The Promise of Youth
Alumni Relations (AR) was born in 2006 to the SIM University (UniSIM) family. AR turns 15 this year, still a teenager but moving rapidly towards adulthood. At 15, AR has youth on her side and is full of enthusiasm, filled with the excitement of a bright and promising future.
AR has learnt that experience need not necessarily have to come with age. In the last 15 years, AR had her hands full with the entire spectrum of operations similar to her peers at the other well established autonomous universities (AUs). The motivation and drive to rev up the engine and ramp up speed came from the desire to offer her 38,224 strong alumni family a slew of activities and benefits that are not inferior to those enjoyed by alumni of other AUs (despite our youth and limited funds). Of course in the area of alumni facilities, she cannot match the older AUs for now as the university is still awaiting its own campus.
Within these constraints, I must say that AR has done well for the alumni. With hard work, she has cultivated a committed pool of volunteers, helping out at events, giving feedback, being advocates and also helming the editorial committee for SUSScribe, our quarterly newsletter. Outreach via digital media platforms has also deepened with participation from alumni in her “call to action” postings. AR also introduced her two loveable mascots, SUSSha and UrSUSS to the alumni community, bringing them along for events and activities so much so that the pair are now well recognized and coveted by our alumni. Their presence in our Convocation video to guide graduands in their registration on Convocation day also won her the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Excellence award – bronze in 2020. This is no mean feat as SUSS was the only winner from Asia in the Video on a Shoestring category and we were picked from 2752 entries in 100 categories from 587 member institutions from 28 countries worldwide. AR is thrilled.
And as the nation continues to emphasise lifelong learning to remain relevant, AR has also been actively sourcing and deepening her engagement with external partners to curate both free and subsidized continuing education courses for her alumni. She is seeing the fruits of her labour and is driven to work even harder.
The Covid-19 pandemic has put a dampener on many aspects of life and living. Nonetheless, life goes on and AR will need to keep to her 3Ps, prevail, pivot and prepare for the future. AR knows that she will have many more miles to travel, mountains to climb and goals to achieve.
I envisage that 15 years on, AR who will be well into adulthood at age 30, will be respected by peers and looked up to by those younger as a role model and mentor. This can only be achieved in partnership with you, her beloved alumni family. Together, let’s forge ahead to cement our place in the higher education landscape as a university with a strong social mission to do good and make our mark in society.
Happy 15th Anniversary.