Lee Seng Tee

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Lee Seng Tee
Lee Seng Tee Library, Wolfson College, Cambridge.jpg
He is a benefactor of many libraries such as the Lee Seng Tee Library in Cambridge
Born (1923-04-16) 16 April 1923 (age 94)
Nationality Singaporean
Education BEc
Alma mater Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
Occupation Businessman
Spouse(s) Betty Wu
Children Fiona Peen, Alan Shih Hua, Robert Shih Kwei
Parent(s) Lee Kong Chian (father)
Tan Ai Leh (mother)
Relatives Tan Kah Kee (maternal grandfather)

Dr. Lee Seng Tee (Chinese: 李成智; pinyin: Lǐ Chéngzhì; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Lí Sîng-tì; 16 April 1923 – present), FBA, a Singaporean businessman and philanthropist.

Born in Singapore in 1923, Lee is the second son[1] of Lee Kong Chian and a maternal grandson of Tan Kah Kee. He is a Director of the family's Lee Group of Companies, a Singapore-based conglomerate of firms in industries that include pineapple and investments, Lee is among the 40 richest people in Singapore[2] primarily due to his stake in family businesses.


As a director of the Lee Foundation, Lee also supports education, particularly higher education, around the world through personal donations towards building libraries and reading rooms, as well as supporting the acquisition of published resources for some of the most famous libraries in the world, which include the Needham Research Institute at the University of Cambridge and the Bodleian Library[3] at the University of Oxford. He was named an honorary fellow of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals for his philanthropic support of libraries worldwide.[4]

In China, Lee's support for the Chinese Chess Association has included the Lee Seng Tee Library[5] at the Chess Academy in Beijing, the ST Lee Beijing International Open, and the Lee Seng Tee Cup (李成智杯).[6] Other projects include the Lee Seng Tee Public Library (李成智公众图书馆)[7] in Nan'an City, Fujian, where his father was born.

Lee also funds projects and lecture series at universities, including Cambridge[8] and Oxford[9] in the United Kingdom, Columbia University, Harvard University, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Stanford University[10] and the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, in the United States, the University of Sydney[11] in Australia, the Victoria University of Wellington[12][13][14] in New Zealand, the University of the Witwatersrand[15] in South Africa, and the National University of Singapore (NUS).[16][17] The S.T. Lee Lectures provide a platform for scholars and policy-makers to address critical international issues.


Lee is an Honorary Fellow of the British Academy (1998)[18] and Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2001),[19] as well as an Honorary Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge,[20] and Oriel College, Oxford.[21] Lee is a Member of the Guild of Cambridge Benefactors.[22][23]

Lee graduated from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor's degree in economics in 1950.[24] Lee has also received honorary degrees from the Asian Institute of Technology (1998)[25] in Thailand, Victoria University (2006)[26] and Washington University in St. Louis (2008).[27]

In October 2009, he was conferred the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters by the Singapore President and NUS Chancellor S. R. Nathan.[28]

Lee has a variety of bamboo, the Drepanostachyum falcatum var. sengteeanum, named after him.[29]


  1. ^ Lee Su Shyan "Two old S'pore families compete for Straits Trading", The Straits Times, Singapore, 11 February 2008. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
  2. ^ "Singapore's 40 Richest: #32 Lee Seng Tee", Forbes.com, 20 19 April 2010.
  3. ^ "Radcliffe Camera" Bodleian Library, Oxford, 13 March 1999. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
  4. ^ "Honorary Fellowship to Dr Lee Seng Tee for his philanthropic support of libraries in the UK and worldwide. News from CILIP, 23 October 2003. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
  5. ^ "The Chinese Chess Association– Chess in China" Delivering Online Chess to the World 2007. Retrieved on 20 April 2010.
  6. ^ "资料:李成智杯全国少年儿童国际象棋冠军赛" Yahoo Sports: Lee Seng Tee Cup, 14 February 2007. Retrieved on 19 April 2010.
  7. ^ "福建省李成智公众图书馆" 中国图书馆网, 29 November 2005. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
  8. ^ "The Lee Seng Tee Distinguished Lecture Series" Wolfson College, Cambridge. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
  9. ^ "The Lee Lecture in Political Science and Government" All Souls College, Oxford, 28 January 2010. Retrieved 19 April 2010
  10. ^ "S.T. Lee Lectureship – FSI Stanford" Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
  11. ^ "The S.T. Lee Lecture" Sydney Law School, The University of Sydney, 16 July 2009. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
  12. ^ "The S.T. Lee Lecture in Antarctic Studies" Antarctic Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
  13. ^ "Official Opening of the S.T. Lee Library – 16 June 2005" Antarctic Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
  14. ^ "S.T. Lee Young Researcher Travel Award" Antarctic Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
  15. ^ "Foundation Annual Report 2007" The University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
  16. ^ "S.T. Lee Distinguished Annual Lecture: Universities for a Global Society" Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, 27 October 2009. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
  17. ^ "S T Lee Project on Global Governance at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy" National University of Singapore, Academic Year 2007–2008. Retrieved on 20 April 2010.
  18. ^ "The S. T. Lee Library – British Academy" British Academy, Review July – December 1999. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
  19. ^ "List of Active Members by Classes" American Academy, 16 October 2006. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
  20. ^ "Wolfson College, Cambridge: Honorary Fellows" Wolfson College, Cambridge. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
  21. ^ "Oriel College, Oxford: Honorary Fellows" Oriel College, Oxford. Retrieved April 19, 2010.
  22. ^ "Professor Sir Alec Broers hosted a reception at the Old Schools for Dr and Mrs Seng Tee Lee following Dr Lee's admission as a Companion of the Guild of Cambridge Benefactors." Retrieved 22 April 2010.
  23. ^ "Cambridge University Alumni Office: Donor Recognition" Retrieved 22 April 2010.
  24. ^ "Seng Tee Lee, W'50" University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
  25. ^ "AIT Honorary Degree To Be Conferred On Lee Seng Tee" Asian Institute of Technology. Retrieved on 19 April 2010.
  26. ^ "Philanthropist Lee Seng Tee received an honorary Doctor of Literature degree" Vice-Chancellor's Report, Victoria University. Last Updated: 11 May 2009. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
  27. ^ "Washington University to award six honorary degrees at 147th Commencement" Washington University in St. Louis, 1 May 2008. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
  28. ^ "Dr Lee Seng Tee receives NUS Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters" National University of Singapore, 2 October 2009. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
  29. ^ Stapleton, C.M.A. (2006) "Drepanostachyum falcatum var. sengteeanum: Identity and origins (Poaceae: Bambusoideae). Sida 22 (2): 1081–1086." Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 19 April 2010.