On November 30, 2012, the NUS Economics Alumni Association and the NUS Department of Economics collaborated on their biggest joint event yet—a trishaw tour of the Bugis area. This unique and exciting fundraising event raised $15,000 for the NUS Economics Alumni Bursary Fund, which provides financial aid to students in the department.
A lively group of 56 alumni, professors, and students, all clad in the Economics Department’s collegiate T-shirts, met at the Trishaw Station near the Bugis MRT station at 6 pm. Mr. Daniel Lo and Mr. Chan Kok Hoe kicked-off the event with a short reminder about the event’s purpose. The 45-minute ride covered a route thal included parts of Little India, Selegie Road, and City Hall. The participants, in a grand convoy of 30 trishaws, were treated lo some of the area’s must-see sighs, such as the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, the Berseh Food Centre, and Raffles Hotel. The convoy passed by landmarks of Singapore’s history such as antique shop-houses and hawker centers. Mr. Chan Kok Hoe, alumnus and instructor in the department, jogged the entire route, taking pictures of the participants. The event was a great success, and many of the attendees left with smiles on their faces after an evening of fun and good company. One of the participants commented, “All [of them] seemed to enjoy it. And that is an achievement.”
The 30 trishaws were sponsored by various alumni at $500 per trishaw, and the rental of the trishaws was funded by the department. As a result, the event raised a significant amount for the Bursary Fund. The NUS Economics Alumni Bursary Fund disburses three annual awards of $2,000 each to financially needy students in the department, who have a per capita household income of $500 a month or less. The $15,000 raised will provide for the education of many financially disadvantaged students. Mr. Chan Kok Hoe said, “We in the Economics Alumni are glad to have received the support of fellow alumni, the department, friends, and family in raising funds and participating in the Trishaw event. We have many students who need help to lighten their financial burdens so thay they can focus on completing their university education, so every dollar donated is precious.
There were many symbolic aspects to the event. By taking the department’s alumni around the city’s most cultural and historic spots, past shop-houses, narrow lanes, and rustic bridges, the event reminded participants of their youth and transported them back to their past. In the process, their youthful energies and memories of university and the friendships they formed there were awoken, and the true giving spirit of the participants was roused. Mr. Daniel Lo said that “As an NUS alumnus, giving back lo my alma mater comes as a natural response.” This truly unique event was a great opportunity for the older and newer alumni of the department to bond and to strengthen their identity with and sense of belonging to the university.
First published in 2012