Date: Saturday, 9th July 2016
Time: 6.30pm to 10.00pm
Venue: NUSS Kent Ridge Guild House
What’s it like to come face to face with a classmate you haven’t seen in 30 years? Can I put names to faces? Will I not be able to recognise anyone, or will they all look the same as they did 30 years ago?
These were some of the thoughts of the one hundred alumni from BAcc Class of 1986 as they arrived at NUSS Kent Ridge GuildHouse for their 30-year class reunion on 9 July 2016.
Most attendees came decked in 1980s fashion, hoping to clinch the award for Best Dressed of the evening, which eventually went to Ho Chee Khuen (Men) and Florence Leong (Women).
It was a night of celebration with many more prizes to come, including awards for the first person and 30th person to sign up for the event. A special prize was added, much to the amusement of all guests, for the last person to sign up. This went to Yuit Mun, who dedicated her award to her friend: “She signed up a long time ago and reminded me this morning. I didn’t realise it was today!”
A fun-packed quiz on life on campus in 1986 brought lots of merriment. First one up to the “quiz chair” for each question got the chance to answer, rightly or wrongly! It wasn’t the winning that mattered but the taking part.
Emcee for the event, current student, Yichen, commented on the lively atmosphere: “I think I had more concerns getting everyone back to their seats than getting them to participate!” That’s a sign of a successful event indeed!
The fun was all in a good cause. Donations pledged during the evening went towards the NUS Business School Alumni Association Bursary Fund and exceeded $25,000. Coupled with the government matching fund, more needy students will benefit from the bursary fund received. The Class of 1986 has indeed lived up to the spirit of giving back!
Prof Chng Chee Kiong, Vice Dean of NUS Business School, is also a graduate from the cohort. He initiated a short tour around the school for his fellow cohort alumni and filled them in on the history of the NUS Business School since they had left. In his welcome address, he also encouraged alumni to leave their contact details so they could be updated on future events, mentorship opportunities, internship requests, and made a call for his former classmates to participate in the next NUS Bizad Charity Run 2017 to be held on 14 January. “I’m running too!” he quipped. “Come join me!”
Alan Wang was one of many who praised the organising committee for a successful evening: “Many thanks and a fantastic job by the organising committee!” Fellow attendee Kia Khen added, “Thanks for making time to have all of us see each other again. I hope this continues for future batches.” Special thanks are due to Francis (Choon-Yee) and Ivy Lai and their organising committee members who put in much time and effort to get everyone together.
“For the last reunion, we only had two months to gather just 25 attendees,” explained Francis. “When I asked for more notice next time, I had to laugh when Prof Chng gave me two years to prepare!”
Francis and his committee made good use of the time, contacting classmates through Facebook and WhatsApp and organising mini lead-up events such as lunches and group walks to help spread the word further. The efforts were well worth it as alumni got to catch up with old friends and rekindle relationships.
“I lost contact with my friend after the both of us had our children,” Lucy Tang recounted. “So it was really special to sit next to her during dinner and catch up. We don’t lose touch this time!”
“I see some of my old classmates 2-3 times a year, but it’s still great to meet everyone. I’m not sure I can still recognise the rest of them though!” Soo Kwang said.
Jerrilee, another attendee for the evening, said, “Some places are still recognisable from back in the day. I can’t say the same for my memory of the faces of some of my ex-classmates!”
The yearbook on display was a great help in that area for a few alumni including Lai Mun. “Thank goodness for the yearbook” she said. “It really helped me recognise my fellow classmates.”
As the event drew to a close, alumni left the Guild House still buzzing with excitement and renewed friendships, hoping to keep in contact. We hope to see more of our alumni at similar events soon.