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Philanthropist to receive honorary degree

14 August 2006

Singaporean philanthropist to receive honorary degree

One of Singapore’s most respected citizens, who has provided support to prestigious universities throughout the world, is to receive an honorary doctorate from Victoria University of Wellington.

Lee Seng Tee, who will have his honorary Doctor of Literature degree conferred in Singapore on 16 August, has assisted in raising Victoria’s international profile in both Antarctic research and economics.

His financial support for the Antarctic Research Centre allowed the University to set up the annual S.T. Lee Lecture in Antarctic Studies which is now in its fourth year, and the creation of the S.T. Lee Library, as well as funding a student exchange between the Centre and the University of Alaska Fairbanks International Arctic Research Center, providing valuable support for young polar scientists.

His backing of the Victoria University-based Institute for the Study of Competition & Regulation has allowed the creation of a Visiting Fellowship that will provide funding to bring top international researchers to contribute to the Institute’s research programme, cementing its reputation as New Zealand’s leading research institute in the field. Mr Lee has also provided funding for an annual lecture by Victoria staff and invited scholars at the University of Economics, Ho Chi Minh City, to build the relationship between Victoria and this important partner university in Viet Nam.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Pat Walsh, says it is an honour to have the opportunity to confer Mr Lee with an honorary doctorate.

“Mr Lee is highly respected around the world, and he has an extraordinary record of making significant philanthropic contributions to prestigious universities over the past 30 years.

“The majority of Mr Lee’s gifts to universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, London, Harvard and Stanford have provided funding for libraries, fellowships and annual lectures. He has a keen interest in supporting excellence in education, and he has limited his astonishingly generous gifts and donations to universities he regards as centres of excellence. We are proud to be counted among these.”

Mr Lee is well-known in Singapore for his public service, which includes membership of the Council of the University of Malaya in Singapore and the University of Singapore and the Advisory Boards of the Singapore Art Museum, Singapore Raffles Museum, and the Preservation of Monuments Board.

Mr Lee is an alumnus of Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated with a BSc (Econ) in 1950, and has long served as Director of the Lee Group of companies. He holds an honorary doctorate from the Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand, was named an Honorary Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge University, in 1986, and is also an Honorary Fellow of the Needham Research Institute in Cambridge, of Oriel College, Oxford University, and a member of All Souls College, Oxford University. He was elected an Honorary Fellow of the British Academy in 1998 and a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2001.


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