NUS Society’s Honorary Membership Conferment cum Sub-Committee Appreciation Dinner

On 11 April 2022, NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye (Science ’85) was conferred the NUS Society (NUSS) Honorary Membership, in recognition of his years of distinguished service to the University and the nation. The event was held at Della & Seng Gee Guild Hall in Kent Ridge Guild House. The NUSS Honorary Membership is the highest accolade that the graduate club confers on individuals distinguished in public life, or by service to NUS or NUSS. Prof Tan joins the ranks of his predecessors, Professor Lim Pin (Affiliate Alumnus ‘19), Professor Shih Choon Fong and Professor Tan Chorh Chuan (Medicine ‘83). Other Honorary Members include Singapore’s late Minister Mentor, Mr Lee Kuan Yew (‘41), former President Dr Tony Tan (Science ’62), Singapore’s former President, the late Mr SR Nathan (Arts ’54), former Prime Minister Mr Goh Chok Tong (Arts ’64), and current Prime Minister Mr Lee Hsien Loong.

Prof Tan was appointed as NUS President since January 2018. He is the University’s fifth president, and the 23rd leader to head Singapore’s oldest institute of higher education. He holds a first class Honours degree in Mathematics from NUS, and a PhD from Yale University. A pioneering architect of the current academic system in NUS, Prof Tan is a passionate and award-winning educator who has seeded many initiatives such as the Special Programme in Science, the University Scholars Programme, University Town Residential College Programme, Grade-free Year, and Technology-enhanced Education.

“Prof Tan is a good friend of NUSS, recognising the club as a significant entity within the NUSS alumni family. He has always been supportive of the Society’s events and collaboration such as the annual NUSS Mentorship programmes which is into its eighth run, where we pair NUS undergraduates with NUSS mentors,” said NUSS Vice-President Mr Tong Hsien-Hui (Engineering ’98). “NUSS is proud and privileged to present Prof Tan with the NUSS Honorary Membership, a symbol of our warm friendship, appreciation for his support for NUSS, and in recognition for his inspiring leadership and contributions to the University community and Singapore,” he added.

NUSS also held its Sub-Committee Appreciation Dinner on the same evening, after a three-year hiatus due to COVID-19. In his opening address, NUSS President Mr Edward Tay (Law ’92) highlighted NUSS’ intention to organise a series of fund-raising events, beginning with a Charity Golf Tournament by the NUSS Golf Section to raise funds towards the NUSS Bursary, a new endowed bursary. Mr Tay also thanked the Sub-Committee members for their continued dedication and contribution to NUSS. The night ended with Long Service Awards presented to members who served in Sub-Committees for five years or more, in recognition of their dedication and time spent with NUSS.

Submitted by Ms Teo Kuan Yee (Arts and Social Sciences ’94). 
Masterclass by LKYSPP Alumni Singapore Chapter

Negotiation happens in every aspect of our lives – from the workplace, between businesses and even amongst friends and family. Often, the outcome of a negotiation can affect the relationships between people. Identifying this need from alumni to upgrade their negotiation skills, the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP) Alumni Singapore Chapter organised a Masterclass titled Negotiating towards Success, held in the Bukit Timah Campus on 9 April 2022. Associate Professor Francesco Mancini, the School’s Vice Dean (Executive Education) and Associate Professor in Practice conducted the class, which saw participation from 18 alumni. Attendees comprised eight cohorts and five nationalities – learning in a diverse environment that LKYSPP was known for; alumni relished their time back on campus.

Submitted by Ms Sun Peiyi (Public Policy ’22).

College of Design and Engineering - Alumni Chat with the Dean

NUS College of Design and Engineering (CDE) held its first Alumni Chat with the Dean on 8 April 2022. About 60 alumni took time off from their busy schedules to join the panel discussion via Zoom, discussing how CDE, as a new college, could better engage with alumni. The Dean shared the aspirations of CDE: to build a new community, to unite diverse minds and talents, to foster interdisciplinary spirit, and to innovate design and engineering – which resonated with attendees gathered that evening. Beyond generic one-time engagement, alumni also raised that more opportunities should be created and made known for them to connect with their alma mater in more meaningful ways. They urged the College to consider more structured forms of engagement which can bring value to alumni, via collaborations or channels to support alumni businesses, or assist in their professional development. This could be done through student-alumni joint projects where alumni tap on CDE’s research talents, or even in unique ways such as sharing "passion projects". CDE hopes to continue working closely with key alumni partners, as the alumni base is an integral part of the extended CDE community.  

Submitted by Ms Ellen Poh.

Kent Ridge Hall Class Ambassadors Investiture 2022
On 24 March, Kent Ridge Hall held the Class Ambassadors Investiture 2022. The ceremony reflects the values of engagement and connection that the Hall recognised in the award recipients. Kent Ridge Hall is pleased to appoint Mr Sing Hui, a Year 4 Civil Engineering student and Mr Alvianto Pang, a Year 4 Economics student as this year’s Class Ambassadors. Donning the mantle of leadership and responsibility as Kent Ridgeans, the newly-appointed Class Ambassadors pledged their utmost dedication to function as a bridge between alumni and current Kent Ridgeans.

The event was also graced by Mr Jaffer Sidek, who was a former Kent Ridge KRockers in the 1980s. His presence rekindled the students’ identity with Kent Ridge Hall. The ceremony ended with an inspiring speech by Hall Master, Associate Professor Kua Harn Wei (Science ‘96), which further stirred the hearts of Kent Ridgeans.

Submitted by Dr Rosalind Siah (Medicine ’16).
College of Design and Engineering Class Ambassador Investiture 2022

NUS College of Design and Engineering (CDE) held its first physical Class Investiture to welcome the batch of newly-appointed Class Ambassadors! Class Ambassadors are a cadre of outstanding and charismatic individuals nominated to facilitate the continual engagement of their classes with the university upon graduation. They work hard in building a strong alumni network through organising networking events with fellow graduates, as well as providing updates to their respective classes on NUS events and happenings. The event was graced by Associate Professor Kua Harn Wei (Science ‘96), who conferred the certificates to this new batch of Class Ambassadors.

Submitted by Ms Ellen Poh.

NUS Alumni Toronto Chapter's Spring Equinox Dinner

On 19 March 2022, over 30 alumni and their spouses met at the Lion City Restaurant in Mississauga, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto. With pandemic-related restrictions slowly easing, the Toronto Chapter made a decision to gather on the weekend which coincided with the Spring Equinox. Lion City Restaurant is a unique place in the Greater Toronto Area as it serves amazing Singaporean food. The restaurant also held wonderful memories for the Chapter pre-pandemic, as they held their last major event – the Chinese New Year lunch in early 2020 – in the same location.

Attendees of the dinner were treated to mouth-watering delights such as ngoh hiang, fish tofu cabbage soup, deep fried Fish with chinchalok, nonya chicken curry, okra and eggplant belachan, sambal prawns petai, steamed jasmine rice, and bubur cha cha. As the scrumptious dishes filled the tables, attendees engaged in hearty conversations. Some amusingly wondered if it was possible to finish all the food before the restaurant closed – needless to say, the challenge was dealt with decisively.

Alumni who attended the dinner were ecstatic to meet again after the Chapter’s last gathering in November 2021. As the situation turned for the better, the Chapter hoped to bring back at least three events per year, with a potluck picnic in the pipeline for 2022. The Chapter would also try to organise a networking event, echoing the goodwill of alumni who expressed interest in mentoring and networking. All in all, the dinner was a wonderful evening filled with good food and good company.

Submitted by Mr Tejas Aivalli (Public Policy ’11).

NUS Economics Alumni Group's I am Remarkable Workshop
To commemorate International Women’s Day, NUS Economics Alumni Group held an “I am Remarkable” workshop on 12 March. The workshop was run by Chairperson Ms Valerie Chow (Arts and Social Sciences '97), which aimed at building confidence and self-promotion of participants. The workshop provided an intimate and safe environment where participants were able to learn how to celebrate their achievements on both the personal and career front, as well as pick up tools and tips on building self-promotion.

Submitted by Ms Valerie Chow (Arts and Social Sciences '97).
NUS Alumni Manila Chapter - NUS Day of Service 2021

Originally scheduled for 2021, NUS Alumni Manila Chapter came together to serve the community on 5 March 2022 as part of NUS Day of Service (DOS), which was much-delayed due to the global pandemic. Manila was now at the least restrictive Alert Level System Level 1. While health and safety protocols continue to be maintained in accordance to the city’s regulations, there were no longer restrictions for indoor and outdoor capacities, which include intrazonal and interzonal travel of people.

The Missionaries of Charity (Philippine Branch Office) was selected as the primary beneficiary. Administered by a dozen nuns, the Charity caters to mostly sick and/or physically or mentally challenged children and elderly. Most children at the Charity were abandoned, some of whom were left to the care of the Charity, as the parents were physically and financially unable to care for their sick children. The Charity is headquartered along Tayuman Street of Tondo District in the City of Manila; an area known for being the slum capital of Manila due to the high incidence of poverty.

The Project Chairperson and DOS Champion for this activity was Ms Kimly Ang Sandoval (Business ‘18), who also concurrently serves as the Chapter Secretary for the current term (2021-2023). To understand their long-term needs, the Chapter surveyed the Charity directly and received an overwhelming response for the supply of Industrial Orbit Ceiling Electric Fans for all 18 Homes, two of which were located in Manila, and the rest in other major cities in the Philippines. These fans were expensive but much needed for the daily routines of the beneficiaries, especially in the hot summer. DOS Champion Ms Kimly was able to get in touch with a personal contact from Europrince Philippines Corporation, which is a major supplier of the requested ceiling fans. The company offered a goodwill discount – almost 30% cheaper than retail prices – and included free delivery and 1-year warranty nationwide.

To raise funds for the purchase of the fans, the Chapter made a Call for Donation through their official Facebook Group Page on the evening of 1 March 2022. Within 48 hours, 11 alumnus generously donated a total sum of PhP41,250 (approximately SGD1,075.62). This was enough for the Chapter to order 33 fans, exceeding their initial goal of 18! On 5 March 2022, four alumni representatives from the Chapter handed the fans to the Charity, which would then be distributed by the sisters to their other branches across the provinces.

Submitted by Mr Nestor Precioso (Science '06). 

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