Date: 12 July 2014 (Saturday)
Time: 6.30 pm
Venue: Mövenpick Heritage Hotel Sentosa
Organiser: Global Alumni Network Office
Thirty years after leaving the NUS campus in pursuit of new careers and new life changes, the class of 1984 from both the Business Administration and Accountancy schools came together on 12 July 2014 to celebrate their milestone anniversary in style at Sentosa’s Mövenpick Heritage Hotel.
This is the first time that Class 1984 Bizad and Accountancy alumni united for their class reunion after graduation, and the event saw a turnout of around 100 alumni, including past lecturers and tutors as well as representatives from NUS Business School Alumni Association. Some alumni even made a special effort to return to Singapore from their overseas base to mark the occasion including Koh Phwee Wah from Hong Kong, Matthew Chee from Australia, Lawrence Quah from Azerbaijan and Thomas Tang from Beijing, China. They were roundly applauded for their dedication. Past lecturers and tutors included Dr Lee Soo Ann, who was the former Dean, Faculty of Accountancy and Business Administration at that time; Prof Kau Ah Keng, Assoc Prof Low Aik Meng, Assoc Prof Alfred Loh and Mr Chng Hak Kee. Dr Lee was unable to make it for the dinner but came early for the pre-event cocktails just to reconnect with the alumni and other past lecturers.
While some alumni had kept up with small groups of friends, many had already lost contact with their course mates over the span of three long decades. The delight of reunion was evident by the many delighted calls and faces that lit up in recognition of long lost friends as alumni mingled.
For Swee Hoon Eng (BAcc), the reunion produced a sense of nostalgia as she recalled waking up early to secure a prime seat in the library overlooking a scenic spot for the many study sessions she had with a group of friends.
Jimmy Yam (BAcc) felt the same as he fondly recalled being one of the few male students in a class of mostly females, and meeting his wife, Wan May Wah (BAcc), who was on the same course. “It’s always good to remember old friends and feel young again,” he said with a grin.
Prof Hum Sin Hoon, Deputy Dean of NUS and past tutor for the 1984 class was also in attendance, as was Assoc Prof Chng Chee Kiong (BAcc 1986), Vice Dean of Undergraduate Studies, NUS Business School.
Prof Hum kicked off the festivities by warmly welcoming the Class of 1984 for this landmark anniversary. While he kept the crowd entertained with jokes and recounted past stories, he also urged alumni to help contribute in whatever form they could for the next generation of business students, and highlighted how some alumni are already serving as mentors or adjunct lecturers to these young and bright sparks.
Also touching on the theme of paying it forward was Atul Shah, who was then the Bizad President, together with Roch Low from Accountancy. Both were instrumental in organising the reunion, a monumental and unenviable task of reaching out to their peers 30 years since they last met.
“Having been in the working life and having built our families, I believe we’re all at a position in life now when we can take a certain amount of time and effort to really contribute in ways that do not have to be just pure material but in terms of time and support,” Atul said. “So we believe in paying it forward and we believe that by bringing a group together like this, we can communicate a message to our peers and encourage more of them to step up and join us in this effort.”
The reunion proved to be a night of revelry for the alumni as they reconnected with old friends, walked down memory lane and participated in the many game segments with aplomb. It also proved to be a night of charity as the class of 1984 raised an impressive $21,000 for the NUS Business School Alumni Bursary Fund.
Special mementoes in the form of a class photo would be given to the alumni present as well a special keepsake – their copy of the class yearbook in commemoration of the event.