History & Milestones

Our Founder
The late Brother Joseph McNally (10 August 1923 – 27 August 2002), founder of LASALLE College of the Arts, was one of Singapore’s champions of the creative arts and arts education. Irish by birth, Singaporean by choice, Brother Joseph left his adopted country a body of achievements that continues to inspire new generations of artists and educators of the arts.


- LASALLE adopts a schools-based academic structure, with eight Schools and a new cross-disciplinary position of Dean of Learning, Teaching and Research, to further the College’s strategic growth.

- LASALLE launches the MA Creative Writing programme, Southeast Asia’s first taught Masters in creative writing.

- LASALLE becomes the first local homegrown institution to be awarded the EduTrust Star, Singapore’s highest mark of recognition for excellence in private education.

- LASALLE is the first local education institution ever to be granted all four categories of internationally benchmarked Business Excellence Certifications by SPRING Singapore, for overall quality, service, people, and innovation.

- LASALLE celebrates 30 years with a gala event in November where Guest of Honour, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, delivers an inspiring speech about the growing importance of the arts in Singapore.

- The first cohort of students graduate with BA(Hons) and MA degrees developed by LASALLE and validated by Goldsmiths, University of London.

- LASALLE introduces the MA Arts Pedagogy and Practice programme; the College now offers a range of 30 programmes (Diploma, BA(Hons), MA).

- In February, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong presides over the ceremony to mark LASALLE’s historic partnership with Goldsmiths, University of London, to launch fourteen publicly-funded undergraduate arts degree programmes.

- LASALLE launches the Public Lecture Series with the aim of creating a platform for distinguished and future- looking leaders to engage with the arts community in Singapore.

- LASALLE Senior Fellow and former Dean of Fine Arts Milenko Prvacki is awarded Singapore’s highest arts accolade, the Cultural Medallion.

- The College is awarded both EduTrust and Enhanced Registration by the Council for Private Education.

- LASALLE launches the MA Asian Art Histories programme, the first of its kind worldwide.

- The Puttnam School of Film is launched by Academy Award-winning film producer, Lord David Puttnam. It offers the first BA(Hons) Film programme in Singapore. LASALLE launches the MA Art Therapy programme, the first of its kind in South-east Asia.

- The first cohort of students graduate with BA(Hons) and MA degrees developed by LASALLE and validated by The Open University, UK.

- The College is awarded Accredited Institution status by the Open University, UK. With this, the College is now able to offer degrees designed and developed in Singapore to support the creative industries in Singapore.

- Dr Tony Tan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, announces the government’s plans to upgrade Singapore’s arts institutions. With the upgrade, the College receives financial support from the Ministry of Education.

- The first cohort of Bachelor of Fine Arts degree students graduate, with degrees conferred by RMIT.

- An agreement is formalised with Australia’s RMIT University for its Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts to be awarded to graduates of the College’s Fine Arts programme.

- Twenty-seven students graduate as some of the country’s first diploma holders in the creative arts

- Brother Joseph McNally establishes the St Patrick’s Arts Centre, offering a diploma education in Painting, Ceramics, Sculpture and Music.


Additional school premises are acquired; 5,000 sq metres of studios and workshop spaces at Winstedt Campus will complement core teaching at McNally Campus. 

The Ngee Ann Kongsi Library, named in recognition of the organisation’s generous donation to the College, is officially opened by Finance Minister Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

The College celebrates the Official Opening of the city campus. It also receives its third architectural award, the PUSH Award 2009 conferred by the Singapore Institute of Architects. 

The campus wins two architectural awards: the prestigious Building of the Year award at the 9th Singapore Institute of Architects’ Design Awards, and the President’s Design Award. 

LASALLE moves to its new city campus at 1 McNally Street. The Institution is re-branded LASALLE College of the Arts.

The Earl Lu Gallery is re-named Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, dedicated to exhibition and research activities of international and Asian contemporary art. 

The College undertakes development of a new city campus that will grow to accommodate over 2600 students in 30-plus programmes. 

Singapore Airlines contributes S$15 million to the construction of new buildings to unite the College’s diverse activities under one campus. The College is renamed LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts. 

The Goodman Road campus is opened, housing the Schools of Fine Art, Music and Drama. 

Minister of State for Finance and Foreign Affairs Mr George Yeo becomes the Patron of LASALLE. 

LASALLE’s first gallery, the Earl Lu Gallery, is inaugurated. It quickly establishes itself as a leading venue for contemporary art and art discourse. 

The St Patrick’s facility is complemented by a second campus at Telok Kurau to cater to increasing enrolment. The institution is renamed LASALLE College of the Arts. 

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