SMU will rename its law school Yong Pung How School of Law to celebrate and honour the legacy of Dr Yong Pung How

Singapore, 9 March 2021 (Tuesday) – To celebrate and honour the late Dr Yong Pung How, Singapore’s former Chief Justice and Singapore Management University’s (SMU) third Chancellor, the University today announced that its School of Law will be renamed the Yong Pung How School of Law (杨邦孝法学院).  The new name will come into effect from 11 April 2021, which would have been Dr Yong’s 95th birthday.

The late Dr Yong Pung How was Singapore’s second Chief Justice and an eminent figure in the legal profession. He fundamentally transformed Singapore’s judiciary through key reforms that pushed for progress and excellence.  He was also an ardent champion and trailblazer in the higher education scene, and was instrumental in the development of the SMU School of Law.  He received the Order of Temasek (First Class) in 1999 in recognition of his contributions to Singapore.

Mr Ho Kwon Ping, SMU Chairman, said, “SMU has been privileged to have a long and deep association with Dr Yong Pung How.  As Pro-Chancellor and then Chancellor, Dr Yong offered leadership and guidance to the University.  Further, he played a pivotal role in building the foundational blocks for the SMU School of Law as the Founding Chairman of its Advisory Board.  Dr Yong was a force of wisdom and his legacy will continue to positively shape the growth of our University and the School of Law. We are humbled and privileged to honour Dr Yong by naming our School of Law after him.”

Ms Yong Ying-I, daughter of Dr Yong said, “My family is deeply honoured and touched by the recognition that the Singapore Management University and the Singapore Government have given my father.  He was greatly committed to education of the next generation and this honour will enable his legacy to be remembered and built upon.”

SMU remains indebted to Dr Yong for his vision and guidance.  Dr Yong played a critical role in the development of the SMU School of Law and its curriculum, which benefitted immensely from his leadership as Founding Chairman of its Advisory Board.  In that role, he also facilitated the close relationships between the School, the legal profession and its stakeholders. His commitment was critical to the School of Law which was in its infancy.

Dr Yong also believed that having excellent faculty was critical to the development of the School and established the Yong Pung How Professorship of Law in 2007.  This position recognises an eminent legal researcher of high international standing, a thought leader and expert in his area of legal pursuit and a passionate teacher of the law.

Under his guidance and support, the School of Law pursued its ambition to be a knowledge hub in various areas of commercial law, leading to the setting up of the Centre for Cross Border Commercial Law in Asia (CEBCLA) in 2014, which has today been renamed the Centre for Commercial Law in Asia (CCLA).  Building on Dr Yong’s vision in legal innovation, the School now has four legal research centres focusing on A.I. and data governance, computational law, cross-border commercial law, and international dispute resolution.

Dr Yong’s dedication to moulding the next generation of legal minds also led him to establish in 2013 the Yong Pung How Bursary in Law, which provides financial aid for less privileged students at the School of Law, and later in 2016, the Yong Pung How Bursary, which supports needy students across the University.  To date, the Yong Pung How Bursary in Law has been awarded to 51 students, and the Yong Pung How Bursary to 30 students. The Yong family topped up funding for the Bursary in 2020 to ensure that needy students would continue to be supported during the economic and societal disruptions caused by the pandemic.

An official renaming ceremony is being planned and more details will be shared with the press in due course.  Members of the media will be invited to cover the ceremony.

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  • Annex 1 - SMU’s association with Dr Yong Pung How
  • Annex 2 – About SMU School of Law


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