Saw Swee Hock Student Centre named in honour of landmark gift

An LSE alumnus has marked his long association with the School by making a landmark gift towards the new student centre, currently under construction on the School’s campus. Professor Saw Swee Hock, who lives in Singapore, will celebrate the 50th anniversary of his graduation from LSE in 2013, the year when the centre will open.

Of the gift, LSE Director Professor Craig Calhoun said: “We are deeply grateful for Professor Saw’s generous donation to the School’s new student centre and are delighted to name the building in honour of his philanthropy. The Saw Swee Hock Student Centre will transform the extra-curricular lives of our students on the campus, greatly enhancing the student experience that we offer to our diverse and active student body.”

Professor Saw Swee Hock received his BA and MA from the University of Malaya in Singapore, before coming to LSE to study for his PhD in Statistics which he completed in 1963. There followed a long and prolific career at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, the University of Hong Kong and the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the University of Hong Kong from which he emerged as a recognised and respected expert on population and investment management. Today he is Professorial Fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies and President’s Honorary Professor of Statistics at NUS. He is also an Honorary Fellow of LSE and a member of the Board of Trustees of NUS.

Professor Saw said: “The high level of academic rigour and challenge I encountered during my time at LSE, and the PhD that I eventually received, played a huge role in my subsequent career development. In those days, I was made to feel part of a lively, diverse and inclusive student body, with the tradition of opposing political and social injustice. There were exciting anti-apartheid, anti-Vietnam war, CND and anti-colonial movements, marked by rousing speeches by academic and political luminaries. Students are LSE’s most valuable asset, and I am most privileged and proud to support an iconic building that can bring the student community closer together in ways not currently possible.”

The centre is the first new building at LSE for more than 40 years and will transform the facilities currently available for LSE’s vibrant student community. School services to be located there include LSE Careers, a multi faith prayer centre, and residences and accommodation services. Designed by Dublin-based architects, O’Donnell and Tuomey, the geometry of the building will deliver an unconventional arrangement of irregular floors, enabling adaptable use of space that can absorb the complexity and diversity of its function, and changing requirements for its use.

When the Saw Swee Hock Student Centre opens in 2013, it will also become the new home of the LSE Students’ Union (LSESU), whose offices, venues, spaces for indoor sports and activities, student media facilities, and advice and representation centre will all be relocated there. LSESU General Secretary, Alex Peters-Day, wholeheartedly welcomed the support received from Professor Saw towards the centre. She said: “LSESU would like to thank Professor Saw for his generous gift towards the student centre, a facility which is hugely anticipated by LSE’s student community. We welcome the naming of the centre in honour of Professor Saw and feel it is a fitting reflection of LSE’s internationally diverse student body.”

If you are interesting in becoming involved in this exciting building at the heart of LSE please contact LSE Advancement.