They say the third time’s the charm. And it certainly was a charming and merry evening at the Shaw Foundation Alumni House where the third Commencement Party (now renamed the Philosophy Party) was happening on 13th July, on the day of the commencement ceremony for our philosophy students. This year’s party saw roughly 50 guests, comprising of commencing students, honours students, alumni and faculty. The event opened with a speech by A/P John Holbo, peppered with anecdotes of his time at the University of Chicago as a Wittgenstein besotted undergraduate which left the guests chuckling as they made their way towards the buffet lines.
As with last year, we had a fantastic variety of mouthwatering dishes, ranging from Thai Green Curry with Vegetables, to Indonesian Butter Chicken and of course, the top favourite, Shepherd’s Pie—all to be washed down with a handpicked selection of craft beers, graciously sponsored by several faculty members. During the long interlude between the event’s opening and our next programme, students, professors, alumni took the chance to catch up and regale each other with tales (and woes) of studying philosophy. It was a wonderful time for easy but meaningful conversation, and the long interludes facilitated what was ultimately an evening of great company amongst friends, over good food and drink.
After dinner, Shang Long, delivered a short but entertaining speech on behalf of the graduating class. Dosed with a generous helping of his own anecdotes from his days as an honours student in the Philosophy department, it sent the crowd laughing heartily in unison at his tales of mischief, and left them fondly reminiscing about their own experiences of their time as students in the department. Following that, A/P Loy Hui Chieh encouraged all present to participate in NUSgiving, emphasizing the importance of giving back to help needy students.
This year’s party is organized by a group of our own students from the Philosophy Interest Group. They put just about everything together–from selecting the menu, to the decorations, to sending out the invitations and reminders; and not to mention acquiring the beer. Their efforts were greatly appreciated by all present. One member, Si-En (a philosophy major), designed this year’s party logo, which was also placed on our commemorative doorgift, a double-walled plastic tumbler. The tumbler’s insert bore the tagline “You can never attend the same party twice”—a small tribute to the pre-Socratic philosopher Heraclitus. Both the tagline and design were well-received by the guests. The graduating class, received in addition a LiNUS lion plushie, kindly sponsored by the Office of Alumni Relations: a cuddly reminder of their years in NUS.
With the evening drawing to a close, the event ended with a group photo and a few words by A/P Loy, where he’d mentioned that he’d hoped to see our guests again for next year’s party. That our guests began to file out of the room reluctantly, moving to linger instead just outside the venue of the event whilst continuing to chat merrily, is, perhaps, symbolic of the success of the night’s event as a time for good food and drink, and even better company.
(You can see more photos from the event on this Facebook album.)
(Prepared by Ms. Rachael Yap, with input from A/P Loy)