UTAR’s 38th Convocation marks new horizons for 2,316 graduates

The grandeur of academic achievement and the spirit of accomplishment filled the air at UTAR’s 38th Convocation ceremony, where 2,316 graduates marked the height of their educational journey.

Graduands and their parents at the UTAR 38th Convocation

Held over three days from 8 to 10 March 2024 at Dewan Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik in UTAR Kampar Campus, the UTAR 38th Convocation was a momentous occasion that celebrated not only individual accomplishments but also the collective success of the UTAR community.

A total of 2,316 graduates received their convocation scrolls during the ceremony, which took place in four sessions. They graduated from 109 programmes comprising 72 Bachelor (Honours) degree, 29 Master’s degree and eight PhD programmes. This convocation also celebrated the graduation of the first batch of students from the Master in Data Management and Analytics programme, and the Doctor of Philosophy (Chinese Medicine) programme.

Graduands at Dewan Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik

Graduates bowing to their parents as a sign of gratitude during the convocation ceremony

Tun Ling declaring the opening of Session One of the Convocation

Tan Sri Ting declaring the opening of Session Two of the Convocation

Tan Sri Sak declaring the opening of Session Three and Session Four of the Convocation

UTAR Registrar Ms Loh Siaw Yien leading the Chancellor’s procession

The Session One of the Convocation was declared open by UTAR Chancellor Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik; Session Two was declared open by UTAR Education Foundation Board of Trustees member and UTAR Council Chairman Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr Ting Chew Peh; Session Three and Four were declared open by UTAR Education Foundation Board of Trustees Chairman Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Sak Cheng Lum. UTAR President Ir Prof Dato’ Dr Ewe Hong Tat presented his convocation speeches in all four sessions.

The guests of honour for the four sessions of the Convocation were Group Chief Executive Officer of MDT Innovations Sdn Bhd Ts Liew Choon Lian; Chief Executive Officer of Greatech Integration (M) Sdn Bhd Dato’ Seri Tan Eng Kee; Executive Chairman of QL Resources Bhd (Dr) Chia Song Kun; and Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Hong Leong Assurance Berhad Ms Loh Guat Lan.

Also present at the ceremony were UTAR Education Foundation Board of Trustees Members Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Lee Oi Hian, Datuk Lee Leck Cheng and Dato’ Seri Kalimullah bin Masheerul Hassan.

UTAR Hospital Board Chairman and UTAR Council Member Ir Academician Emeritus Professor Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr Chuah Hean Teik also attended the convocation together with UTAR Council Members Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Ong Ka Chuan, Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Chor Chee Heung, Datuk Lim Si Cheng, Dato’ Ng Wan Peng and Mr Hew Fen Yee.

Prof Dato’ Dr Ewe congratulating the graduands of the UTAR 38th Convocation

The President, filled with delight, delivered a heartfelt speech to those in attendance. “Your education is a stepping stone from which there are endless possibilities you can venture into. I encourage you to boldly step up with full confidence and to build resilience to overcome all obstacles so that you can become better than before. Always know that you are accompanied with the love and support of your family and friends who can give you support and comfort when you need them,” Prof Dato’ Ewe advised.

Tan Sri Ting (left) conferring the UTAR Honorary Doctor of Science to Prof John Edward Joshua Rasko AO

One of the main highlights of UTAR’s 38th Convocation was the conferment of UTAR Honorary Doctor of Science to Prof John Edward Joshua Rasko AO, and UTAR Emeritus Professor on Academician Emeritus Professor Dr Cheong Soon Keng.

Prof John Edward Joshua Rasko was conferred the UTAR Honorary Doctor of Science in recognition of his exceptional research contributions in gene, cell and molecular biotherapeutics. Prof John Edward Joshua Rasko is internationally acclaimed for implementing gene and cell biotherapies to cure rare diseases and cancers - in lay terms “using genes as medicines”.

Prof John Edward Joshua Rasko, in his acceptance speech, expressed thanks to UTAR for the conferment. He stressed the importance of education, innovation, and seeking knowledge for shaping society’s future. He also assured to uphold UTAR’s values and use his skills to help the world. He encouraged everyone to work together to push the boundaries of knowledge and make life better for everyone.

Tun Ling (left) conferring the UTAR Emeritus Professor to Prof Cheong Soon Keng

Emeritus Prof Cheong, an esteemed former and founding Dean of UTAR M. Kandiah Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (MK FMHS), was conferred the Emeritus Professor in recognition of his dedication and outstanding service to UTAR and for his impressive academic and medical experience in clinical medicine and pathology, and stem cells research. 

Emeritus Prof Cheong expressed gratitude to UTAR and shared some fond stories and memories of UTAR. He said, “Receiving this honour reminds me of the privilege UTAR granted me as the founding Dean of UTAR M. Kandiah Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. It’s been a journey of challenges, triumphs, and fulfilment in helping the faculty grow. I deeply thank UTAR for their support and trust during my time there.”

Session One guest of honour Ts Liew Choon Lian advising the graduands to believe in personal transformation

The guests of honour in all four sessions delivered speeches to motivate and inspire the graduates.

Session One guest of honour Ts Liew, in his speech, inspired the graduands and said, “Education is not merely about accumulating knowledge; I believe it is a powerful catalyst for personal transformation. Graduands, you have not only gained academic proficiency, but you have also developed qualities such as resilience, adaptability, and a thirst for knowledge. These qualities are the building blocks for your future endeavours, which will serve you well as you navigate the ever-evolving landscape of life.”

Session Two guest of honour Dato’ Seri Tan Eng Kee encouraging graduands to continuously reinvent themselves while exploring opportunities

Session Two guest of honour Dato’ Tan in his speech, congratulated the graduating students and remarked, “Graduates, you have invested years of dedication, hard work, and perseverance to reach this point. You have navigated challenges, overcome obstacles, and grown not only academically but also as individuals. As you stand on the threshold of a new chapter, I want to share a simple yet profound piece of advice that has the potential to shape the trajectory of your future: Stay hungry for new knowledge and new experiences, and stay focused. Embrace the idea that learning is a lifelong journey, and every experience, be it success or failure, presents an opportunity to learn and grow.”

Session Three guest of honour (Dr) Chia Song Kun explaining the key elements of strategic thinking

Session Three guest of honour (Dr) Chia, in his speech, motivated the graduands by emphasising the key elements of strategic thinking into three key elements starting with the alphabet “I” or Three I’s in short. He enthused, “The first “I” is Intention. In whatever you do, you must have a reason. This reason will serve as the driving force that guides you to your long-term goals or aspirations. Intention shapes the paths you will choose, to lead you to the destination or what you want to achieve. The next ‘I’ - Inventiveness. Some people will call inventiveness, Innovation – a word that we have heard about a lot. Innovation is the ability to think differently and creatively, to bring about positive change. People often say ‘think outside the box’ when talking about innovation. I challenge you to remove the box entirely. Keep an open mind and do not be confined to a certain viewpoint or way of thinking. To actualise strategy into action and continue growing, the third “I’ comes into play – Industriousness. In other words, be hardworking, persistent and consistent.”

Session Four guest of honour Ms Loh Guat Lan reminding graduands the importance of lifelong learning in a dynamic and ever-changing world

Last but not least, Session Four guest of honour Ms Loh in her speech, congratulated the graduands and enthused, “Today is only the first of many amazing moments and I know life has many more in store for you. Today is not an ending of your pursuit of excellence but rather an exciting beginning into your professional career journey which will test your resilience, creativity and adaptability. I truly believe you can handle and manage as you have proven through your academic attestation as a graduand today. Life is a package deal. The journey of career life brings both challenges and chances. To win, to be successful, snatch the chances and beat the challenges.”

Tan Sri Ting (right) presenting the scroll to Doctor of Philosophy (Engineering) graduate Muthukannan Murugesh

Tan Sri Chor (right) presenting the scroll to M. Kandiah Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences graduate

Datuk Lee (left) presenting the scroll to Bachelor of Science (Honours) Biomedical Science graduate Lim Ying Qi

Dato’ Ng (left) presenting the scroll to Faculty of Science graduate

Tan Sri Lee (right) presenting the scroll to Bachelor of Information Systems (Honours) Business Information Systems graduate Su Yi Wen

Tan Sri Chuah (left) presenting the scroll to LKC FES graduate

Datuk Lim (right) presenting the scroll to Bachelor of Social Science (Honours) Psychology graduate He, Jing

Tan Sri Sak (right) presenting the scroll to Faculty of Arts and Social Science graduate

Tan Sri Ong (left) presenting the scroll to Faculty of Business and Finance graduate

Session One representative of the graduands Koh Xin Ning sharing her journey at UTAR

Institute of Chinese Studies Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Chinese Studies graduate, Koh Xin Ning who spoke as the representative of the graduands, said, “Reflecting on our shared experiences, many of us commenced the early part of our degree studies on virtual platforms, and we were christened as the ‘MCO batch’. The challenges of learning in a virtual space were real, and the struggles were palpable. The pandemic brought challenges to us as a society and as a graduating class. The missed opportunities, the lost study tours, and the unconventional internships from home became our collective reality. Adapting to this new normal, dealing with the infamous ‘wifi issues’, and the awkward unmuting moments became our daily routine. Yet, here we are, fortunate enough to be back on campus for the second half of our degree, injecting vibrancy into our university campus lives. Despite the tough start, we stood united, proving that resilience is the force that grows stronger with each challenge.”

Session Two representative of the graduands Teoh Jia Jing sharing his cherished moments on campus

Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science (LKC FES) Bachelor of Mechatronics Engineering with Honours graduate Teoh Jia Jing, enthused, “The university is not just a place for academic studies, it is also a place that helps to shape us to be more resilient and hopefully be much more prepared to face any challenges in the future. Every graduand here should be proud of your accomplishments today. This is your journey and your own life-changing experience that has resulted in your graduation. This is also made possible by the people that we’ve met along the way. So firstly, I would like to represent all the graduands here and thank UTAR for committing to provide us with the proper environment to acquire knowledge and a good education, learn more and be a better version of ourselves, grow as a person with greater potential and seek better opportunities for success in life.”

Session Three representative of the graduands Gordon Tay Zhi Wei advising fellow graduates to be thankful to parents, family members and friends

LKC FES Bachelor of Science (Honours) Quantity Surveying graduate Gordon Tay Zhi Wei, shared, “I would like to express my deepest gratitude to our esteemed faculty members, our lecturers and academic advisors. Your tireless efforts in imparting knowledge, guiding us through complex subjects, and nurturing our growth have been invaluable. Your expertise, wisdom, and unwavering support have shaped us into the graduates we are today. We owe you a debt of gratitude for instilling in us a passion for learning and for equipping us with the tools to succeed in our respective fields of study. To our families and friends, thank you for your unwavering support throughout this journey. Your encouragement, love, and understanding have been our driving force. You have celebrated our triumphs, offered a shoulder to lean on during setbacks, and reminded us of our potential when doubt crept in. Today, we share this achievement with you, as it is your unwavering belief in us that has propelled us forward.”

Session Four representative of the graduands Ng Yue Ann advising graduates to be unique

Faculty of Business and Finance (FBF) Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) Accounting graduate Ng Yue Ann, said, “Our pathways are very rarely straightforward and easy. That is how each one of us is honed into capable and ambitious individuals. You are all unique and so too your future roads. Our paths ahead will indeed be arduous and challenging. But do not feel discouraged by what lies ahead. Regardless of whatever decision you will make today, tomorrow, or in the future - whether it is to pursue further studies, enter the workforce, start a business, or take a well-deserved break; You are never alone, you will meet many people who will support you. Along the way, always remember to look after yourselves and take care of your body and mind. You are going to need it. Do not doubt yourselves for you are more capable than you think. It is alright to not rush. If you have great plans ahead, that is marvellous. But you also do not need to know what you are going to do with the rest of your life, and that is perfectly fine.”

The UTAR 38th Convocation also featured musical interludes, showcasing special singing performances by UTAR students, graduates and alumni. Among the singers who performed were Nurul Izwazi binti Mohd Nor, Chen Zi Yi Livia, Tay Hui Xin, Gan Yu Nyuk, Khor Jia Cheng, Tan Shee Yang, Wee You Yao, Chong Jack An, Siew Wai Poh, Fiona Shui Jing Ru, Lee Xue Yun, Loy Ka Xing, Chee He Wid.

Singers singing songs during the musical interludes of UTAR 38th Convocation

With the addition of 2,316 graduates from this 38th Convocation, the number of the University’s alumni now stands at more than 84,600 since its inaugural convocation in 2005.

Mace bearer for Session One and Two: Bachelor of Finance (Honours) student Ye, WeiXiu

Mace bearer for Session Three: Bachelor of Business Administration (Honours) Entrepreneurship student Wong Kar Kit

Mace bearer for Session Four: Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) Accounting student Khor Chun Siang

From left: Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery graduate Wong Lee Chee, Bachelor of Science (Honours) Logistics and International Shipping graduate Yew Jia Ning, Muthukannan Murugesh, Doctor of Philosophy graduate Goodhope Hance Mkaro, Chargé d’Affaires and Deputy High Commissioner of Australian High Commission in Malaysia Mr Simon Fellows, Prof John Edward Joshua Rasko AO, Tan Sri Ting, Prof Dato’ Ewe, Doctor of Philosophy graduate Justus Gratian Mwemezi, Doctor of Philosophy (Social Science) graduate Ang Kok Yew, Bachelor of Science (Honours) Dietetics graduate Nur Sabrina binti Mohammad Sarthar Khan, and Lim Ying Qi

From left: Bachelor of Information Systems (Honours) Information Systems Engineering graduate Liew Wei Zheng, Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Graphic Design and Multimedia graduate Leong Siew Pek, Bachelor of Biomedical Engineering with Honours graduate Mercedes Chan Simh Peh, Tan Sri Sak, Dato’ Seri Tan, Prof Dato’ Ewe, Tan Sri Ting, Tan Sri Lee, Bachelor of Communication (Honours) Broadcasting graduate Chai Wing Kit, Tan Sri Chuah, Bachelor of Science (Honours) Actuarial Science graduate Terrance Chan Ngai Sam, Su Yi Wen, Mr Hew, and UTAR Vice Presidents Ir Prof Dr Goi Bok Min, Ts Prof Dr Faidz bin Abd Rahman and Prof Dr Choong Chee Keong

From left: Bachelor of Business Administration (Honours) Banking and Finance graduate Chamaine Soo Min Xin, Bachelor of Science (Honours) Software Engineering graduate Cindy Wee Zi Wei, He Jing, Datuk Lim, Datuk Lee, (Dr) Chia, Prof Dato’ Ewe, Tan Sri Sak, Bachelor of Social Science (Honours) Psychology Merlena Ann Mariasoosai, Bachelor of Social Science (Honours) Psychology graduate Huang Jingfei, Bachelor of Business Administration (Honours) graduate Chong Jack Yee, Dato’ Seri Kalimullah bin Masheerul Hassan, Tan Sri Chuah, Mr Hew, Prof Faidz, Dr Satirenjit Kaur Johl, Prof Goi, Prof Choong, Bachelor of Social Science (Honours) Guidance and Counselling graduate Yap Guan Ji and Bachelor of Accounting (Honours) graduate Vincent Chua Bing Hang

From left: Prof Goi, Prof Dr Ma Yingxin, Bachelor of Computer Science (Honours) graduate Sutharrsan Anandan, Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) Accounting graduate Ng Yue Ann, Bachelor of Science (Honours) Environmental, Occupational Safety and Health graduate Fenny Lai Sy Yi, Bachelor of Science (Honours) Construction Management graduate Heng Er Quan, Tan Sri Ong, Tan Sri Sak, Prof Dato’ Ewe, Ms Loh, Bachelor of Arts (Honours) English Education graduate Melanie Catrina Gomez, Bachelor of Arts (Honours) English Language graduate Wang, Lifei, Bachelor of Information Technology (Honours) Communications and Networking graduate Ng Warren Cin Yen, Tan Sri Chuah, Mr Hew, Prof Faidz, Prof Choong and Ts Dr Low Jing Hong

A few lovely glimpses of graduates with their parents, families and friends

To view the highlights for each sessions and congratulatory messages, click on the links below: 

Session 1

Session 2

Session 3

Session 4

Congratulatory Messages

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