2015 marks the 10th anniversary of SIM University (UniSIM), and the University celebrated it with a lunch on 10 April 2015, four days ahead of its actual "birthday".
To commemorate this event, UniSIM hosted Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, and more than 500 people – including UniSIM's past and current Board members, academic and industry partners, as well as representatives of its associate lecturers, students and alumni – at Mandarin Orchard Singapore's Grand Ballroom.
Kicking off the event, Professor Cheong Hee Kiat, President of UniSIM, welcomed the guests and expressed his gratitude to all who have journeyed with and helped UniSIM along its short journey. He also provided a glimpse of where UniSIM intends to go in the future, which was echoed through the screening of a specially-produced video.
Speaking at the lunch, DPM Tharman announced that individuals who complete the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn programme will be able to get credit exemption or advanced standing if they go on to study for a part-time degree programme at UniSIM. Calling UniSIM "a leader in the field of lifelong learning", DPM Tharman said its strengths lie in its open admissions policy for its part-time degree programmes, its modularised curriculum, its emphasis on applied learning and its blended learning approach using online and campus learning.
DPM Tharman and various UniSIM representatives, including student and alumni, then led a cake-cutting and toasting ceremony.
Guests at the event reminisced about UniSIM's first 10 years of growth as they viewed a photo montage and flipped through their personal copy of the commemorative book We Are 10 – The SIM University Story. Everyone was also presented with a medallion featuring the UniSIM 10th anniversary logo – a symbolic representation of the University's decade of making a difference to the lives of the people it has touched.
The highlight of the event was the presentation of the UniSIM LEAP Award, which honours individuals who have contributed significantly to the establishment and development of UniSIM. Mr Gerard Ee, Chancellor and Chairman of UniSIM, presented the awards to four recipients, viz., Mr John Yip, former Director of Education at the Ministry of Education; Mr Seah Chiong Tian, Group Director of SIM Group Corporate Services; Professor Aline Wong, Academic Advisor at UniSIM; and Professor Cham Tao Soon, Special Advisor to SIM Governing Council.
Recognising the importance of giving back to the community, UniSIM also made a contribution to the Asian Women's Welfare Association (AWWA), a voluntary welfare organisation that provides a range of services to the needy, regardless of gender, race and religion, during the lunch. Professor Cheong presented a cheque for S$30,000 – contributed by UniSIM Board members and staff – to Ms Janice Ang, Chairperson of AWWA. This donation will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Singapore Government.
During the lunch, Mr Puar Ah Hoy, a resident at the AWWA Community Home for Senior Citizens, entertained the guests with a harmonica performance. The celebration ended on a high note with a wonderful rendition of the UniSIM song "Onwards and Beyond" by UniSIM Psychology alumnus Mr Syed Raizal Hamid Al-Edrus, who also debuted the song in 2006.
Guest-of-Honour, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance,
penning his well-wishes for UniSIM on a mural wall.
Professor Cheong Hee Kiat, President of UniSIM, giving the welcome address.
DPM Tharman delivering his speech.
DPM Tharman and various UniSIM representatives leading the cake-cutting ceremony.
Mr Gerard Ee (centre), UniSIM Chancellor and Chairman, presented the UniSIM LEAP Award to (second from left) Mr Seah Chiong Tian, Professor Aline Wong, Professor Cham Tao Soon, and Mr John Yip. Professor Cheong Hee Kiat (extreme left) provided the citations of the award recipients, while DPM Tharman (extreme right) witnessed the presentation.
Professor Cheong Hee Kiat presenting the S$30,000 cheque to Ms Janice Ang, Chairperson of AWWA.
Mr Puar Ah Hoy, a resident of AWWA's Senior Community Home, performing a Chinese song on his harmonica.
UniSIM alumnus, Mr Syed Raizal Hamid Al-Edrus, delighting the audience with his rendition of the
UniSIM song "Onwards and Beyond".
UniSIM's 10th anniversary commemorative gifts for all guests – a coffee table book and a medallion.