A milestone celebration at Bukit Timah Homecoming 2022

After two years of toned-down virtual celebrations, close to 800 alumni returned to NUS’ Bukit Timah Campus on 2 July for an evening of fun, laughter and camaraderie. The annual Bukit Timah Homecoming event, organised by the NUS Office of Alumni Relations, reunites alumni who studied at the serene, garden-like campus. Co-hosted by the NUS Faculty of Law and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP), the 2022 edition was graced by NUS Chancellor President Halimah Yacob as the Guest-of-Honour.

Keeping with this year’s theme ‘Disco Fiesta’, the evening’s programme featured nostalgic hits from the 1970s disco era performed by the University’s musical talents like Raffles Hall Family and Friends, NUS Alumni Sing-Along, and Silver Jam. There was also a glamourous fashion show featuring NUS Senior Alumni, who strutted down the runway in glittering creations by local designers.

For many of the alumni in attendance, such as Mrs Noor Quek (Business, '72), Bukit Timah Homecoming 2022 rekindled fond memories of their university years.

“We’ve been kept apart due to the pandemic for some time, so I’m happy to finally be able to reunite and catch up with old friends this evening. Being able to celebrate with fellow senior alumni is very special because it reminds me of our carefree days as university students and the time we spent together at Bukit Timah Campus,” reminisced Mrs Quek.

Celebrating three milestone anniversaries

This year’s homecoming event also took on an additional significance due to the combined celebration of three milestone anniversaries: the 70th Anniversary of Dunearn Road Hostels, 65th Anniversary of the NUS Faculty of Law and 50th Anniversary of the NUS Class of 1972.

Located just a short walk from NUS’ Bukit Timah Campus, Dunearn Road Hostels (DRH) opened in 1952 to provide accommodation for overseas undergraduates of the then-University of Malaya. Luminaries such as former President of Singapore, the late Mr. SR Nathan (Arts ’54), once stayed at DRH. DRH was renamed Sheares Hall in 1982 when it was relocated to NUS’ Kent Ridge Campus. The site housing the former DRH has since been converted to College Green, a hostel for LKYSPP graduate students.

The roots of the NUS Faculty of Law lie in the establishment of the Department of Law in the then University of Malaya in 1956. The pioneer class of law students graduated in 1961, counting among its most illustrious members Emeritus Professor Tommy Koh (Singapore’s Ambassador-at-Large and former Dean), former Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong, former Dean Thio Su-Mien, and Emeritus Professor Koh Kheng Lian.

The NUS Class of 1972 is a notable cohort that called the Bukit Timah Campus home, and the prominent alumni in this cohort continue to give back to the NUS community, 50 years after their graduation. In 2005, the Class of 1972 Bursary Fund was established to award bursaries to needy undergraduate students at NUS. As part of its 50th Anniversary celebrations, the Class of 1972 raised more than S$470,000 to bring total Bursary funds to over S$2 million in 2022.

Mr David Ho, an alumnus from the Class of 1972 involved in fundraising efforts for the Bursary, said: “As the first NUS alumni cohort to form a bursary fund, we hope our efforts will encourage other NUS alumni cohorts to pay it forward and start their own fundraising initiatives as well. Education is the best platform to level the playing field and ensure everyone has a good start in life regardless of their family background and financial status. The Class of 1972 is humbled to play a small but significant part in this direction.”

In his speech at the event, NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye also recognised the role of alumni in strengthening the NUS community.

"As generations of graduates return here to celebrate, I would like to thank the alumni for their continued and invaluable contributions," said Prof Tan.

"The alumni-alma mater relationship is a lifelong one, and I am proud of how our alumni are helping to build a richer, stronger NUS community, as evidenced in the numerous alumni-led initiatives, projects and events,” he added.

By NUS Office of Alumni Relations