While convocation is a time for celebration, it is also traditionally a time for giving something back in gratitude. This year, the Class of 2021 raised the largest class gift since the Class of 2016, with a donation of S$129,000.
With local traditional Chinese medicine charity clinic Sian Chay Medical Institution pledging dollar-for-dollar matching of donations made by graduands for a period of 9 years, the 2021 Class Gift therefore stands at a total of S$229,000. This new partnership between Sian Chay and NTU not only assists students in dire financial situations but also foster in students a spirit of giving back.
Recent graduate Ms Chang Yong Wei (CEE/2021), who presented the 2021 Class Gift cheque to Singapore President and NTU Chancellor Mdm Halimah Yacob during the first convocation ceremony on 17 September, was among the 31.8% of the graduating cohort who donated to the 2021 Class Gift.
"Be it just S$1 a month, a small bit goes a long way," she said, likening the efforts of the Class of 2021 to the Chinese proverb "一根筷子容易折, 一把筷子难折断 ; One chopstick is easy to break but a bunch of chopsticks are not".
The class gift will be used to directly support needy students, school advancement, student life and to improve the quality of education and research at NTU.
Ms Yap Su-Yin, NTU’s Executive Director for Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving said: "More important than the size of the donation is the gratitude and hope each gift conveyed. Although they have graduated, they are leaving with NTU in their hearts. They are grateful for the fine standing they have with an NTU degree in hand."
"I see each gift – whether big or small – as a heartfelt gesture from our graduates wishing their juniors, educators and their alma mater the very best. For having produced such graduates, we are deeply thankful."