Mr Steven Lim, CEO of RSTN Consulting, has made a gift of S$1 million to his alma mater, Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) to kick-start the RSTN Scholarship and Bursary Fund.
Professor Ling San, NTU Deputy President and Provost, witnessed by Ms Lien Siaou-Sze, Vice President, University Advancement, received the gift on behalf of NTU today at a ceremony held at the Campus Clubhouse at NTU. As a token of appreciation, NTU presented Mr Lim with a framed picture of NTU's iconic Chinese Heritage Centre.
The Singapore government will match Mr Lim's gift of S$1 million with another S$1 million for the NTU General Endowment Fund to support the University in the advancement of undergraduate and post-graduate education.
Over the next decade, the RSTN Bursary Fund will help eight financially disadvantaged Singaporean students per year in their final year of their studies with an annual award of S$10,000.
Like the bursary fund, the RSTN Scholarship is only applicable to final year undergraduate students. Every academic year, for the next decade, two students who display excellent academic results and extra-curricular records will be selected to receive S$10,000.
Mr Steven Lim, CEO and co-founder of RSTN Consulting, which supplies Enterprise Content Management solutions to 24 countries spanning Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, said: "I understand what it is like to have to go through financial difficulty - my dad was a fisherman, and our lives depended on whether there was fish to sell - which was not always guaranteed. I even had to work my way through my varsity years, taking on multiple jobs at the same time. It was very tough. I hope this gift can improve the lives of bright minds that require a bit of help while wading through those troubled waters.
"At the same time, I like to encourage these students to develop a heart of giving back to society and pay it forward in the future once they are capable of doing so."
Ms Lien Siaou-Sze, Vice President, University Advancement, said: "NTU is very grateful to our alumnus, Mr Steven Lim, for his generous gift of $1 million towards the University. The RSTN Scholarship and Bursary Fund will support bursaries to aid financially disadvantaged students, as well as scholarships to encourage academic excellence.
The brush with death that began the art of philanthropy
Mr Lim also revealed that it was a near-death experience that sparked his decision to start giving back to society. In 2010, he suffered a serious heart attack, which he regards as a turning point in his life.
Besides taking better care of his health, he decided that it was from then that he would start to make giving an essential part of his mission in life and business. He also serves as a mentor to many younger entrepreneurs.
In 2017, he donated S$50,000 to the "Love from Sian Chay 2017" charity gala dinner and concert hosted by Sian Chay Medical Institution. The money raised supported 15,000 patient visits to the organisation's clinics, which offer free and subsidised Traditional Chinese Medicine services to Singaporeans in need.
The giver that will keep on giving
His pledge of S$1 million is also his way of giving thanks to the University. Mr Lim received the LexisNexis Gold Medal and Cash Award of S$1,000 in 2008 after topping his cohort during his pursuit of the Master of Science in Knowledge Management at NTU's Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information (WKWSCI) in 2008.
Although it has been 13 years since he graduated from the University, his journey with the University is not over yet.
To mark the 30th anniversary of NTU's Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information next year, Mr Lim will also be leading a fundraising initiative to commemorate the special occasion for his school.
Mr Lim added: "NTU has equipped many of us alumni with skills and knowledge, which has led to us having successful careers. Now that I have started the ball rolling with my own contributions, I hope to sow the seeds of giving within our community to encourage more of us to give back. I hope many of my entrepreneur friends will also join me in giving generously."
Ms Lien added: "We are very proud that whilst Mr Lim has become a successful entrepreneur, he has made tremendous impact in helping the next generation of leaders and his alma mater scale to new heights of excellence."