DCU Alumni Singapore International Chapter launched by Ambassador to Ireland with Virtual Gathering
BY Derrick Moloney
On Wednesday, 27th May 2020 we made history - the DCU Alumni Singapore Chapter was born! But this labour of love that culminated in the new Chapter’s inaugural virtual event last month was, in fact, many months in the making.
The idea to start an International Chapter here in the Little Red Dot - as the city-state of Singapore is affectionately nicknamed - had been on my to-do list for quite a while.
Late last year, I mentioned the idea to the current Ambassador of Ireland to Singapore, Mr. Pat Bourne. Ambassador Bourne enthusiastically embraced the idea and told me that he himself was a DCU graduate.
After a few emails and Zoom conversations with the DCU Alumni Office staff in Dublin and some helpful input from my counterpart in Washington D.C., we had our very own planning committee of DCU Alumni Ambassadors here in Singapore.
Back in the good old ‘pre-lockdown' days of February, the newly formed planning committee met at a local coffee shop one fine Saturday afternoon and brainstormed some ideas for our Chapter’s launch event (little did we know at the time that all of our subsequent meetings would be in the virtual world!)
At the time, the plan was to hold a physical launch event for the Chapter here in Singapore but the global pandemic stopped us in our tracks!
After some more emails and Zoom calls we were ready for the a virtual launch - with the promise of a physical social gathering for all in time when restrictions are eased.
Ambassador Bourne once again stepped up when requested to officially inaugurate the new Singapore Chapter’s virtual launch.
In his address, Ambassador Bourne gave us a fascinating insight into the sharing of knowledge and best practice between Singapore and Ireland during the current Covid-19 crisis. He discussed the strong links that exist between our two countries and his own fond memories of the time he spent at DCU. The Ambassador also added that the Irish Embassy in Singapore would stand ready to support our new Alumni Chapter and extended an invitation to host the local DCU Alumni Chapter at a future event at his residence here in Singapore when it is safe to do so.
DCU’s new incoming President, Prof. Dáire Keogh, also joined us on the call and updated us on the latest university news during DCU’s 40th anniversary year in 2020.
In his opening address, Prof. Keogh joked that we - the DCU Alumni members who are scattered throughout the globe - “are like the ones who never leave” in reference to the fact that we will always have a permanent link with the university.
In my own address, I shared some of my aspirations as the local Chapter Ambassador here in Singapore. I spoke about our goal to create networking opportunities among the DCU Alumni community in Singapore and the possibility of collaborating with other local organizations such as the Irish Chamber of Commerce in Singapore, the St. Patrick’s Society and the local GAA club for some future events.
The final ‘item’ of the evening was a little less formal - a Kahoot Trivia Quiz for the graduates on all things ‘DCU-related’ with some small prizes kindly donated by the DCU shop.
A huge thank you to all the DCU Alumni in Singapore for making our inaugural virtual event such a big hit! We look forward to welcoming you to our next Chapter event later this year. It might even be a non-virtual event. Watch this space.
Singapore Chapter Ambassador - Derrick Moloney