SMU commenced its curriculum in 2000 with the School of Business, which welcomed its pioneer cohort of students in August 2000. In 2004, the Lee Foundation contributed S$50 million to SMU in honour of the late Dr Lee Kong Chian, a well-known Southeast Asian businessman, philanthropist and community leader. In recognition of the Lee Foundation’s generosity, SMU named in perpetuity the School of Business, the building and the university-wide scholar's programme after Dr Lee Kong Chian.
Today, the Lee Kong Chian School of Business is a dynamic Asian business school with more than 4,000 students and over a hundred full-time faculty members with doctorate degrees from renowned universities such as Cornell, Harvard, INSEAD, London Business School, Wharton, Oxford, Stanford and Yale. The school offers undergraduate, master’s and doctoral programmes and is affiliated with a number of research centres such as the Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics, the Centre for Marketing Excellence and the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.