There was an added sense of euphoria and pride in the air as the APEX-E 22 class came together for the APEX-E 22 Bursary Celebration Dinner. It is indeed a cause for celebration, as it marked a historical first – the inauguration of an EMBA-class-supported bursary fund that will help 12 financial challenge undergraduate students every year.
In raising a total of S$161,393, the APEX-E 22 class has paved the way forward for future classes,. But this achievement wasn’t limited to the APEX-E 22 cohort alone. Linda Tong and Elaine Zhang from APEX-C as well as past APEX cohorts such as Surgei and Derek from APEX-C 19 also contributed their efforts to the worthy cause.
Prof Chng Chee Keong, Vice Dean, Undergraduate Studies gratefully accepted the presentation cheque to raucous applause, and Associate Professor Susanna Leong, Vice Dean Graduate Studies, was also present to applaud the combined effort, saying: “I have wanted so long for both MBA programmes to come together. Now, we are seeing the barriers break down.” The MBA Office, Development Office and GANO too played a part in making the bursary possible.
Attendees mingled, toasting their successes and efforts over dinner, and the lively atmosphere was further heightened when a video montage of the students’ overseas study segments and course experiences was aired. The video, created by coursemate Chan Hsien Hung, drew gasps of delight as well as a few groans as memories of long days of study came flooding back. “It was midnight by the time we could go home!” was one such cry.
Henry Mulyadi, CEO of a coal mining business in Indonesia, echoed the thoughts of many when he said: “It’s good to be part of this first bursary cohort. The EMBA experience has been tiring but well worth it.” Sharing the same sentiments was Grace Tan, who added: “The EMBA has been a humbling experience and a great opportunity to open doors and increase my network. Also, being part of this bursary is a great way to give back.”
The highlight of the evening came when course mate Alicia Choo, who suggested the bursary, was called on stage to make a speech. Reticent of the spotlight, she was quick to point out: “All I did was make the suggestion. It was the class that rallied round and got things going.” Thanking everyone for their efforts, Alicia made a special note to honour her uncle, Mr Seah Cheng San (MBA 1993), the inspiration for her idea, with him having contributed regularly to fundraising activities for the school and NUS himself. She ended her speech on an inspiring note to a standing ovation, saying: “To the class of APEX-E 22, with the creation of this bursary, we have two things to be proud of. Firstly, we have left a legacy within the walls of our institution and secondly, we have made history today by being the first APEX MBA class to have a bursary named after us!”
Each student who had contributed to the bursary was also presented with a token in commemoration along with a photobook of their course experiences featuring their own personalised caricature on the cover. The photobook was compiled by Tejas Damania, who in his speech jokingly told the class: “I did my best. Anything you’re not happy with, you’ll have to live with. No apologies!”
In all, the event was a great success and gave the students the opportunity to thoroughly enjoy themselves and unwind with friends and family before knuckling under for their final week of study.