapore is remarkable, guided by his belief that it is the duty of the more fortunate to help those who are less so. Dr Lee also firmly believes that it is through education that society can advance as a whole. The Foundation’s strong support for education, both at home and abroad, saw many needy but deserving students receiving education, news schools established and various educational programmes developed at all levels.

“Education has always been a mission close to my heart. I share this love of learning and the importance of education with my late father, Mr Lee Kong Chian. We both believe that education has the power to make society more equal for every member of society. Education plays an important role in helping people learn to be responsible members of society,” said Dr Lee in his acceptance speech. “I would like to congratulate the NTU Board of Trustees and the university staff. You have been excellent in taking NTU to such heights, now it stands as one of the world’s respected universities.”

Dr Lee has contributed significantly to the development of tertiary education in Singapore, building on the legacy of his father.  Tan Sri Dr Lee Kong Chian was a strong supporter and founder of Nanyang University who promised to donate 10% of all collections.  Since 1991 when NTU took its present name, the University had the privilege of receiving substantial financial support from the Lee Foundation.

In 2005, the NTU Endowment Fund received a gift from the Lee Foundation to support the Institute of Advanced Studies, enabling the University to launch important programmes with visits by prominent scientists including Nobel laureates in 2006.

Dr Lee was also one of the pivotal three founder members and guarantors of the corporatised NTU in 2006.

In recognition of his lifelong contributions, Dr Lee was conferred the Public Service Star in 1992 and the Ee Peng Liang Award from the National Council of Social Services in 1993.  In 2007, he earned the Credit Suisse - Ernst & Young Lifetime Achievement Award.

About Honorary Degrees

The Doctor of Letters degree is one of the five honorary degrees conferred by NTU. The other honorary degrees are Doctor of Laws, Doctor of Science, Doctor of Engineering and Doctor of Education. Honorary degrees are awarded to distinguished individuals who have achieved pre-eminence in their field of profession, or who have made significant contributions to their country, the society or in international relations. Honorary degrees are also conferred on individuals who have made important contributions to the University. Honourees affirm and dignify the University’s achievements and standing.

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