The Karim Family Foundation has made a generous contribution to SMU with the establishment of the Karim Family Foundation Scholarship. The new scholarship was announced at a Gift Ceremony held on 27 February 2023, at the SMU University Lounge.
This scholarship was initiated by SMU alumni Cindy and Chayadi Karim, who graduated from SMU in 2014 and 2015 respectively. They are the children of Bachtiar Karim and Dewi Sukwanto, Principals of the Karim Family Foundation.
The Foundation focuses on areas of education, arts and culture, mental health and sports — having also raised $200,000 in 2022 to support the first Singaporean player to win the Badminton World Federation Championships, Loh Kean Yew.
“We experienced some of the most formative years of our lives during our time at SMU and in Singapore, and we count ourselves very fortunate to be able to help provide this same opportunity to other aspiring Indonesian undergraduates,” said Cindy and Chayadi.
“Our hope is for the Karim Family Foundation scholars to be able to experience that same University education as we did, to be able to focus intently on their studies and participate in everything that university life has to offer, without having to worry about their finances.”
A philanthropic milestone
The endowed contribution of S$2,000,000 is the single largest alumni gift to SMU and allows for more students to benefit from an SMU education. The bond‐free scholarship is an incredible opportunity for full‐time undergraduates from Indonesia or of Indonesian ethnicity who demonstrate a financial need. Starting in Academic Year 2023/2024, this scholarship will be awarded annually.
“I am delighted to receive this significant and meaningful gift towards education from our very own alumni,” said SMU President Professor Lily Kong.
My hope is that others in our alumni community will be inspired by the impact of their generosity and will consider the many ways they too can impact current and future generations of SMU students.”
The gift will be used to provide financial aid to deserving students who may not otherwise have access to higher education due to financial constraints. This will enable more students with exceptional potential but limited resources to pursue their dreams.
Such financial support provides deserving scholars with greater opportunities for personal growth and development through their studies. In addition, it enables students from different walks of life to come together and learn from one another, creating a vibrant learning environment within the University.
Furthermore, recipients of the scholarship can look forward to better career opportunities upon graduation as they are well-equipped with knowledge obtained from the world-class curriculum offered by a prestigious institution of higher education.
Investing in education
Valued at S$80,000, the Scholarship will provide each recipient with S$20,000 per year for their four years of study. The Scholarship will be awarded annually and in perpetuity. By Academic Year 2026/2027, there will be a steady stream of four scholars every year.
By investing in education, the Karim family is giving back in a meaningful way that goes beyond traditional philanthropy – they are making an impact on society by creating positive change through investing in the futures of youths.
Through this generous contribution, they have opened doors for many bright young individuals who wish to pursue higher learning and achieve their dreams without worrying about expenses associated with attending university.
“SMU’s interactive pedagogy has always focused on developing graduates who are not only intelligent, capable and confident individuals, but also individuals driven by a desire to positively impact humanity,” added Professor Kong.
“This is what our alumni, Cindy and Chayadi Karim, have enabled through the Karim Family Foundation Scholarship.”