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Meet the Marrying Professor

Our Professors have private lives. Sometimes, their private lives become part of ours.

Before your imagination gets ahead of yourself, no, this is not a tale of student-teacher relationships (at least, not of the romantic kind). Associate Professor Yu Shi Ming from the Department of Real Estate was a licensed solemniser up till 2015- that’s right, he’s the one who says, “I pronounce you husband and wife” at the end of wedding ceremonies. His presence in his students’ lives goes from the classroom to the ballroom, having officiated the marriages of over 100 former students.

The Ridge spoke with A/P Yu to find out his thoughts about romance on campus and how he perceives his role in his students’ love lives.


How did you former students approach you to be their solemniser? Do they write in with, “Hey Prof, remember me? I’m getting married!”?

Yes, many would introduce themselves as my former students; although some only revealed it to me at the ceremony. In the past, some of them were already a couple while studying in NUS/ Real Estate. Nowadays, this is not so common.

A/P Yu at a solemnisation ceremony. Credit .
A/P Yu at a solemnisation ceremony. Credit .

Have there been any couples who got married on campus? If so, what are the most interesting places in NUS you have solemnised marriages?

Of course! Many of them were foreign students who met while studying in NUS, so they liked the idea of having their solemnization on campus. Central forum; U Town; halls and residences; student lounges; restaurants on campus; etc., there are a lot of places you can hold your ROM in NUS.

I feel that its quite satisfying in that they see you as more than just their former professor. Some still keep in touch after graduation so that makes it very fulfilling for me.

Do you think school is a good place to find love? What makes love on campus special compared to romance that happens at other stages in life?

Not the early school years but tertiary institutions – this is probably the age group when young people start to think about partners and marriage. Also, it’s the phase when young people are most exposed to the opposite gender, especially for those from single sex schools. If students can manage their time to build relationships while studying, why not?

A/P Yu (right) with a couple whose marriage he solemnized. Credit .
A/P Yu (right) with a couple whose marriage he solemnized. Credit .

What does it mean for you to be such a big part of your students lives – as their professor and for some, the one who officiates their marriage?

I feel that its quite satisfying in that they see you as more than just their former professor. Some still keep in touch after graduation so that makes it very fulfilling for me.

Any advice for students intending to tie the knot soon?

I think couples should focus on the marriage rather than the wedding; focus on building the relationship and plan ahead about family and home. After all, the wedding is only an event after all.


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