Close to 700 alumni came home to celebrate friendship and remember the good old days at the University’s biggest-ever reunion celebration
Gracing the reunion with his presence was Guest-of-Honour and NTU President, Professor Bertil Andersson, who was heartened to see the huge turnout and to learn of the 18 alumni who had flown back from Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Australia and the United States for the event. Speaking to alumni that afternoon, Prof Andersson emphasised the importance of remembering the University’s past: “Even though NTU is one of the most rapidly developing universities in the world, the University’s past must not be forgotten. All the nostalgic activities planned for this reunion is our small way of saying: Thank you for being a part of today’s NTU and supporting today’s NTU.” He also shared with alumni the latest developments of NTU, acknowledging and thanking them for putting up the first building blocks of NTU.
Chairman of the Combined Reunion Organising Committee, Mr Teh Kwi Huat (Business/1974), regards the reunion as a fantastic platform for alumni to keep in touch with one another. In his welcome address, he thanked alumni for their unwavering support and encouraged them to continue to stay in close touch with their classmates through events organised by the Alumni Affairs Office (AAO), after the grand reunion. When asked how he felt about the reunion, Mr Teh said: “The joy that registers across the faces of alumni and their classmates and ex-professors is one that defies description, yet one that captures their pride and blessing of being Nantah graduates. It is extremely touching to witness this warmth and spirit of camaraderie.” In his address, Mr Teh also emphasised the importance of giving back to community and supporting students in financial need. “Because we are all beneficiaries of the selflessness of Nantah pioneers, we too must practise this selflessness and carry on the Nantah spirit of giving back,” he said, encouraging alumni to make a gift at the reunion.
The grand-scale reunion started with alumni arriving early on campus and catching up with friends over breakfast. To further evoke memories of the past, alumni were served butter buns to remind them of those sold in the canteen above the old Nantah library. “Students those days used to study till late at the library. Just one floor above the library was a stall-holder selling butter buns. When the library closes at night, students would proceed upstairs to have these butter buns as supper. It was a good way to unwind after a whole day of studying,” shared Mr Teh You Siang (Science/1974) who was seen enjoying breakfast with his group of friends.
A special forum for alumni titled ‘The Way to Build a Little Wealth’ was scheduled right after breakfast. Dr Chan Yan Chong (Science/1975), who flew in from Hong Kong, was the speaker of the forum. He shared his insights on investment with alumni, giving them useful tips on the ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ of real property and stock market investments. The forum also included a question-and-answer session for alumni, hosted by forum chairperson, Mr Liew Shin Liat (Science/1974).
Following the forum, alumni were treated to an eight-course luncheon over a series of entertaining song and dance performances put up by alumni and students. Dr Ho Ngiap Kum (Commerce/1975) gave alumni an introduction to NTU Herbs Garden and Chinese herbal medicine. Interested alumni were able to learn more about these herbs and medicine at a booth set up at the back of the foyer.
An exhibition featuring yesteryear’s memorabilia was also set up specially for these alumni, who literally walked down memory lane viewing exhibits that included Nantah’s sports attires, books, photos, Nantah student passes to certificates. When Mr Teh You Siang saw the Nanyang University sports attire on display, he shared that he and his friends used to be part of a soccer team. “We were a pretty strong team! And I still have my Nanyang University soccer attire,” he quipped.
Mr Lim Chia Huat (Arts/1978) attended the reunion with his son, Mr Lim Eng How (SBS/2010), who is currently pursuing his PhD at the School of Biological Sciences. The elder Mr Lim was seen showing his son the various artefacts from Nanyang University which were on display at the exhibition that day. The former shared: “I was from the first batch of students who studied in English at Nanyang University. It’s my first time attending the reunion and it’s nice to be able to see some of my friends after so many years. I am amazed at how much the campus has developed. It’s good to see the University progressing although I must say I am very unfamiliar with the new buildings and roads. It has changed so much! I used to stay in the hostel which is now known as Hall of Residence One. During those days, the male and female undergraduates stayed in different buildings, unlike today. I hope to be able to have a look at the hostel later during the campus tour.”
For Mr Tay Boon Suat (Commerce/1974), Vice President of the Combined Reunion Organising Committee, a reunion of such is always of the greatest pleasure for in it he cherishes the 38 years of golden friendships that were first formed on Nantah grounds.
A fundraising initiative was held in conjunction with the reunion. At the end of the reunion luncheon, some $800,000 (including government matching) had been raised.
The Nantah Reunion was held on 23 June at the Nanyang Auditorium Foyer, and organised by AAO for the Classes of 1970 to 1980 alumni. For alumni who wanted to fully experience the yesteryears, an overnight stay in a hostel a day before the reunion, and a campus tour following lunch on reunion day were provided. © Alumni Affairs Office