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Welcome Remarks by Prof Tan Tai Yong at SUSS Convocation Dinner 2023

Mdm Halimah Yacob, SUSS Chancellor
Mr Richard Eu, SUSS Pro-Chancellor
Mrs Mildred Tan, SUSS Chairman
SUSS Board of Trustees Members

Colleagues, Friends. Good evening.

1. Earlier this week, we saw the graduation of our largest cohort – over 3000 students.  Over 9 sessions, we witnessed the gratification, pride and joy felt by our graduates, and their loved ones, as they celebrated reaching this significant milestone. 

2. That feeling of pride comes, I think, not merely from a sense of having earned the degree but stems from the sentiment that their journey to this point has been a triumph of resilience and perseverance over challenging circumstances.

3. I have attended many convocations (or commencements), but I must say that I have never been more impressed with the valedictorians and stories I’ve heard about the graduates I’ve seen in the past three days. They are truly an inspiring lot – making the best of the opportunities they have been given; taking charge of their lives; and the staying focused on their goals, overcoming challenges with grit and determination. I am coming to the conclusion that it is perhaps wrong to call the students who are studying and working at the same time part-time students. These students are studying for a full degree on top on doing a full-time job. If anything, they are carrying two workloads, and should be called double-time students. 

4. Tonight, we celebrate their achievements. I have many people to thank for making convocation 2023 a momentous event. 

5. First, my heartfelt thanks to Mdm Halimah for accepting the appointment to be SUSS’ Chancellor and for gracing the first session of our convocation as its presiding officer. As the immediate past President of Singapore, your presence, together with the current President, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, has made this a truly memorable event for our graduating cohort. We look forward to welcoming you to more university events in the future. 

6. Next, I want to acknowledge the remarkable faculty who have tirelessly dedicated themselves to the academic growth of our students. Your passion and dedication have not only molded the intellect of our graduates but have also instilled in them a set of social values, empowering them to impact society positively.

7. I must make a special mention of Emeritus President Cheong Hee Kiat for his leadership and contributions in creating the policies, platforms and pipelines that delivered this latest cohort of graduates. 

8. A special note of appreciation goes to our dedicated staff who have worked diligently to ensure a successful convocation. Special shout-out to Evelyn Chong and Lee Chee Cheong, and to the many staff who worked behind their scenes, for the meticulous planning and execution that made the proceedings run so smoothly. Your efforts speak volumes about the strength and unity of the SUSS community. Please give yourselves a pat on the back for a job well done.   

9. I would also like to extend my appreciation to friends and partners for your unwavering support. Through collaborations, sponsorships, and mentorship opportunities, you have played a vital role in enriching the educational experience for our students. We are truly grateful for your support. 

10. In closing, I want to express my deepest gratitude to each and every one of you for your unwavering commitment to the success of SUSS. 

11. May our vision to be a university that inspires learning for life and impacts lives continue to uplift and galvanise us all.  Thank you.


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