irst of all, let me congratulate the Class of 2011. I am extremely proud of all of you!
I became Principal of Singapore Polytechnic in 2008 and this is the fourth graduation ceremony that I am attending. Year after year, after the ceremonies have ended, I continue to receive news of our graduates making significant achievements, whether at work or in further studies. Each time I received such heartening news, it reassures me that we have provided the right learning experience for you. It makes me proud, it makes you proud and I’m sure it will also make your parents proud. And our 160,000-strong alumni would be proud.
Last year in June, SP co-organised RoboCup 2010. This was a massive project and hundreds of you across all disciplines were involved in one way or another. Many of you also had a part in the Youth Olympic Games (YOG), whether working with the various YOG sub-committees or participating in the Journey of the Youth Olympic Flame.
There was another group of students who did such a good job scaring people. They conceptualised and executed Halloween Horrors for the Singapore Zoo. They did such a good job that we are once again invited to plan this year’s Halloween. Our media and communication students were the only polytechnic students given the chance to produce a live TV show, second time in a row.
Many of you have done community service too. In your first year, you took part in Flag Day. Thereafter, some of you went on relief missions in disaster-stricken countries while others taught basic computer knowledge to kids in third-world countries. You made an impact to the lives of the less fortunate, both locally and overseas.
These are just some of the valuable learning experiences that you went through as a SP student. I am confident that your holistic SP journey would open doors for you in the future. All of these experiences will add up to give you that extra edge; whether you further your studies, start work or in national service.
I believe that SP graduates secured places in universities and jobs because of their ‘completeness’ and not just their academic excellence. We had a graduate admitted to medicine school partly because he spent lots of time running health programmes for senior citizens. One of our speakers for this graduation ceremony, Joseph Chua, is our alumnus. He’s just 26 and is now the youngest account director in a leading advertising agency. He will share with you how his SP experience has brought him so far, so quickly.
The testimonies of our successful graduates show that we are moving in the right direction to prepare you to be work-ready, life-ready and world-ready. Whether it’s our curriculum, our pedagogy, our environment or our facilities; we provide the best to bring out the best in you – the confident and accomplished SP graduate ready to take on the world.
This year, I am also very pleased to launch two new initiatives for Graduation - the Glad2Give Graduation Class Gift and the SP Pendant. Many of you out there have donated to the Class Gift. It could be just a dollar, or more. The collections from these two initiatives will go towards helping needy SP students. But our objective goes beyond that. We hope that through your participation, you will feel bonded to the SP community. When you leave this place, we want you to bring back a piece of SP with you.
Once again, my heartiest congratulations to you, the SP graduate. You are now our alumni and our pride.
Tan Hang Cheong