Commencement Class Giving 2020 – We rise by lifting others


Maureen Rose Christabelle, a third-year undergraduate majoring in Biomedical Engineering

CREATION is an annual digital design competition organised by the NUS Students’ Union Committee for Information Technology (NUSSU CommIT). Open to all NUS students, CREATION is a platform for NUS students to pursue their artistic passion and foster their design skills by tackling real-world problem statements.

In CREATION 2019, NUS Giving partnered NUSSU COmmIT to set up one of the problem statements for the competition. Participants could choose to create a key visual for Commencement Class Giving 2020.

Commencement Class Giving is a longstanding tradition of graduating classes coming together to celebrate convocation by making a single gift ($20.20 for Class of 2020) in support of their juniors. By leaving a legacy through their giving, the cohort contributes to current and future students in financial need, as well as activities that will enrich campus life.

Since 2007, over 22,000 graduating NUS students have made gifts to the Commencement Giving Programme. Together, they have raised close to $1.6 million.

The winning piece for CREATION 2019 was designed by Maureen Rose Christabelle, a third-year undergraduate majoring in Biomedical Engineering, who had chosen to create a key visual for Commencement Class Giving 2020.


What was your inspiration and design process?

I tried searching for past years’ Commencement Class Giving key visual designs but could barely find anything. So, I switched gears to find something that is related to ‘Giving’. In addition, I thought that the NUS branding is already so strong, so now it is time to find something that makes NUS Giving stand out from the standard NUS design styles.

I chose a balloon as the main motif because I wanted to represent the graduating class leaving NUS to go and achieve their dreams. The balloon also represents a gift that they are leaving behind for the next batch of students.

CC20 Visual-01

CC20 Visual-02

CC20 Visual-03


What did you hope to achieve through your design?

I wish more people would know about and participate in NUS Giving. To be honest, I myself did not know about NUS Giving before I joined the competition. But once I looked into it, I realised that NUS Giving exists to help current and future students in financial need.

My journey in NUS has been an amazing one. It is my honour to help another person experience the same enriching journey in NUS. I hope that this resonates with all those who saw the design too.

One person’s $20.20 would probably mean nothing but if more people know about this initiative, I am sure that the collective amount raised would benefit many others.


Why did you choose to design for the Commencement Class Giving problem statement?

After knowing what NUS Giving does, I wanted to be a part of the NUS Giving community.  I am also someone who appreciates meaning above mere aesthetic designs. I thought that my thinking process is similar to NUS Giving. You may not see its meaning at first glance, but when you look deeper into what it does, it is something empowering. 

I am definitely not the best at design and I never imagined that my design would be chosen as the winning piece. I am grateful that I get to be part of something that might be beneficial for others.


Why do you feel it is important to support other students or members of the NUS community?

Coming from Indonesia and being lucky enough to be able to receive an education in NUS is a huge blessing. I certainly would not have been able to experience this without financial support.

As a foreigner who moved to Singapore only for university, the first few months of my time at NUS was challenging. I could not have gone through those times without the love and care from the people around me: the Orientation Group Leaders at my orientation camps, the Residential Assistants and Residential Fellows at Residential College 4, and all my seniors. I am lucky enough to be able to experience this and I certainly hope that all other NUS students also feel the same way.

 $20.20. It takes just 5 cups of bubble tea to help another person experience school life and realise their academic aspirations at NUS. It is probably a small amount to many of us but definitely a huge value to others.