Written by: Lawrence Wu
Edited by: Jocelyn Yeo
The NUS Student Achievement Award (SAA) Ceremony was held at the University Cultural Centre, on the 25th of February 2011. Starting out 5 years ago as a simple ceremony in Munchie Monkey just five years ago, the SAA ceremony has since grown in scale and glamour. However, its objective – to recognise unique talents and exceptional contributions that individual students or groups have made towards activities outside the academic curriculum – has always remained the same. Half an hour before the event started, the UCC was already teeming with life, as invited guests, award recipients and supporters mingled cheerfully with one another, all looking very smart in their formal attire. The mood was clearly joyous, as the SAA ceremony went beyond being just an award ceremony to provide a setting for friends to catch up with one another months after their projects were successfully completed.
At 6.30pm, the event began with the arrival of the Guest of Honour – NUS President, Professor Tan Chorh Chuan. It was fitting that Prof Tan graced the ceremony with his presence, as it was his idea several years ago to have a ceremony to recognise student achievements that led to the beginning of the annual SAA. The Dean of Students, Associate Professor Tan Teck Koon, was also present. In his welcome address, Assoc Prof Tan reminded each and every NUS student present that beyond recognising the efforts of a select group of students, the university hoped that the SAA would encourage the greater student community to pursue their dreams beyond the boundaries of academics and the university. This was a point reiterated by NUS President Prof Tan in his opening speech. Prof Tan stated that the goal of NUS was to transform and develop individuals by helping them discover their inner passion and capabilities so that they may boldly go forth to touch the lives of other students and the society at large through their efforts. He also gave special mention to several award winners for their accomplishments in the national and international arena, which helped to break new frontiers and bring glory to NUS.
The award presentation proceeded next as various individuals and student groups took their turns to receive awards in four categories, namely Arts and Culture, Competitions, Community Projects, and Distinguished Leadership. Altogether, KEVII Hall took 3 awards, a glorious achievement that provided testament to the quality of KEVIIans. Firstly, KEVII Hall JCRC received a certificate of appreciation alongside other Co-Curricular Activities for their efforts towards contributing towards a more vibrant and dynamic school life. Next, our Hall’s 3rd Overseas Community Involvement Project (OCIP) Organising Committee received a group award under the Community Projects category in recognition of their efforts towards raising the standard of living and quality of education in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Last but certainly not the least, our Rag & Flag 2010 Organising Committee was honoured under the Comminunity Projects category for their hard work and support of NUSSU Rag & Flag 2010 that raised a record sum of money for 20 charities. While the award winners all looked jubilant at receiving their awards, the buffet dinner that followed next must have made their night even better. The University Cultural Centre buzzed with excitement as award winners continued to share their experiences with one another over sumptuous food and took the opportunity to get a nice photo in their formal attire, accompanied by their awards.
Sien Long, our current JCRC President and also the Chairperson of the Rag 2010 Organising Committee, said of the award given to our Rag & Flag 2010 Organising Committee, “The most important contributing factor to the success of KEVII Rag & Flag 2010 was not just the few people in the organising committee but the efforts of every single person who hard a part in it, including those who turned up of the Rag and Flag days to support us. This award goes all to all of you.”
It was also a nostalgic moment for the Organising Committee of our Hall’s 3rd OCIP, who had organised the OCIP to Cambodia more than a year ago. Hazel, a member of the organising committee, revealed that the team had stayed in the villages and even drank pond water (well it looked like tea!), but the experience of interacting with the Cambodian children was definitely worth the while. As a whole, the organising committee was glad to be recognised for their efforts, and hoped that this would encourage more KEVIIans to join the OCIP group.
Once again, congratulations to the award winners, and let us look towards greater achievements for KEVII Hall!