Message from the President
Greetings fellow alums and members of HUAAS!
I have more than “three points” to share with you, but here are the three most important ones:
- The date of our upcoming AGM and Annual Dinner for you to mark in your calendars and sign up to attend.
- Our Inaugural HUAAS Fellow Award
- Commencing the collection of membership dues from 2019
Third HUAAS AGM and Annual Dinner
To the first point — our forthcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Annual Dinner will be held on 29 March 2019. Please mark the date and sign up when our early bird registration opens soon. It will be held at Resorts World Sentosa’s (RWS) Hotel Equarius — where we held our AGM and Annual Dinner last year, again generously sponsored by RWS (thanks to our alumnus Tan Hee Teck AMP’94).
Our Guest of Honour will be DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam MPA’89.
Besides having one of our favourite and most esteemed Government leaders honour us with his attendance, this Annual Dinner will hold two special firsts.
Inaugural HUAAS Fellow Award 2019
The first special feature of this — HUAAS’s 3rd — Annual Dinner is the inauguration of our first HUAAS Fellow. The HUAAS Fellow is our version of something akin to the Commencement Speaker at Harvard University, who our alma mater awards an Honorary Doctorate. In this case, The HUAAS Fellow Award is given to a person selected by HUAAS (as represented by its elected Committee), whose merits including achievements, qualities, values, virtues and scholarship best reflect the values of Harvard University, focusing particularly on its motto Veritas, and on Excellence and Leadership, and whose merits and virtues best reflect the highest ethos of what HUAAS stands for and wishes to recognise and honour.
The candidate may be anyone, but we will not select any current political office holder. Like a Commencement Speaker, the HUAAS Fellow will be giving an Address to the audience at our HUAAS Annual Dinner. We hope to start a new tradition, an honouree whose selection our members and even the public will look forward to anticipating every year.
It is now my singular privilege to announce, in advance of our 3rd Annual Dinner, that our Inaugural HUAAS Fellow is Dr Noeleen Heyzer, Singaporean social scientist and former UN Under-Secretary-General ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noeleen_Heyzer ). Look forward to hearing the HUAAS Fellow Address at our Annual Dinner on 29 March 2019!
Another first at our forthcoming Annual Dinner on 29 March is the introduction to 6 of our 24 Harvard Prize Book (Singapore) recipients, who have been invited to attend the event. One of them will be selected to address us briefly as well.
The Harvard Prize Book has been presented annually to deserving high school students since 1910 by Harvard Alumni Clubs and Associations. Students from nearly 2,000 high schools all over the world are recipients of the Prize Book, including the US, the UK, China, Taiwan, India, Croatia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. This Harvard Prize Book (Singapore) 2018 is a new initiative of Singapore’s Harvard chapter, HUAAS.
In formulating the nature of this award, we state: A healthy civil society depends on people who are committed to their communities and who, at pivotal times, will put the common good before their own. The Harvard Prize Book (Singapore) award acknowledges and encourages altruism.
The recipient of the Harvard Prize Book (Singapore) is a caring individual who has, over a sustained period of time, gone beyond the call of duty to perform acts of kindness and caring, and who may have influenced his or her peers or family members to do likewise. We have decided that virtues of altruism and caring will carry more weight than scholastic merit in the award of our Harvard Prize Book (Singapore). And we have opened this award not only to Junior Colleges, but also to all Polytechnics and ITEs (Institutes of Technical Education) in Singapore.
These awards have been presented to the various recipients (https://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/temasek-polytechnic-student-wins-harvard-book-prize) at their own institutions by a representative from HUAAS. For the Annual Dinner we have invited 6 selected recipients to join us, and for one of them to address us.
Commencing the Collection of Annual Membership Dues
HUAAS was established in December 2015, succeeding HCS (Harvard Club of Singapore), which was de-recognised by Harvard University and the Harvard Alumni Association (HAA) in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
In its first three financial years, HUAAS had decided not to charge annual dues in order to establish as large a membership base as possible. Harvard alumni in Singapore were not automatically made members but any alumnus or alumnae wishing to join HUAAS had to respond positively to our invitation to do so.
Not surprisingly given our non-collection of dues, although encouraging the voluntary payment of a $50 annual activities fee, our treasury remains exceedingly modest. (Come to the AGM to know its actual figure!)
Your committee now feels it is timely to introduce the collection of annual dues to build our unduly modest coffers, to better resource alumni activities. We will be asking members at the coming AGM to approve the collection of annual dues of $50 for young alumni (up to 5 years after graduation), and $100 for ordinary members.
For those of you who have yet to sign up to join HUAAS, please do so now! Go to this link: http://huaas.clubs.harvard.edu/memsub.html. We’re your connection to the Mothership, and to fellow alums in this community.
Finally, this will be my last term as your President of our Association. I will not stand for re-election when my term ends on 29 March 2019. My thanks to you all for entrusting me to lead our new alumni organisation HUAAS for my term as President during these last four years (including a transition year prior to our official establishment with the Registry of Societies). While my term limit as President has been reached, my fellow committee members have asked that I continue to serve our community and so I have agreed to put my name up for election to the general Committee.
Rebecca Woo, AB’89, currently HUAAS Vice-President, will be standing for election as President to succeed me. I and the entire committee endorse her and commend her candidacy in our forthcoming elections prior to our AGM and Annual Dinner.
I look forward to seeing you all at our AGM and Annual Dinner on 29 March 2019.
KC Chew, AB’82
Originally published at Harvard University Association of Alumni in Singapore.