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Friends That Give Together, Stay Together

Dec 12, 2022

NUS Alumnus Mr David Ho ('72) rallies batchmates to give back to their alma mater again.


Mr David Ho, NUS alumnus from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Class of 1972.

How did a tight-knit friendship lead to an enduring giving tradition? It all started out at the NUS Union House, a well-loved communal space filled with music and laughter. The old building at the Bukit Timah Campus is long gone, but the schoolmates’ bond and spirit of giving live on through the ‘Class of 1972 Bursary Fund’.

Affectionately known as the “Union House Gang”, the close circle of friends advocated for the Fund’s creation in 2005. This year, to celebrate their 50th anniversary, NUS alumnus Mr David Ho (’72) is rallying his batchmates to give back to their alma mater again. They will raise funds through a charity golf and dinner, with proceeds going towards the ‘Class of 1972 Bursary Fund’ for NUS students in financial need.

Champion of the Jubilee celebrations, Mr Ho said: “The Class of ’72 is very special as we had a common gateway, spending our time at the Union House and making friends. Most of us are still friends after almost 50 years and this speaks volumes. In this spirit, we have encouraged other faculty classes to step forward to do the common good and to support our juniors who are in need of financial assistance.”

Hailing from the post-war generation, the 1970s students mostly came from humble backgrounds. As such, they are keenly aware of how crucial education is as a social leveller.

“Education is the key to break the chain for financially challenged families. We often read about families making huge sacrifices so that their children can continue to further their studies and make good in life. We must always keep this ambition relevant and alive,” shared Mr Ho, who is the Managing Director of his own company, Windmill International.

Inspired by the worthy cause, the generous alumni have collectively contributed over S$1 million to the Fund since its inception in 2005. The meaningful initiative supports multiple student bursaries, including a sub-named bursary set up by Mr Ho and his wife, Ms Jenny Ho.

For the NUS Economics graduate, Mr Ho believes in contributing to the school which made him who he is today. The enterprising entrepreneur was mentored by nurturing lecturers and learnt to lead as the Secretary-General of the Students’ Union. He was also a recipient of the Lee Wah Bank Scholarship in his Honours year. 

 “I had very rewarding undergraduate years at the University and this has shaped my outlook on life. I will always do my part to hopefully help at least one student to achieve a similar meaningful journey during his or her time at the University,” said Mr Ho.

While no individual effort is too small, there is something special about doing philanthropy with your peers. There is a sense of camaraderie that you are making a difference together, and along the way, you may in turn inspire others to band together to do good.

“This is the right way forward so that the next generation of students will benefit from our giving and they in turn will do likewise when the time comes,” Mr Ho concluded, sharing his belief in keeping the flame of kindness alive with his friends and fellow schoolmates.


Keep up with what’s going on around campus. Every day brings new possibilities to discover, experience and learn what makes us unique. Here are some of the upcoming events to promote leadership in philanthropy and raise awareness of this impact happening across NUS and the community.

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