Published on 30 Dec 2020

A moving tribute

As part of their 35th anniversary, the Class of 1985 launched an endowment fund in honour of the late Emeritus Prof Chen Charng Ning to support their engineering juniors who require financial assistance.

Led by former Members of Parliament, Er Dr Lee Bee Wah (CSE/1985) and Mr Inderjit Singh Dhaliwal (EEE/1985), the Class of 1985 launched an endowment fund in honour of the late Emeritus Professor Chen Charng Ning, as part of their 35th anniversary. 

The launch event on 30 December 2020 at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) was graced by Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat and Mrs Chen Charng Ning.

With a target of S$2 million to support engineering students from underprivileged families, the endowment fund was named in honour of Prof Chen, NTU’s former Deputy President and founding Dean of the School of Civil and Structural Engineering. The late Prof Chen was also the Chairman of Santarli Holdings Pte Ltd from 2001 to 2019, whose construction arm gave S$1 million funding to seed the endowment.

The fund will support scholarships worth up to S$15,000 and bursaries of up to S$10,000 annually, and the number of scholarships and bursaries awarded each year will depend on the funding raised and income from the endowment fund.

Professor Ling San, Deputy President and Provost of NTU Singapore, said, "This fundraising drive for the Prof Chen Charng Ning Endowment Fund initiated by the Class of 1985 is a moving tribute to commemorate Prof Chen’s life. Prof Chen is an exemplary figure who inspires the type of giving spirit the University hopes to instil in our students and alumni."

Er Dr Lee Bee Wah said, “Prof Chen was an inspiring educator and highly respected in the construction industry, not just in Singapore, but in the region and beyond. An excellent teacher, many of his students are doing very well in the industry, and we owe it to him for imparting his knowledge to us. Prof Chen's teachings and the memories he gave us have left a profound impact on our lives. We feel that the most meaningful way to honour him would be to set up the Prof Chen Charng Ning Endowment Fund, to award scholarships and bursaries to NTU undergraduates.”

The new endowment fund is the second fund set up by the Class of 1985. Its first was the NTU Class of '85 Pioneer Fund, which was set up in 2010 in conjunction with their 25th-anniversary class reunion. The Pioneer Fund raised more than S$3 million – well above its initial target of S$2.5 million – to support NTU's engineering students.