Mr Ronald Ong dedicates bursary to inspirational wife

Coming from humble beginnings, Madam Lorna Tan waded into the working world at the early age of 18. Her gumption to succeed more than made up for what she lacked in educational qualifications. The self-starter excelled in the hospitality industry and worked her way up to become director of regional sales at a global hotel chain.

Now Madam Tan is determined to give others a chance at the education she missed out on. Together with her husband, she is establishing an NUS bursary to provide talented female students with the platform to achieve their dreams — without the financial burden.

Madam Tan’s life story is an inspiration to women, as well as her own family. As such, Mr Ronald Ong is naming the study grant in his wife’s honour, calling it the Lorna Tan Ong Bursary.

On the motivations behind the transformative gift, NUS alumnus Mr Ong, said: “She has been a pillar in my life. This is to honour her devotion to not only my family, but also, her steadfast commitment to working with and helping needy and deserving students.”

Uplifting the underprivileged is a cause close to Madam Tan’s heart. She devotes her time to volunteering at a social service agency, where she has seen how education is an excellent social leveller in tackling inequality. Years ago, Madam Tan took a child from a broken family under her wing. With her mentorship and gift for education, the young girl flourished and graduated from university.

The Lorna Tan Ong Bursary aims to expand this ripple effect by enabling more students in need to attend college, earn an education and transform their lives.

Mr Ong said: “The bursary provides an opportunity for grooming talented female students to have the necessary platform to be successful and promote diversity in Singapore. We hope that they make the most of university education to get a headstart in life.”