​NTU President's speech for Convocation Dinner 2019

Published on: 31-Jul-2019

Speech by

Professor Subra Suresh
President & Distinguished University Professor,
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore


Nanyang Auditorium
Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Guest-of-Honour, Dr Wee Cho Yaw, Mrs Wee, 
Your Excellencies, 
Members of the NTU Board of Trustees, 
Faculty, staff, students,
Distinguished guests, 
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good evening. This is the culmination of 20 years of very hard work since 1997, when the Singapore government took major new steps in reforming higher education. And just this year, in the last two weeks, 20 Convocation ceremonies later, we are here tonight to celebrate a number of milestones. Those milestones are just about success as we discussed at the main convocation Ceremony 1 about 10 days ago. They are not just about where the university is, which we should all be very proud of on a global stage, but equally, what our alumni and students are doing. We have more than 240,000 alumni in more than 150 countries around the world.

The valedictorian this year, Edward Yee, is sitting here. He has been chosen to be a Rhodes scholar, and he’s going to Oxford to do his Master’s degree, and he’s Singapore’s first Rhodes scholar in the last 14 years. Congratulations Edward!

I am also delighted to welcome the newest member of NTU leadership team, Professor Simon Redfern. Simon will join us officially tomorrow as the Dean of the College of Science at NTU. He’s from Cambridge University in England where he’s the head of the earth sciences department. Welcome, Simon. 

And I also want to welcome Presidents Emeriti who are joining us here--Professors Cham Tao Soon, Su Guaning and Bertil Andersson. We are delighted to witness, during the course of the last 20 Convocation ceremonies, the number of milestone events. We are thrilled to welcome two very distinguished individuals as new members of the NTU family--Professor Sir Keith O’Nions, former Rector and President of Imperial College London, and Margaret Lien, Governor Emerita of the Lien Foundation. Let me offer my congratulations to Margaret who’s here tonight. 

We graduated 9,453 students during the course of the 20 Convocation ceremonies held in the last week and a half or so. It’s a real delight to watch them, to watch the Lee Kuan Yew Gold Medallists, the Koh Boon Hwee Scholars, leave NTU after their time here and go on to the next stage. We will all watch with great anticipation, how they will change the world, how they will gain pride and prestige to NTU in the years to come. 

I’m also very pleased to say that during the course of the last year, we have welcomed a large number of faculty to NTU. We attracted a large number of young scholars, known as the Nanyang Assistant Professors, and Presidential Postdoctoral Fellows across the university, in every college and school at NTU. And ultimately, it’s the work that they do that is going to make NTU go to even greater heights in the months and years to come. 

Another milestone during the course of last year has been the publications of NTU faculty in some of the highest impact journals and leading journals in the world in terms of scientific input. Equally important are the patents they filed, the discoveries they made, and the translations of their basic work to society and commercial practice, as those will contribute an impact in the NTU way. 

Before I finish, let’s give a very warm round of applause to all the staff, administrative staff, academic staff, professors, school Chairs and Deans who are gathered here today, for all the hard work behind the scenes in organising so many different events, and in engaging friends, alumni and graduates in this very important milestone. 

Thank you.

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