PHYSICAL convocation ceremonies have become a thing of the past in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Taking their place now are e-convocations where graduates, staff and alumni members, and university and industry partners congregate virtually to commemorate the occasion.
On Aug 21, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) held an e-convocation for the third time since the start of the pandemic.
Organised live via YouTube, it saw the university celebrating the achievements of 2,630 graduates from a total of 95 programmes – 64 bachelor’s degrees, 21 master’s degrees and 10 PhD.
These graduates from the Aug 2021 cohort have the option of attending a physical convocation ceremony within the next three years, the dates of which will be determined later, according to a UTAR press release dated Aug 25.
Congratulating the graduates, UTAR chancellor Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik said graduation marks a major transitional moment in one’s life.
“There is a new liberating journey ahead, one that will bring new meanings to life, new opportunities for personal growth, and new horizons that will require your contributions and commitment to your family, friends, society and nation,” he said.
He called on the graduates to stay focused, work hard, and be kind and respectful to their family and friends.
UTAR Education Foundation Board of Trustees chairman Tan Sri Datuk Dr Sak Cheng Lum thanked the staff members for their hard work in the past year and for bringing the event to fruition despite the challenges presented by the pandemic.
Commending the graduates for their perseverance in completing their courses, he urged them to bring added value to society.
“Make things better in the profession, organisation, family and society you belong to. There is always something that you can help make better,” he said.
UTAR Council chairman Tan Sri Datuk Seri Dr Ting Chew Peh said the experience the graduates had gained at UTAR will serve as a launching pad for them in the next phase of their lives.
“Despite the current challenges, do not be discouraged. Believe in yourself, be resilient, focus on your strengths, and stay determined to achieve your goals. Good and better times are ahead, so be ready to seize the opportunities when they arrive,” he advised.
UTAR president Prof Dr Ewe Hong Tat noted that the graduates had endured a challenging year with online teaching and learning.
“Do not look at this year for its lost opportunities, but take it as a time for new beginnings in your life, where you have emerged wiser and more prepared to respond to challenges with renewed vitality.
“I am confident that you are well-equipped to face your journey ahead, and continue to care for others and contribute to society,” he said.
Joining the e-convocation were UTAR’s university and industry partners, as well as AirAsia Berhad executive director and group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes.