Commencement Dinner 2017

It seems as if Commencement had only just started, but now, 10,857 graduand hand-shakes later, we are already marking its completion with this celebratory dinner.

14 July 2017


Commencement Speech 2017

To our graduating class of 2017, my very heartiest congratulations!

6 July 2017


University Awards 2017

Last week, I visited Farrer Park Hospital for the first time.The facilities were excellent but what particularly caught my attention, was the thoughtful referencing to the history of the site...

28 April 2017


SOUA 2016: Empowering for the Age of Empowerment

If you visit Ciudad Perdida in Colombia, and view its walled terraces, you can’t help but sense that this is a special site...

04 November 2016


Freshmen Inauguration Ceremony 2016

The entire NUS family joins me in extending our warmest welcome to you as our newest members. We are delighted you have chosen NUS for this important part of your journey of academic and personal growth.

01 August 2016


Commencement Dinner 2016

Just the other day, my wife Evelyn and I were joking about how trekking crews in different parts of the world "treated" us at the end of a difficult day's walk.

15 July 2016


Commencement Speech 2016

It is always a special privilege to be among the first to formally congratulate our graduating students. So to the Class of 2016, well done and my very heartiest congratulations!

7 July 2016


University Awards 2016

It is very hard to predict the future.

Two weeks ago, NUS hosted the Global Learning Council symposium on Technology Enhanced Learning.

One of our speakers from Japan, Prof Toyo Iyoshi, showed this slide on how in the 1960s, they had envisioned the future of education.

29 April 2016


State of the University Address 2015: Another 110 (%)

"PEOPLE, CULTURE and PURPOSE lie at the heart of what we do.

We need to build an ever deeper culture of excellence and a strong sense of common purpose centred on creating distinctive value."

27 October 2015


The Aims of Education: Some Perspectives from Asia

I would like to express my heartiest congratulations to the newly promoted faculty, and the recipients of the outstanding research, and distinguished scholar teacher awards.

14 October 2015


Freshmen Inauguration Ceremony 2015

To our freshmen, a very warm welcome to NUS! I hope you are enjoying the orientation period, making friends and getting used to life on campus.

03 August 2015


Commencement Dinner 2015

Earlier this year, I was in San Francisco where I met some of our students attending the NUS Overseas College at Silicon Valley. At an event, one of the students asked me: "What do you actually do, as NUS President?"

24 July 2015


Commencement Speech 2015

We are delighted to be able to share with you and your families, your pride and joy in the many achievements you have made, and your excitement for the future.

06 July 2015


NUS Memorial Ceremony – A Tribute to the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew

Born on 16 September 1923 to Lee Chin Koon and Chua Jim Neo, Mr Lee Kuan Yew grew up in Singapore where he emerged as top student, in Singapore and Malaya, in the School Certificate examinations.

24 March 2015


Opening Event of NUS’ 110th Anniversary Celebrations

Good morning and a very warm welcome to everyone! I would like to thank all our guests, including the many residents of Taman Jurong, for joining us for this event.

01 February 2015

State of the University Address 2014: Influencing the Future

For those interested in the future, Delphi in Greece should hold a special place.

10 October 2014


Freshman Inauguration Ceremony 2014

To each and every one of our freshmen, welcome to NUS!

04 August 2014

On Being Optimistic

First, I would like to thank Yi Da, President of the NUSSU Ex-co, for his kind words about the leadership of NUS. But when you speak of the leadership of the University, we should also acknowledge the leadership of the student body and it's been a tremendous pleasure and honour to work with you and your colleagues in advancing the cause of the University.

18 July 2014


On Being Happy

One of the things I look forward to greatly each year is the privilege of being the first person to formally congratulate our graduating students at Commencement.

07 July 2014


Imagination and the Art of the Possible

One of the most famous treasures at the Taiwan National Palace museum is a jade carving of a Chinese cabbage. It is truly exquisite and tourists flock from all around the world to admire it.

9 May 2014

Official Opening of University Town

A very warm welcome, and thank you very much for joining us for this special occasion. The official opening of University Town today marks the achievement of a major milestone.

17 October 2013


State of the University Address 2013: Mount Kailash and the Paths Beyond

In 1985, while travelling in Nepal, I spent a few days in Kathmandu.

11 October 2013


Freshman Inauguration Ceremony 2013

To our dear freshmen, you are the 105th class to be admitted to our university, and on behalf of the entire NUS community, I would like to say "Welcome to NUS!"

05 August 2013

NUS Commencement Dinner 2013

As a young man, I was never very keen on ritual, but over time, I have come to appreciate its value. Rituals give a rhythm and significance to what we do; they serve like punctuation marks as we write the story of our lives, as individuals and as communities.

18 July 2013


Change, Permanence, and Continuity

To the graduating class of 2013, my colleagues and I extend our heartiest congratulations! We are truly proud of you and what you have achieved, and we join your parents and loved ones in celebrating this special occasion with you.

08 July 2013


Honorary Degree Conferment Ceremony for Mr Lee Kuan Yew

The National University of Singapore traces its roots to a very modest medical school founded in 1905. Since that time, our university, like Singapore, has undergone a series of dramatic transformations.

04 June 2013

Official Opening of NUS (Suzhou) Research Institute

It is a great pleasure and honour to be here this morning for the official opening of the NUS (Suzhou) Research Institute's new building.

29 May 2013

Excellence: not an act but a habit

Last year, in my State of the University Address, I spoke of some powerful drivers that could potentially re-define and transform teaching and learning in the university.

26 April 2013


Of Whales and the Campus Tsunami

Some of you may recall that I wrote last year's State of the University Address while trekking in Bhutan. At a small village five days walk from the nearest town (for non-Bhutanese), we visited a horse-trader's house.

12 October 2012


A Guide to Our University: On Survival, Inquiry and Sophistication

Some of you may recall that I wrote last year's State of the University Address while trekking in Bhutan. At a small village five days walk from the nearest town (for non-Bhutanese), we visited a horse-trader's house.

12 October 2012


A Guide to Our University: On Survival, Inquiry and Sophistication

My colleagues and I share your great excitement at starting your NUS experience, and we look forward with anticipation to the new energy and creativity which you will bring to our community.

06 August 2012

Commencement Dinner 2012

When the very first graduates from our University received their diplomas in 1910, there was a brief ceremony, followed by a tea reception on the school grounds.

20 July 2012


A century of achievement and contribution

We are delighted to celebrate this special day with you, your parents and loved ones, to mark your achievements and the fruits of your hard work.

05 July 2012


The Many Facets of Excellence

This evening, we celebrate exceptional members of the NUS community, and recognise their passions, contributions and achievements.

04 May 2012


Welcome Lunch for NUS' Ninth Chancellor, His Excellency Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam, President of the Republic of Singapore

It is a great pleasure and honour for me, on behalf of the NUS Board of Trustees and the entire University community, to welcome warmly President Tony Tan, as NUS' 9th Chancellor.

28 November 2011

Appreciation Dinner for Mr S R Nathan

I remember vividly my first week as an NUS medical student, and in particular what Professor Khoo Oon Teik said then at the Master's Welcome Tea at the King Edward VII Hall at Sepoy Lines.

28 October 2011

"Sky-pointing" and Changes in Global Higher Education

If you walk along the beaches of the Galapagos Islands you will see what look like big black clumps of seaweed. You should not step on them because these are not seaweed.

14 October 2011


Launch of Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health

Without doubt, health and public health rank high among the most critical issues of this century, for Singapore and for all nations of the world.

19 September 2011

Pursuing the "Useless"

Each of you has many talents - some are known to you but others are yet to be uncovered and nurtured. My colleagues and I look forward to working with you, to help you become the best that you can be.

01 August 2011

Commencement Dinner 2011

I always enjoy Commencement because it has so many fascinating dimensions. At the centre are our happy graduands, their proud parents and families.

15 July 2011

Commencement 2011

We are delighted to celebrate this happy occasion with you. It marks the end of a chapter of hard work and achievement for you, and signals the start of a new and exciting next phase of your lives.

04 July 2011


Leading Positive Change

The future that lies before you is full of promise and potential. And what makes it especially exciting, are the myriad of opportunities for you to be a driver for positive change.

15 May 2011

Excellence and the art of making tea

According to the annals of tea, the first cup of tea came about by accident – it happened when a dead leaf from a wild tea bush fell into water that was being boiled for the Emperor Shen Nong to drink.

29 April 2011


Launch of Yale-NUS College

There is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune...On such a full sea are we now afloat, and we must take the current when it serves.

11 April 2011


Opportunities and Challenges Facing Asian Higher Education

In 1943, Winston Churchill said "the empires of the future are the empires of the mind". This prescient quotation is even more relevant today, where the success of societies and economies is increasingly dependent on the creation and innovative application of knowledge.

14 November 2010

Reading the Water Well

Like me, you would be amazed if you saw this Opera House which was completed in 1896. The tiles for the roof came from France, the marble in the columns from Italy, and the steel from England.

11 October 2010


Setting Out to Stand Out

One of the things I enjoy most in NUS is that every year, at around this time, we have an infusion of bright young talent that adds to the freshness, energy and creativity of our campus.

02 August 2010


Reflecting on the NUS Spirit

Commencement, like good wine, can be enjoyed at many levels.

16 July 2010


Curiosity, Passion and Community

Today we celebrate our University's 98th Commencement or Convocation as it was previously known.

05 July 2010


Launch of President S.R. Nathan's book, Why Am I Here?

It is my great pleasure to welcome you to the launch of President S R Nathan's debut book titled, "Why Am I Here?" The NUS Centre for Maritime Studies and our partner in this initiative – Keppel Corporation – are truly honoured to have worked with President Nathan on an intensely personal, yet nationally important piece of narrative. President Nathan, I would like to express our appreciation to you for giving us the privilege of publishing your book.

29 April 2010

NUS Excellence Day

In my last State of the University Address, I spoke about the need to be nimble in response to the rapid and profound changes to the world's economy. To become a leading global University, NUS' administrative system must be world-class, and support and drive our academic enterprise.

11 March 2010

NUS Career Fair 2010 Opening

This time last year, the mood was a somber one. The global financial system was in turmoil. Singapore was bracing for the full impact of the global recession. For the graduating class of 2009, the immediate future then appeared fraught with difficulty.

04 February 2010

Global Entrepreneurship Week

On behalf of co-hosts, NUS Enterprise and the Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE), welcome to the launch of the Global Entrepreneurship Week 2009 (GEW). This is the second consecutive year we are organising this event in Singapore, as part of a world-wide effort to increase awareness of entrepreneurship among the youth.

16 November 2009

NUS Alumni Awards Ceremony 2009

Tonight is a happy and special event. We gather to recognise the outstanding achievements of our NUS alumni and to celebrate their great contributions and impact in Singapore and globally.

10 November 2009

Faculty of Dentistry's 80th Anniversary Celebration Dinner

It is wonderful that all of us are gathered here tonight to celebrate the 80th Anniversary of our Faculty of Dentistry.

07 November 2009

Global Human Resources Forum 2009

There is no denying that our world has been changing very rapidly, especially in the last decade, with globalisation being one of the central drivers of that change.

03-05 November 2009

Student Achievement Awards Ceremony 2009

This annual Student Achievement Awards is something I look forward to every year. It is a special opportunity for me to meet so many students from across the University.

30 October 2009

Scaling New Heights in a Changed World

Our world is changing rapidly and profoundly. As our Prime Minister, Mr Lee Hsien Loong noted in his speech to Parliament on 29 May, "After this crisis, the world is not going to be the same again. It's not just another cyclical downturn and recovery. The world's economy is undergoing a structural shift."

30 October 2009


Official Opening of 54-56 Jln Tun Tan Cheng Lock

Thank you very much for joining us today on this special and happy occasion - the official opening of Townhouses Numbers 54 and 56 at Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock.

26 September 2009

Green Carnival 2009 - NUS Fights Climate Change: What About You?

Good morning and thank you for joining us at the opening of NUS' Green Carnival 2009. I am happy to see so many of you here today. In particular, I wish to thank Dr Amy Khor for gracing this occasion.

07-08 September 2009

World Dental Education Society - FDI Cheque Presentation Ceremony

Good afternoon. Thank you very much for inviting me to join you for this important event. On behalf of the National University of Singapore, I would like to extend our sincere best wishes and to all our friends from abroad, a very warm welcome to Singapore.

04 September 2009

Gaining, Giving, Growing

Freshmen of 2009, my warmest welcome to the NUS family! My colleagues and I are looking forward to the new energy and fresh voices that you bring, adding to the vibrancy of our campus.

03 August 2009

Shaping Our Future, Celebrating Our Past

What a Commencement this has been! The "Liveliness index" was certainly very high - led by the Social Work graduating class which cheered almost continuously for each other.

17 July 2009

New Alumni Welcome Lunch 2009

Fellow alumni, colleagues, students and friends, Class of 2009, Congratulations! It is with great pleasure that I welcome you as NUS alumni. You are now part of our extended family of over 196,000 alumni members spread around the world. This is a ready-made global network to which you, our alumni have automatic membership.

11 July 2009

Main Commencement Ceremony

Graduating class of 2009, my warmest congratulations on this special day! As NUS students, you enriched our campus with your vigour, passion and idealism. As NUS graduates, you bring that same energy and talent, that same youthful optimism to Singapore and to society.

06 July 2009


BTC Alumni Reunion

I am delighted that so many of you are able to join us this afternoon for the Bukit Timah Campus Reunion. Today's event is triply auspicious.

08 July 2009

ICMAT & IUMRS-ICA 2009 Closing Ceremony

Allow me to first warmly welcome all of you to the Closing Ceremony of the combined meeting of the 2009 International Conference on Materials for Advanced Technologies (ICMAT) and the International Union of Materials Research Societies' International Conference in Asia (IMURS-ICA).

03 July 2009

Opening of the Investigational Medicine Unit National University Health System

Over the past 10 years, biomedical sciences R&D in Singapore has made dramatic progress. Today, we have a critical mass of excellent basic biomedical science researchers and state-of-the-art infrastructure.

25 June 2009

Launch of NUS-GE Singapore Water Technology Centre

Welcome to the National University of Singapore and to the launch of the NUS-GE Singapore Water Technology Centre. I am pleased that we are able to hold this event in our new NUS T-Lab Building, which will be officially opened next year, after all the research units have fully moved in.

22 June 2009

Germany, France and Singapore: Together for Green Innovation

I am delighted to join you for the Workshop on Industrial Water Management: "Germany, France and Singapore: Together for Green Innovation".

22 June 2009

Nurturing the Talent of Tomorrow: Global Education for a Globalised World

The topic I have been asked to address today relates to the role that global universities can and should play to nurture students who will succeed in the globalised world.

01 June 2009

Unleashing The Potential Within

I would like to start tonight with a question. If you look at the picture on the screen, what do you see? Most of us would see a nice block of marble.

24 April 2009

NUS Safety and Health Award Ceremony 2009

Thank you for joining us today for the NUS Safety and Health Award Ceremony 2009. Now a key event on our University's calendar, this award ceremony presents a wonderful.

22 April 2009


Launch of the NUS Virtual Institute for the Study of Ageing (VISA)

Good morning and a warm welcome to the launch of the NUS Virtual Institute for the Study of Ageing (or VISA).

20 April 2009

Homecoming 2009

When I was a student in the NUS School of Medicine, "homecoming" had a much more literal meaning. Most weekends.

21 March 2009

Official Opening Of Alumni Complex

I would like to welcome you warmly to this special event - the Official Opening of the Alumni Complex and the NUSS Dialogue.

20 March 2009


National Innovation Systems in a Global Context - Perspectives from Singapore

Universities Australia Inaugural Higher Education Conference

04-06 March 2009

National Sustainability Conference

Good morning. I am delighted to join you for the National Sustainability Conference. In particular, I would like to thank Ambassador Chew for agreeing to speak this.

21 February 2009

Emerging Directions in Global Education

Change is the constant ingredient in today's environment. Macro forces like globalization, economic change, knowledge-based economies are perpetually forcing.

09-11 February 2009

Launch of new NUS Vision and Mission & Welcome Lunch for new NUS President

In 1993, my wife and I were doing some walking in Pakistan. One day, we came to this bridge and we stopped. We looked behind us and we could see the village of Hussaini.

08 January 2009


Student Achievement Awards

Four years ago, we launched the Annual Student Achievement Awards to celebrate the many unique talents and contributions of our students.

31 October 2008

Official Opening of Khoo Teck Puat Advanced Surgery Training Centre

Good afternoon and a very warm welcome to the Khoo Teck Puat Advanced Surgery Training Centre, or ASTC. I am delighted that you are able to join us.

24 October 2008


State of the University Address 2008

Giving the State of the University Address today is a privilege which is very special for me, an NUS alumnus and President-designate of NUS. It is a great honour for me to.

10 October 2008


Green Carnival at NUS

A very good afternoon to all of you! I am very delighted to be here today. It gives me a unique opportunity to address issues which are of utmost impor tance to NUS.

25 August 2008