About the project

In January 2010, Singapore Management University (SMU) commemorated its 10th anniversary. To mark this significant milestone, SMU Chairman Ho Kwon Ping called for efforts to gather the records that encapsulate the thinking behind the setting up of Singapore’s third university and to make these records available in the library archives. The initiative also involved gathering the oral history accounts from the people who were involved in the establishment of SMU. “Conceptualising SMU: The People and Ideas behind the SMU Story” is a project to record the personal recollections covering the stories, ideas and thinking by those involved in planning and shaping SMU – the visionaries, architects and pioneers. We acknowledge the 21 individuals who provided us their valuable time to recount their stories and review their transcripts. The idea of the third University was first mooted by the then Deputy Prime Minister Dr Tony Tan in 1996 and we are gratified to have had him be involved in the project and fortuitously now be SMU’s Patron and President of Singapore. Dr John Yip who was then Executive Director and CEO at Singapore Institute of Management and wrote the very first concept paper on the third university in 1997 had also graciously participated in the project. Chairman SMU Ho Kwon Ping and other pioneers of SMU, all four SMU presidents and five founding deans were involved in this initial phase of the project. The project was extended to key appointment holders in SMU. At the heart of the University are its students. The oral history collection also includes accounts from pioneer students and these are encapsulated in six thematic videos covering various aspects of their SMU experience. The oral history project is a joint initiative of SMU Libraries and Integrated Information Technology Services (IITS).


About this Site

This site, including the digital recording and editing, is designed and developed by the Web and Media Technologies Division of IITS. The abridged versions of the oral history recordings and transcripts are made available on this site to inform and educate the general user. The oral history collection is organised by people and topics, with interactive transcripts available for user reference. An interactive timeline depicting key events and milestones in SMU’s history is also provided. The full versions of these interviews are available for research and education purposes at SMU Libraries.

Please contact the Library at library@smu.edu.sg for access to the materials. The oral history collection and this site was launched by President Tony Tan Keng Yam at SMU’s Patron’s Day on 13 January 2012.