It was a night to remember as current and past SUSS students, as well as faculty and staff members, rubbed shoulders and exchanged updates at an appreciation dinner on March 23 (Fri).
The inaugural Student and Alumni Volunteer Appreciation Night was held not only to express a big “thank you” to those who had devoted time and energy for volunteer work at SUSS, but also to help students make the seamless transition from being active student volunteers to alumni volunteers.
During the dinner, held at The Vault, InterContinental Hotel, 6 alumni volunteers received their 5 and 10 years long service awards and 14 students were recognised for their volunteer work with SUSS.
The award winners with SUSS faculty and staff members.
Some of the award recipients shared that they had benefited much from their stint as volunteers, such as making friends from other schools and helping them in their personal development.
Alumni volunteer Desmond Tan Kok Hee, BA Business Studies (Class of 2006), said: “The more I give, the happier I feel. Volunteering increases my self-confidence too!”
Another volunteer from the Class of 2006, Gregory Athastaraj Francis, BA English Language and Literature, said he was proud to be a trailblazer. “It's been a privilege to serve a decade as a volunteer. The camaraderie has been great and fun,” he added.
Student Ambassador Hendrik, BSc (Hons) Facilities and Events Management, from the Class of 2017, said he enjoyed his volunteer role as it had provided him with “an excellent opportunity to make new friends with university staff, other student ambassadors or volunteers from other programmes”.
“It has also helped me to improve my interpersonal, communication and teamwork skills. From an academic perspective, I believed this is a valuable experience that will contribute as part of a balanced and well-rounded education,” he shared.
Sharon Lee Sui Yi, BA (Hons) English Language and Literature, from the Class of 2016, and currently back as a student for her Master of Arts Programme in Applied Linguistics, said as a Student Ambassador, she enjoyed welcoming new students to the SUSS family during orientation.
Sharon receiving the Certificate of Appreciation from SUSS President, Professor Cheong Hee Kiat.
“I share my journey with them in the hope that they, too, will discover the joy of learning and the fulfilment of lifelong friendships. It’s the people —friends, instructors, staff and faculty — that make SUSS home to us all,” she added.
In his welcome remarks to the 70-odd guests at the dinner, SUSS President, Professor Cheong Hee Kiat, said the volunteers epitomise the kind of alumni and students whom the university wants to cultivate.
He noted that the volunteers serve as “eyes and ears” for the University since they know what is happening on the ground and are able to offer feedback to the authorities.
With the employment landscape changing, Prof Cheong also encouraged SUSS students and alumni to continue learning and upgrading themselves.
Apart from a sumptuous buffet spread, which allowed guests to mingle while enjoying their food, they were also treated to a performance by Clement Phua Zhen Jie, who sang his own composition, ‘Not Set in Stone’. The newly-minted graduate from the School of Arts and Social Sciences, had performed at several Convocation ceremonies during his undergraduate days, including his own Convocation last October.
Clement serenading to the audience at the Student and Alumni Volunteer Appreciation Night.
The night ended with all those present gathered together for a group photograph, to serve as a memento of a special night.