Campus couples give back to NUS

Campus couples give back to NUS
Fund originators Yeo Keng Joon and Kong Yuet Peng (left) with two other couples who found love on campus – Mr Aznan Ghazali and Ms Khalijah Masud (centre) and Ms Jessie Tong and Mr Kelly Choo.

SINGAPORE - It was at the National University of Singapore (NUS) that they had their undergraduate education and found their life partners.

Now, 12 couples have come together to contribute to a new bursary fund that is collecting donations from alumni who met on campus. Each pair gave $25,000 to the fund.

They include Mr Aznan Ghazali, 46, and his wife, Ms Khalijah Masud, 44.

They were hostel mates at Sheares Hall, and had been close friends since 1989, but it took them nine years to start dating. They finally tied the knot on Valentine's Dayin 1999.

"This year is extra special for us - we gave to the fund and this Valentine's Day marks our 16th wedding anniversary," said Mr Aznan, a foreign exchange adviser.

His wife is a philanthropic adviser, and they have two children.

The fund, which took about a year to plan, was launched by Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong at a Valentine's Day dinner at NUS. More than 100 couples who met there joined the event.

Fund originators Yeo Keng Joon and Kong Yuet Peng have been married for 39 years. Mr Yeo, 64, said he started the fund so he could share his blessings with needy undergraduates.

More than $325,000 has been raised so far. Five needy students will be the first to benefit in the coming academic year.

But Mr Yeo is still on the lookout for more campus couples. He hopes the bursary can eventually fund 50 students a year.

"You must be eternally grateful to your university if you met your spouse on campus," said Mr Yeo, who runs a firm selling aquaculture feeds.

His wife is an adjunct lecturer at the Singapore Management University.

"Otherwise, your life would be completely different."

This article was first published on Feb 14, 2015.
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