The National University of Singapore (NUS) today announced the appointment of Singapore’s former Deputy Prime Minister Professor S Jayakumar as Pro-Chancellor of the University. The appointment was made by Madam Halimah Yacob, President of the Republic of Singapore and NUS Chancellor, with effect from 1 July 2020, for a term of three years.
Prof Jayakumar will join current NUS Pro-Chancellors Mr Po’ad Mattar, Dr Chan Sek Keong, Mrs Theresa Foo, Mr Gautam Banerjee, and Mr Teo Siong Seng in the University’s Chancellery, which is headed by the NUS Chancellor. University Pro-Chancellors act on behalf of the Chancellor during the Chancellor’s absence from the University, and preside at the annual Commencement ceremonies.
NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye said, “It is our privilege and honour to have Professor S Jayakumar as our Pro-Chancellor. Prof Jayakumar has had a long association with NUS – as a student, former Dean of Law, and alumnus. Prof Jayakumar is a leading light to many in our community – his distinguished career in public service contributed to the growth and development of Singapore, as well as the advancement of legal education and the legal profession. We look forward to his contributions in NUS Chancellery matters.”
Prof Jayakumar has an illustrious career, spanning academia and the public service, for close to 60 years. He graduated top of his cohort at the NUS Faculty of Law (NUS Law) in 1963, and joined the Faculty as a lecturer in 1964. He was appointed Dean and served from 1974 to 1980. While in NUS, he took leave to serve as Singapore’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations and High Commissioner to Canada from 1971 to 1974. In 1980, Prof Jayakumar entered politics, and held many portfolios, such as Minister for Law, Home Affairs, Labour, Foreign Affairs as well as Deputy Prime Minister, Senior Minister, and Coordinating Minister for National Security. He retired from politics in 2011 and returned to NUS Law in October 2011. He is now also Senior Legal Advisor to the Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Prof Jayakumar played a key role in promoting NUS Law, and served, until recently, as Chair of its Advisory Council, where he helped to enhance the Faculty’s legal education and research. He is also Chair of the International Advisory Panel of the NUS Centre for International Law, one of Asia’s most influential international law centres.
In recognition of his outstanding contribution to academia, public service and the international community, Prof Jayakumar received the University’s Eminent Alumni Award in 2009 and the Outstanding Service Award in 2014.
Prof Jayakumar said, “I am deeply honoured by this appointment as Pro-Chancellor of NUS, as that is where I first began my law studies and where I had my first job. I look forward to working closely with Chancellor, President Halimah Yacob, and my fellow Pro-Chancellors.”