This year’s alumni gathering in Kuala Lumpur was held in none other than the main IMU campus in Bukit Jalil with more than 10 different dialogue sessions taking place throughout the evening. We welcomed more than 120 alumni returning from in and out of Malaysia, of different schools and programmes (i.e. Biomedical Science, Chiropractic, Dentistry, Medical Biotechnology, Medicine, Nutrition and Dietetics, Nursing, Nursing Science, Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Psychology, and Postgraduate Studies) . Conversations ranging from perspectives on the US presidential race to the hype of social media trends and the dreadful Friday traffic in the heart of KL were just some of the preludes into the evening. The evening started off with a welcome speech from two IMU founders whom we remembered fondly; Dr Mei Ling Young and Prof Ong Kok Hai. “I’m really happy to see all of you here. I appreciate the fact that you actually came back for this occasion, knowing that it’s a long weekend. We at IMU will always welcome you back and are very proud of you. Thank you for making this reunion a success!” said Mei Ling before announcing the final plan of the IMU Hospital opposite the main IMU campus.
After a scrumptious dinner, the group photo sessions that took place was quite a scene when all 140 alumni and staff tried to squeeze in for a picture before heading for the break-out session. The break-out sessions by programme allowed an alumni to take part in a dialogue between faculty members and other alumni in attendance. The discussions covered topics from postgraduate career paths to many advice given to recent graduates, as well as feedback for the curriculum from the alumni. Many were excited to meet up with batch mates and friends whom they have not seen for a long time, and they kept delaying their goodbyes until well past 10:30pm. Many look forward to the 25th Anniversary Celebrations next year! “Being directly associated with IMU now that I’m part of the faculty, it definitely keeps me on my toes as an alumnus. I have always rejoiced in the many news I’ve heard about our seniors (and juniors) who did well after graduation – from IMU as well as from our Partner Medical Schools. Perhaps, this is because our school has prepared us well for it. One has no idea how much our lecturers worked for us until you become one of them.” “To those of you recently graduated and are now advancing to the front lines of our healthcare system, let me say this to you: you are not responsible for the confusion, unrest and national as well as international disorders that are present. You cannot be blamed for it. You cannot be blamed for the comical presidential debate and many things that do not make sense – much like the ‘Pokémon Go’ trend. But in another sense, you are responsible, in that it will be largely up to you – to meet it and deal with it intelligently. I did not realise that, but we are quite prepared for our future, the values come to a full play after we step out of our school.” “We have come here to the alumni gathering out of our free will, because of our attachment to this place. It is not only to network, but also gain insight into various experiences and use others’ expertise to improve ourselves and if you agree – to catch up on the old times.”
“Lastly, let me encourage you to stay connected. I feel that we have every reason to be proud of our alumni association, which also means to be proud of ourselves. More importantly, your university takes pride in you!”
Alumni connection and feedback is vital to improving bonds with our alma mater. We look forward to many more up-coming gatherings around the country. Watch out for more activities that are in store and view the photo album from the Alumni gathering in the IMU Alumni Facebook page.
Written by: Dr Erwin Khoo Jiayuan, President of Alumni Association Committee (2016-2018)