Issue 90, September 2010
Igniting 6,000 dreams
NTU President Dr Su Guaning formally welcomes the newest members of the NTU community – the Class of 2014.

Ignite, inspire, instil. That was the theme of a series of ceremonies held at the start of the new academic year to welcome more than 6,000 new students.

Addressing College of Engineering freshmen at the first ceremony, held on 1 September, NTU President Dr Su Guaning said that the Freshmen Welcome Ceremony, “a uniquely NTU institution”, was “the opening milestone” of their undergraduate journey.

Dr Su went on to trace the historical roots of the university. Large numbers of ordinary people, including trishaw riders, taxi drivers, students, and even dance hostesses, had contributed their hard-earned income towards the establishment of Nanyang University, NTU’s predecessor institution, 55 years ago.

The spirit “enshrined in Nantah’s founding continues to thrive and inspire generations of students,” said Dr Su. “This spirit of self-reliance and struggle against adversity finds expression in NTU’s DNA of service and tenacity”.

Opportunities aplenty
Dr Su encouraged the freshmen to be proud students of NTU and to follow their hearts. “The river of time flows swiftly, especially when you’re having fun, so grab hold of the many opportunities coming your way to make these four years the best years of your life. Then make your mark in the working world, as many of your predecessors have.”

At each ceremony, the freshmen were introduced to senior members of the university. They also donned ceremonial robes and recited the NTU Honour Pledge to affirm their commitment to upholding the values of the university.

Singing chuan deng, or "Light of Legacy", was another uplifting freshmen tradition. “The song speaks of a river that flows from the mountain to the sea and the light of learning that enriches us all,” explained Dr Su. “The song is also about the Nantah legacy of self-sacrifice and the will to succeed against the odds.”

This spirit was evident when seven in ten members of the Class of 2010 contributed to the Graduation Class Gift, putting NTU in the league of “the Harvards and the Princetons”. It was also at work when 2,500 NTU students and staff worked around the clock to host the 5,000 young athletes and officials of the Youth Olympic Games, said Dr Su. “They were proud ambassadors of NTU and they wanted to make a difference.” NTU had the honour of being the world’s first Youth Olympic Village during the games in August.

Dr Su also explained the significance of the light-up ceremony that brought an incandescent glow to the Nanyang Auditorium. “The university lights your way, while you contribute to the collective brightness, wisdom and honour.”

Urging the freshmen to make the most of their time here, Dr Su said residential learning was “the best way to meet new people, learn about others and, most importantly, learn about yourself.”

“Build and strengthen your links among us, through the years. It will serve you well, for life.”

© Corporate Communications Office