Institutional Oral History

Yale-NUS College’s institutional oral history project was conceived in 2016.

The project aims to record the history of the inception and early development of Yale-NUS, enabling easy information access for scholars.

As an academic institution, Yale-NUS has garnered significant interest locally, regionally and globally: it is the first liberal arts college in Singapore – and one of the few in Asia, and the first with a full residential college model, integrating living and learning. Yale-NUS is the first institution outside New Haven, Connecticut, that Yale University has developed. The landmark partnership with the National University of Singapore has created an enriching liberal arts educational experience which cultivates the skills and virtues that students will need in college and throughout life.



The project is envisaged as a series of oral history interviews in audio format. Apart from the involvement of a professional interviewer, the project is managed and produced in-house at Yale-NUS. Staff from the College library led the project and determined the themes to be explored. The recordings were also done in-house at the College’s recording studios.



Collaboration with the National Archives of Singapore


Yale-NUS signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Archives of Singapore for this project. The MoU formalises the arrangement between our two institutions, whereby the National Archives supports the project by sharing knowledge and best practices from the Oral History Centre including recording and assisting Yale-NUS by taking up the digital preservation aspects of the project. The National Archives has also created a Yale-NUS Collection within Archives Online, where recordings and transcripts are available for use by scholars and the general public.





Project Mentor Ronald Milne, Dean of Educational Resources & Technology, Yale-NUS College
Project Lead Priyanka Sharma, Principal Librarian, Yale-NUS College
Sound Recordings
Adi Sufian, Specialist Associate (Audio Visual), Yale NUS College
Interview Themes and Logistics Sarah Ruslan, Assistant Manager (Library), Yale-NUS College
Interviewer and Transcriber Jaime Koh, Director, Research & Editorial Services, The History Workroom LLP





Pericles Lewis, Founding President, Yale-NUS College

Professor Pericles Lewis served as the founding President of Yale-NUS College from 2012 to 2017. Under his leadership, the College developed into a thriving model of residential liberal arts education much admired and studied throughout Asia and the world. He oversaw the articulation of the College’s mission, the development of its curriculum, and the recruitment of students, faculty, and staff.

Tan Tai Yong, President, Yale-NUS College

Professor Tan Tai Yong is the second President and Professor of Humanities (History) at Yale-NUS College. His presidential term began on 1 July 2017. Prior to becoming President, he served as the College’s Executive Vice President (Academic Affairs) from 2014 to 2017. As Executive Vice President (Academic Affairs), he oversaw the academic and cocurricular aspects of the liberal arts experience at the College, including all faculty matters and academic affairs.

Laura Severin, Dean of Admissions & Financial Aid, Yale-NUS College

Ms Laura Severin came to Yale-NUS College in 2013 with over 10 years of experience in international admissions. In her role as Dean of Admissions & Financial Aid, Ms Severin oversees the recruitment, selection and financial support of Yale-NUS students. She works with the Admissions & Financial Aid teams to ensure Yale-NUS honours the College’s commitment to a holistic admission process and continued support of enrolled students.

Richard Levin

Professor Richard C Levin served a twenty-year term as President of Yale University from 1993 to 2013, during which time he rebuilt the campus, redeveloped downtown New Haven, co-founded Yale-NUS College, and generally strengthened Yale University’s international programmes. He served as Chief Executive Officer of Coursera from 2013 to 2017, and currently continues as a Senior Adviser to his successor. He is the Frederick William Beinecke Professor of Economics, Emeritus. He serves on the Governing Board of Yale-NUS.

Tan Chorh Chuan

Professor Tan served as President of the National University of Singapore (NUS) from 2008 to 2017. As NUS president, he oversaw the formation of Yale-NUS College. He held the positions of NUS Provost, then Senior Deputy President from 2004 to 2008. In 2018, Professor Tan was appointed as the inaugural Chief Health Scientist and concurrently, Executive Director of the new Office for Healthcare Transformation in Singapore’s Ministry of Health. He serves on the Governing Board of Yale-NUS.