SP@60 articles


Over 150 Staff Race into History
New Book Caps SP’s Green Achievements
BOG Members Plant 15 Trees As Part of SP@60 Celebrations
SP’s Rich Heritage Comes Alive During 60th Anniversary Walk


Over 150 Staff Race into History

Despite the slight drizzle, participants of the Poly 60 relay race were undaunted in their quest to make history as this variation of the usual Poly 50 run comes once in a lifetime.

Also making history was the Singapore Polytechnic Management (SPM) team, led by Principal & CEO Mr Tan Choon Shian, who ran in the main race for the first time as a team. Another first was the participation of a Chairman of SP’s Board of Governors. Mr Bill Chang was joined by his wife and son.

The 189 staff were joined by 939 students and 143 alumni who all ran in teams of 15.


Participants raring to go as BOG Chairman, Mr Bill Chang flags them off.

Rounding off the momentous occasion was the first-time win in the staff category by the team from Department of Technology, Innovation and Enterprise (TIE), with a timing of 2 hours and 15 minutes. This was five minutes faster than the previous year’s record, despite the increase in the number of laps. This also marks the first time that TIE has formed a department-wide team for the relay race.

BOG Chairman, Mr Bill Chang, who ran in the Poly 50 race as a SP student, with his son who also took part in Poly 60.


Mr Joel Chan, Business Development Manager of TIE, who as the Team Manager for the race said that the win was a combined department effort. “It wasn’t just the staff racers who were involved in Poly 60. Other members of TIE, from the staff manning the water points, to monitoring the lap timings and cheering them on, all played a part in achieving this win.”

In second place was the team from School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, who were last year’s champions, followed by the School of Chemical and Life Sciences team.

Living up to their name, Team TIETANS from Department of Technology, Innovation and Enterprise conquered all to emerge champions.


Adding to the festive atmosphere was a carnival put together by Department of Alumni Relations. Into its fourth year, booths serving free ice cream, drinks and nachos dotted Eleven Square to the delight of participants and those who came to cheer them on.

Mr Chang, who ran in the Poly 50 in his younger days as a SP student, said: “It’s good to see a tradition like Poly 50 continuing for so many years. This year, I’m able to let my son take part with his father!” He added that the event was a great way for the entire SP family to come together.

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New Book Caps SP’s Green Achievements

In 2010, Singapore Polytechnic (SP) became the first polytechnic to win Singapore’s most prestigious environmental accolade, the President’s Award for the Environment, for its significant contributions to protecting and sustaining the environment and water resources.

Principal and CEO Mr Tan Choon Shian (left) presenting a signed copy of the book to BOG Chairman Mr Bill Chang at the official launch.


More recently, in 2012, SP won the Platinum Award, the highest award in the Community in Bloom competition organised by the National Parks Board. The award was in recognition of SP’s effort in encouraging staff to plant and tend fruit trees, vegetables and flowering plants on campus.

So it was fitting that SP published a book highlighting our green efforts and achievements over the years. And making “Campus in a Garden” extra special, the book, produced by SP Go Green Committee, was launched in conjunction with SP’s 60th Anniversary.

The book, which is the combined effort of 80 staff and 60 students, was launched by Mr Bill Chang, Chairman of SP Board of Governors. The 120-page book takes readers on a journey of the lush gardens and greenery in the sprawling 38-hectare SP campus, all the while taking in the flora and fauna that inhabit it. The book has also incorporated 10 QR codes which showcase online videos of various aspects of SP’s green efforts and achievements.

On how the book came into being, Mr Tan Yew Meng, Director of School of Communication, Arts and Social Sciences and Chairman of SP Go Green Committee, revealed that Principal and CEO Mr Tan Choon Shian was the one who suggested producing a book to commemorate SP’s 60th birthday. The rest, as they say, is history.

One of the book’s contributors, avid birder Ms Chan Mei Yee, Manager, Department of Educational Development, was proud of how the book turned out. She added that her husband contributed a number of photos that appeared in the book too.

Another contributor was Ms Kylie Chia, Management Support Officer, Library. “I thought only one or two of my photos would be used but in the end, they used quite a number.” She added: “Both my dad and I are SP alumni and my passion for photography is greatly inspired by him.” Kylie and her dad Lucas Chia’s photos can be found on pages 20 and 31.

“SP has such healthy greenery,” observed Dr Thomas Chai, Senior Director, Applied and Health Sciences Cluster and Chairman of the SP@60 Steering Committee. “The book is a milestone for SP.”

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BOG Members Plant 15 Trees As Part of SP@60 Celebrations

Singapore Polytechnic (SP)’s green campus just got a whole lot greener with the addition of 15 trees that were recently planted by members of the Board of Governors including the Chairman, Mr Bill Chang. Also taking part in the planting of the “Tecoma Stans” trees were several members of the SP Management team, including Principal and CEO Mr Tan Choon Shian.

PCEO Mr Tan planting one of the trees which grow well in warm climates and produce flowers that attract bees, butterflies and sunbirds.

The trees, also known as “yellow trumpet bush” or “yellow bells”, that were planted in the vicinity of Gate 8 capped an initiative that started in 2010. Since then, 15 trees were planted each year by staff, followed by alumni and then, students:

2010: First tranche of 15 trees were planted by SP’s staff.

2011: SP alumni were invited to bid and participate in the tree planting.

2012: Students planted another tranche of 15 trees near T19.

2014: BOG members plant the fourth and last tranche of 15 trees.

A bidding exercise was held to raise funds for the SP Students’ Needy Fund. Together with this year’s amount, a total of about $115,000 has been donated to the fund.

The planting of the 60 trees demonstrates SP’s commitment to the environment and is in line with the “Campus in a Garden” concept.

Mr Bill Chang doing his part for the environment, together with other Board members and SP management


BOG Members Present:

Chairman, Mr Bill Chang York Chye
RADM Chan Weng Yip
Prof Pang Yang Hoong
Mr Swe Chee Jhuen
Mr John Lim
SAC Tan Chye Hee

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SP’s Rich Heritage Comes Alive During 60th Anniversary Walk

For the 600 staff, students and alumni who participated in the 16-kilometer Heritage Trail walk from Singapore Polytechnic (SP)'s first office in Battery Road all the way to Dover Road, it was evident that the polytechnic has come a long way since its establishment in 1954.

Fond memories: Mr Teh Yap Cheng, former SP Registrar, introducing the former Prince Edward Road campus.


The walk, which included stops at SP's early campuses in Prince Edward Road, Pasir Panjang Road and Ayer Rajah Road, brought home the polytechnic's rapid progress as well as contributions to the nation. It was also a good opportunity for the young and old, the new and old, to bond.

For some, it was a walk down memory lane. One of the participants of the half-day walk was Mr Low Wong Fook, who was SP Principal from 1996 to 2007. Mr Low, who was a student of the former University of Singapore, which then shared the Prince Edward Road premises with SP, recalled his younger days: “There were days when we would be running computer programs and the only way to complete the process, which took a long time then, was to hide in the campus overnight, out of sight of the security guards. That was quite an adventure.” He also marvelled at how the campus had withstood the test of time.

Participants at the former Labrador Campus in Pasir Panjang Road, which once housed SP Business School.


At the Prince Edward Road stop, several former staff were on hand to bring history to life. One of them, Mr Teh Yap Cheng, who joined SP in 1972 and retired as Registrar in 1995, said: “Being here at the Prince Edward Road campus brings back memories. I can still remember the exact location of my old office. I can even remember participating in Poly 50, when it first began!” Mr Teh also recounted an incident when SP students barricaded the Principal in his office, in protest of rising canteen prices, forcing him to escape through the Registrar’s office.

A triumphant return to the Dover Campus after 16km of walking down memory lane.


At the final stop, the present Dover Road campus, participants were greeted by the sight of comfort food and retro music from a live band which were part of a carnival put together for the occasion. They were also treated to a vintage car display and a display of photographs taken by winners of the My SPecial SP Photography Contest organised by SP Library.

Mr Tan Chin Chye, who was part of the organising committee for the event, said that the turnout of the event was well worth the operational challenges. For future possible Heritage Trails, he hopes to visit more historic places of interest to SP. “I would really like to organise a longer route involving the rest of the locations such as Grange Road, Tanjong Katong, Belvedere, Boat Station, Poly Marina and even Sembawang. For the next round, it could even be a cycling Heritage Trail!”

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