We’re just hours away from the start of SMU Convocation 2014. Whether you are a freshman, a proud parent, or are perhaps just curious, stay tuned to this blog post! We promise you an unforgettable Convocation experience that’s out of this world.
Do let us know your thoughts on today’s proceedings by dropping us a message here. Or, if you prefer, you can join in the conversation on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Oh yes, don’t forget that the hashtag for this event is #sgSMUconvoc2014!
The excitement is building to fever pitch as our freshmen continue to stream into the Suntec Convention Centre.
Looks like everybody’s all suited up for SMU Convocation 2014
The Grand Procession at SMU Convocation 2014 truly lived up to its name. No surprises for guessing the theme for the evening’s festivities!
The singing of the national anthem took on a decidedly-galactic twist at SMU Convocation 2014.
Choice quotes from Mr Ho Kwon Ping’s opening address. Mr Ho is the Chairman of the SMU Board of Trustees.
“Tonight’s Star-Wars-themed Convocation, like the freshman camps you’ve already undergone, gives you some idea of the spirit of SMU. We take an innovative approach to everything we do.”
“You are joining us as we embark on a new phase of strategic development that we call Vision 2025. In this strategic plan, SMU will evolve into a more comprehensive university, rooted in the social sciences.”
“You will be taking a newly revised curriculum which will more closely than now, integrate academic development, personal development, and community engagement.”
“You will benefit from infrastructural changes to the library and right across the campus to increase the space available for individual and collaborative study.”
“In fact, we are drawing up plans for a residential facility to be built within the next five years that will give groups of students space for project-based learning and time to live and work with their teammates while they incubate their ideas.”
“SMU’s next growth phase will also include a stimulating environment to promote world-class research and increase research-based teaching that will make an impact on education, business and society.”
“Being in SMU already makes you a member of a small, privileged elite—not necessarily measured by current wealth, but certainly by access to future wealth, power and influence.” “May the force be with you.”
Mr Ho Kwon Ping, Chairman of SMU Board of Trustees, brandishes a lightsaber during his opening address, to rapturous applause.
Excerpts from Guest of Honour Ms Yong Ying-I’s keynote address. Ms Yong is the Permanent Secretary (Public Service Division), Permanent Secretary (National Research Foundation) and Chairman of the Infocomm Development Authority.
“Let me say right from the start that your world is for you to create, literally. The roles you can choose to play and the jobs you can choose to take up when you graduate are far less scripted today compared to a decade ago.”
“I want to share with you Singapore’s exciting vision to be a Smart Nation, and the immense opportunities for you in that vision. What is a Smart Nation? It is about making use of technology to improve the way the city works and to improve the lives of our people. It is clean, green and uses resources more sustainably.”
“I urge you to [have] an innovation mindset and approach to your studies. Create something of your own, don’t just imitate others or stick to the status quo just because it has been working. Be the ‘Alternative’. Dare to experiment, dare to take risks.”
“University graduates who are the best educated in society and likely to have the best opportunities, need to accept the responsibility to care for the greater good of the whole community, to look out for each other and care for the more vulnerable in our society. If you don’t do it, who will?”
“I hope you will not wait till you graduate to be connected with the broader community to offer your service. I hope you will serve and connect, even during your university journey.”
“Do also remember that you share in the responsibility of shaping how Singapore develops. It is an exciting responsibility… As students joining SMU today, you are part of the next generation that must contribute to this effort.”
“I am hopeful that you will rise to this responsibility. So may I modify the Star Wars wish to “May you be the Force that creates that better future for us all”.”
SMU Convocation 2014 Guest of Honour Ms Yong Ying-I delivers her keynote address.
Even Ms Yong couldn’t resist getting into character.
Excerpts from SMU President Professor Arnoud De Meyer’s welcome address.
“This is indeed the start of your own exciting adventure. It is an adventure you will shape yourself, because you will have to make hundreds, if not thousands of decisions along the way—and each one could affect the path you take through life.”
“Your cohort is the first to benefit from a revised undergraduate curriculum… You will have a more holistic education than ever before.”
“Our many student clubs will benefit from your talents. Choose your co-curricular activities boldly; try something new and challenging, step out of your comfort zone and stretch yourself.”
“Even if you should get out of your depth, there is strong support network to get you back on your feet. If you fail, do as Luke Skywalker would do: pick yourself up and try again.”
“…you must also find time to contemplate on all your experiences or they will count for nothing. To help you, we have developed a tool to allow you to track and shape your own learning. [Called SMU LifeLessons Pathfinder], It is part of the SMU LifeLessons programme which is integrated into the undergraduate curriculum to define, prepare, and inspire you to be your very best for others.”
“In short: work hard and play hard. Seize every opportunity to stretch yourself. That is how you will make the most of your time here at SMU and in the future.”
SMU President Professor Arnoud De Meyer wields a lightsaber with authority as he lays down the tenets by which SMU students should live.
Just one of the many brilliant performances put on during SMU Convocation 2014 that have become synonymous with SMU’s hugely-talented student population.
The colourful cast of emcees kept the audience enthralled throughout.
Our ‘padawans’ reciting the SMU pledge with requisite fervour.
Lim Ser Kiat, President of the SMU Students’ Association, looking dapper as he delivers his Convocation message.
We leave you with images of the incredible performances that culminated in the event’s rousing finale—memories that are no doubt now seared into the audience’s minds. The Force was indeed strong tonight.