SINGAPORE: Singapore Management University (SMU) founder and chairman Ho Kwon Ping will step down next January 11 after 25 years of leadership, the university announced Wednesday (17 August). did.

He will be succeeded by Piyush Gupta, CEO of DBS Group.

As chairman of the university’s board of trustees, Mr Ho said, “I have built a strong foundation for SMU, made a long-term contribution to making SMU the unique and world-renowned university it is today, and made a positive impact on the higher education landscape in Singapore.” We have redefined the process,” SMU said in a media release.

He is also credited with inspiring SMU to “go beyond just business school and embrace the broader concept of management rather than business management.”

“Under his visionary leadership and skillful stewardship, Mr. Ho has expanded SMU from a business school to eight schools focused on accounting, computing and information systems with more than 12,000 students (and It has grown into a vibrant and dynamic university with more than 36,000 alumni), economics, law, social sciences, and their intersection,” SMU said.

Mr Ho said:

“My guiding principle from the beginning until now has been that nothing, except our own self-limiting fear of failure, innovation and change, can prevent us from achieving our greatest dreams. about it.”

“I am now retiring with a deep conviction that what we have built over the last 25 years will be a solid foundation upon which we can realize an even more daring and idealistic vision,” he added.


Gupta, who has served on SMU’s board of trustees since January of this year, will pull the reins when Ho steps down.

“In this fast-changing and disruptive age, universities play a vital role not only in guiding and shaping thinking through cutting-edge research, but also in training young people in interdisciplinary ways of problem-solving. ” he said.

“SMU is focused on providing a holistic, transformative and integrated education and excels in these areas. The university’s close partnerships with business and the community are also key strengths.

“Kwon Ping and the first-generation pioneers have set a benchmark for extraordinary success. We will work with our board and university leaders to build on their tremendous achievements in order to take SMU to the next level. We look forward to developing it further.”

Named one of the 100 best CEOs in the world by the 2019 Harvard Business Review, Mr. Gupta will be awarded a Public Service Star in 2020 by President Halima Yacoub for service to the nation. it was done.

“We are delighted to welcome Piyush as the incoming Chair of the SMU Board of Directors,” said Professor Lily Kong, President of SMU.

“On behalf of my management team, I am very much looking forward to working with Piyush and the Board as they lead the university into its next phase of growth.”

“Exceptional Leadership

Founder and Chairman of Banyan Tree Holdings and Laguna Resorts and Hotels, and Chairman of Thai Wah Public Company, Ho has been with SMU since its inception.

He became chairman of the board after accepting the government’s invitation to establish Singapore’s third university in 1997.

Together with then Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Tony Tan, he established the University’s First Principles. We provide a holistic and broad education that leads to balanced, initiative-taking young men and women. And it instills a strong sense of personal and social responsibility,” SMU said.

With a central Singapore address, these features make SMU stand out in Singapore’s higher education environment, the university added.

Mr. Ho was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal in 2009 for his contribution to the founding and founding of SMU. At the 2017 National Day Awards, he was awarded the Honorable Merit Medal (Darjah Utama Bakti Cemerlang), one of Singapore’s highest honors.

Professor Kong said:

“In addition to developing the university from the ground up, he has provided tremendous guidance and support to past and present SMU management teams as the university has grown from ‘infant’ to ‘youth’.

“The university is deeply grateful for his wisdom and advice. Kwon Ping has also made a difference in the lives of many in the SMU community during his tenure as president, including faculty, staff, students, alumni, and their families. It has affected me personally.

“I would like to sincerely thank him for his selfless dedication to education and SMU in Singapore.

Minister of Education Chan Chun Singh thanked Ho for his contribution and said Ho played a key role in establishing SMU as Singapore’s first autonomous university.

“He has spearheaded the development of the university in the city center, shaped SMU’s overall broader education, including the SMU-X initiative and its multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary programs, and produced a unique cohort of SMU graduates. I did,” he added.

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