Mdm Eileen Tan and her parents at her childhood home.

In the post-war era, one man made history in Singapore. In 1955, Mr Tan Ah Tah became the first local to become a Supreme Court Judge. He served in the highest court in the land for two decades, half of which he was the Acting Chief of Justice. Needless to say, Mr Tan blazed the trail for future generations of lawyers.

Today, the legal legend’s legacy lives on at the National University of Singapore. In support of research and education, his daughter Madam Eileen Tan dedicated a legacy gift to the University, in memory of her father.


Madam Tan with her father Mr Tan Ah Tah.

An NUS Arts Faculty alumna (‘70), the late Madam Tan had a deep respect for her father and the environment. As such, she chose to set up the Tan Ah Tah Professorship in Environmental Law at the NUS Faculty of Law. With the financial support, a professor can delve into legal research in nature conservation.

Another gift she bequeathed goes to the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum at NUS, which houses a fine collection of bird specimens dating back to 1840. The generous contribution will fund the research of bird ecology and taxonomy, as well as the education of students and the public.

Madam Tan’s husband Dr Wee Yeow Chin, a biologist, said: “Our family believes education and research will fortify efforts to protect Mother Nature. We hope that the gifts will contribute to building a future where people and the environment thrive.”