Published on 15 Jun 2023

A circle of support

Come July, NTU’s graduating students will join the ranks of young NTU alumni. Beneficiaries-turned-donors share how they give back to support future cohorts of juniors.

By Sadia Roohi

In July 2023, about 10,000 NTU’s graduating students will proudly join the esteemed community of NTU alumni. The class of 2023 will be presenting a Class Gift to NTU as a gesture of giving back to the university. 

Ahead of the convocation, four NTU alumni and graduands share their thoughts on the significance of supporting the Class Gift.

Ms Ooi Yuan Phing, 23, is an all-rounder who has enjoyed her four years studying Economics at NTU School of Social Sciences (SSS) and volunteering in welfare services to hone her leadership skills. 

Yuan PhingOoi Yuan Phing (front, 2nd from right) with fellow NTU Welfare Services Club’s members.

Yuan Phing faced financial difficulty during the course of study as her father could not secure employment during the pandemic. The financial assistance she received from a bursary and NTU’s Covid-19 relief package helped tide her over. Now that she has started work after her final exams, she is donating a small sum in support of Graduation Giving. 

“Our collective contribution, no matter how small, can make a significant difference to the lives of those who come after us. A shoutout to my batchmates to support future generations of NTU students by donating to the Class Gift 2023.”

Former financial aid recipient, Ms Karen Tang from the School of Humanities’ Class of 2022, is currently employed as a Daraz Future Leaders Programme Trainee at an e-commerce firm. She credits her career achievement to NTU’s reputation. 

Karen TangKaren Tang is now advancing in her career after graduating in 2022.

With the financial aid she received during her university days, Karen was able to complete her studies with peace of mind. She said: “I encourage new graduates to leave behind a meaningful legacy by donating to this year’s Class Gift. I have experienced how financial aid can help to elevate financial and psychological burden during the course of study.” 

As a regular volunteer, Karen has conducted workshops during NTU Service Week 2022. She has also been donating to the NTU after her graduation.

Mr Vincent Tan, who graduated from the School of Social Sciences in 2019, is now an Officer at the Ministry of Home Affairs, and he believes in giving back to the community in any way he can. 

Vincent TanAs a student, Vincent Tan participated actively in NTU Welfare Services Club Regular Service Project for the Deaf Community, such as performing at a Christmas event (above). 

During his NTU student days, he too received financial assistance which helped defray a portion of his tuition fees, so that he was not overwhelmed with juggling part-time work and studying. When he graduated, he made a modest donation to Class Gift 2019 and has been making recurring donations since then.

“My decision to give back is deeply rooted in my core value of gratitude. I am grateful to have had the opportunities to meet people from all walks of life, experience good times and learn life lessons. Through these experiences and personal growth, I became stronger and more resilient. I am thankful to my alma mater,” said Vincent. 

Mr Ngor Cheng En completed his studies at the NTU Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information and will be graduating this July. One of his fondest memories was co-organising this year’s X Campus Run in conjunction with Best Foot Forward fundraising run. 

Ngor Cheng EnNgor Cheng En found it fulfilling to be part of the organising committee for this year’s X Campus Run held in conjunction with Best Foot Forward fundraising virtual run.

The 25-year-old recounted: “I honestly believe in paying it forward. I know there are people who wish to pursue a university education but may be held back by their financial situation. We need to have the mindset that even the smallest donation can go a long way in helping students in need.” 

Class of 2023 who wish to support “Class Gift 2023” may do so online. Donors will receive limited edition NTU memorabilia as tokens of appreciation for their donation.