January 30, 2016
A group of donors, supporters and friends of Nalanda University from Singapore, and Hongkong came for a three-day visit from January 24 to January 26, 2016 to the University. The group also joined NU community for the celebration of 67th Indian Republic Day on January 26, 2016.
The group was accompanied by Chancellor George Yeo. Their first visit was to the Mahabodhi temple in Gaya before arriving at Rajgir, where they were welcomed by Vice Chancellor Dr. Gopa Sabharwal. On the next day they had an interaction with the students at Tathagat Residential Hall. Later the team also visited the Nalanda ruins, Nalanda Museum, Xuan Zang Memorial Hall and other places of interest. The group included donors who have contributed to the gift that will design, build and deliver the Library at main campus site of Nalanda. The nature of the gift is not a cash donation, but the funding of the building cost of the Nalanda Library in its first phase. This gift from the people of Singapore (not the government) to Nalanda, was an initiative of the now Chancellor, Mr. George Yeo, at a time before he was named Chancellor.
Mr. K. C. Chew a leading consultant in Philanthropy in Singapore, who earlier oversaw endowments at National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and is currently the Honorary Secretary at Nalanda Library Fund Limited was also travelling with this group. Commenting on the gift Mr. K.C. Chew said, “When we set out to raise the funds for this gift, we had set ourselves a target to raise S$10 million, and about 80% of that has been secured, and we are hopeful that the remaining amount will be reached soon after this trip which is partly to also inspire those who have not yet committed a specific gift amount to do so.”
Talking about the importance of supporting a project like Nalanda University the Chancellor Mr. George Yeo said, “Endowments play a very important role in building centre of knowledge and allowing them to realize their academic vision. As the Nalanda project moves ahead, we hope to have many more people join in this vision.” Thanking the supporters for their interest in the University, Dr. Gopa Sabharwal, the Vice Chancellor said, “We are really grateful to the people of Singapore for believing in the vision of Nalanda and look forward to increasing support for this project.”
The donors for the Nalanda Library have selected a Singapore based architectural firm-RSP architects, planners & engineers to design the library. The RSP team is led by the distinguished architect and planner Mr. Liu Thai Ker, who was the master-planner for Singapore and brings with him more than 50 years of experience in multiple projects. Mr Liu along with a five member team from RSP had visited Rajgir in August 2015 to discuss modalities of design. RSP is part of a tripartite agreement with Nalanda University and Vastu Shilpa Consultants, who are the Masterplanners for the University.
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