The Philosophy Party 2017

NUS Philosophy held its fifth annual departmental party–The Philosophy Party–on 5th May 2017. Following last year’s precedence, the event was scheduled for the last day of the exam period. this year’s celebration saw the attendance of around 50 guests including undergraduates and graduate students, alumni, and department staff.

The festivities started with an opening speech filled with personal anecdotes by A/P John Holbo, who spoke of his own philosophical journey and his time in NUS. Dinner lines were opened shortly after, and as with all of our parties, a variety of mouthwatering dishes were provided. This year’s party saw a change in caterer: the party committee went for Peranakan cuisine from Chilli padi. Ranging from servings of authentic laska to kueh dada, each dish was carefully picked out to suit the needs of all our guests.

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The Philosophy Party 2016

P1220766On 6th of May, the Philosophy Department held its annual commencement party for the fourth year running. Timed for the last day of the exam period, this year’s celebration saw the attendance of around 60 guests, comprising of undergraduates and graduate students, alumni, department staff and their families.

Besides being held earlier than in the past, this year’s party broke the mold in other ways too. For one, the party was not held at the usual function room, but by the Waterway on the ground floor of the Shaw Foundation Alumni House. Tables were set amidst the water features and in the large space, creating a more open atmosphere for the participants involved. For another, this was also the first time Yale-NUS students and staff were invited. New faces and places thus formed the undercurrent of this year’s party.

The festivities officially started at 6pm, with guests streaming in around that time. An opening speech was given by our Head of Department, Associate Professor Michael Pelczar, before the dinner lines were opened. At which point the guests tucked into a variety of dishes, ranging from the caterer Rasel’s signature Shepard’s Pie, to servings of authentic laksa and mock prawn for our vegetarian guests. The meal was accompanied with servings of craft beers and ciders, each carefully picked out by our graduate students Wilson and Jeremy. During this time of feasting and drinking, bridges were built across schools years and even generations, as students, alumni, staff and accompanying family conversed and interacted. The sight of graduate students entertaining some of the professors’ children, of undergraduates networking with alumni and of staff catching up on old times, certainly was something to behold.

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The Philosophy Party 2015

02They 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 mo01uthwatering 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.

04After 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.

05With 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)

Philosophy Party 2015 (Jul 13)

The NUS Philosophy Department cordially invites our commencing students, the incoming honours students, alumni and faculty to our Philosophy Party 2015. Do join us for an evening of good food and even better company! The party will be held at the Shaw Foundation Alumni House, Seminar Room 2 on 13 July (Monday) from 6 – 9.30 p.m. We will be sending out invitations by email soon – in the meantime, save the date, spread the word, and we look forward to seeing you then!

Philosophy Commencement and Alumni Party 2014 & 60th Anniversary of NUS Philosophy


For the second time running, the Department of Philosophy held its Commencement and Alumni Party at the Shaw Foundation Alumni House (1st August). The party saw a turnout of nearly 50 guests comprising honours and graduating students, Alumni, and Faculty members, all mingling over food and drink. This event also marked the 60th anniversary of the philosophy department, a significant milestone in its history.


The event was hosted by emcee Xue En, an honours student of the department. The festivities were officially kicked off by acting Head of Department, A/P Michael Pelczar. The food was a delicious spread of dishes ranging from Shepherds’ Pie to Laksa. All these were complemented by a mix of unique craft beers, kindly sponsored by several faculty members. Much as the night was about food and drink, it was also about philosophy and reconnecting with old friends: Alumni got to reacquaint themselves with old classmates and teachers, while graduating students were given an opportunity to forge new friendships with those that have graduated before them. The attendees spent the evening exchanging both philosophical ideas as well as snippets of their personal experiences, having fruitful discussions on all aspects of life.

IMG_9575During the party, Cheryl, a member of the graduating cohort delivered a speech on her own experiences in the Department of Philosophy, fondly recalling the unique experiences that she had during her time as a student and her year-long exchange in Edinburgh. Without a doubt, one of the highlights of the evening was a speech by former head of the Philosophy department, Prof. Ten Chin Liew, who treated everyone to reminiscences of his experiences at the department, both as a young undergraduate, and also as a faculty member. While acknowledging that some may be unhappy to have their youthful mischief so exposed, he thought the risk worth taking given that some of the people mentioned are already dead, or too far away to take their revenge, he said with a twinkle in his eye – much to the amusement of all who were present.


To commemorate the special occasion, a mug specially designed by A/P John Holbo, very much our resident artist, was presented to each guest. It carries the byline-“Come for the answers, stay for the questions”—familiar to several generations of philosophy students by now. The Office of Alumni Relations also generously sponsored gifts for each graduating student. A/P Holbo’s talents were further showcased on the design of the department’s 60th anniversary cake. If the mug bears the motif of an Athenian coin, the cake carries a quote from Confucius’ Analects passage 2.4, and a doodle of the Master himself. The juxtaposition of the two designs—one alluding to the beginnings of the discipline in the ancient West, the other to the parallel sources of wisdom’s study in the East—highlights the inclusive nature of the department. After a bout of photos with all the guests, the cake was cut by Professor Pelzar and Professor Ten and witnessed by members of the faculty present.


The event concluded with closing words by A/P Loy Hui-Chieh, and the promise of an even better party next year. As the guests reluctantly prepared to leave, they ended the evening by taking pictures with specially prepared Polaroid cameras, taking home a personalised memoir of their time at the party, which was nothing short of a rousing success.

For more photos, please visit our facebook photo album of the event.


Philosophy Commencement and Alumni Party 2014

The NUS Philosophy department cordially invites all alumni and graduating students to the Philosophy Commencement and Alumni Party 2014. Come reconnect with old friends and teachers on an evening of fun, great food and friendship! This year’s party will be extra special as we are also commemorating the department’s 60th anniversary. The party will be held at the Shaw Foundation Alumni House on Aug 1st (Friday) from 6 – 9.30 p.m. RSVP by July 25th at the following link:

Please help us spread the word, and we look forward to having you!


The Philosophy Commencement and Alumni Gathering Party 2013

The Department of Philosophy held its combined Commencement and Alumni Gathering Party on Friday, 28 June 2013 at the Shaw Foundation Alumni House. This is the first time the department has organised a combined event, and it proved to be a huge success, with a total turnout of about 40 people: a colourful mix of graduating students, alumni, and faculty members.

It was an evening of food, philosophy, and fun, as our alumni got to meet up with old friends while graduating students got a chance to interact with their seniors and forge new bonds of friendship. The event was filled with an abundance of delicious food, as well as unique craft beers courtesy of several faculty members of the department. The air was filled with endless rounds of laughter thanks to the numerous jokes and hilarious experiences as shared by all present – including faculty members! And as if that’s not all, there were logic puzzles and insightful food for thought for those present to satisfy their thirst for a good intellectual challenge.

To commemorate this event, each attendee received a Philosophy mug specially designed by A/P John Holbo. And thanks to the Office of Alumni Relations, the graduating students also received a Linus soft toy with a badge saying, “Class of 2013.” (OAR also generously sponsored the rent for the venue.)

Apart from celebrating the beginning of a new life for the graduating students, the students and faculty also paid tribute to A/P Tan Sor Hoon for her six years of hard work as our outgoing Head of Department. In gratitude for her long service in the department, A/P Michael Pelczar presented A/P Tan with a gift on behalf of all the faculty members, and delivered a short note of gratitude for all the work that she has done.

In addition, Lai Weijie, a film producer and an alumnus of the Department, gave a short sharing of his life after graduation. He shared about how A/P John Holbo helped him move into his career in film and what he accomplished since his graduation.

Since this event proved to be a huge success, the Department will be organising a similar event again next year. At the end of the evening, A/P Loy Hui-chieh closed the event with some paradoxical words for everyone to ponder: “If you like the party, the one next year will be just like it; If you don’t like the party, the one next year will be nothing like it; and no, that wasn’t a contradiction.”

Philosophy Commencement and Alumni Gathering Party 2013

Our dearest alumni,
In celebration of the upcoming commencement ceremony for the Class of 2013, the NUS Philosophy Department will be hosting a Commencement and Alumni Gathering party on Friday, 28 June 2013, at the Shaw Foundation Alumni House from 6pm to 9pm.

We would like to extend our warmest invitation to you.

Other than a sumptuous buffet dinner and an evening of fun, it will be an excellent opportunity to catch up with old friends (and make new ones as well)!

Please RSVP by 10 June 2013 on our Google Docs form: Even if you are unable to join us, we hope that you will fill in the Google Docs form with your contact information so that we can keep in touch with you and notify you of future alumni events.

We look forward to meeting you soon!

PS: Please help us to spread the word by sharing this event with them. Thank you!

Congratulations Class of 2011!

Doctor of Philosophy
Jacklyn Apo Cleofas
Li Wanquan
Ong Bendick
Ong Kok Tien

Master of Arts
Aldo Dennis C. Joson
Chong Fu-Zhi Jeremy
Christopher Daban Daguimol
Huang Kai Sen Clement
Rev Raluwe Padmasiri Thero
Shaun Oon Qing Wei
Stephanie Shaina Lee Her Ling
Tan Li Ling

NUS-The Australian National University Joint Honours Degree Programme^Bachelor of Arts
1st Class Honours
Chow Ken Q Joel winner of the AY10/11 Philosophy Special Book Prize

Bachelor of Arts  Philosophy
2nd Class Honours (Upper)
Lim Chong Ming
Sulastri binte Noordin winner of the AY09/10 Philosophy Book Prize
Goh Miao Yu
Khoo Jia Wei David

2nd Class Honours (Lower)
Kua Jin Yao Justin
Lim Jun Hong
Lim Wei Jia Clara

Bachelor of Arts – Philosophy (Major)
Pass with Merit
Chen Yu
Chua Annaling
Fong Kok Xiang Raymond
Fu Peichong
Lazaroo Charles David
Lin Yong’An Ethan

Chng Siang Piao Dominic
Choo Jiahui Grace
Chua Jia Lin
Li Peng Yong, Daniel