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President Halimah and SMU Board of Trustees Chairman, Mr Piyush Gupta, with the student makers of Batik Liem.
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Engaged City University

Celebrating 23 Years of SMU on Patron’s Day

Published on 2 February 2023

SMU’s new Chairman, Mr Piyush Gupta, hosted Singapore President Madam Halimah Yacob at the University’s Patron’s Day celebration on 13 January 2023. After two years of holding the event in hybrid format, students, faculty, staff, friends of SMU and the members of the local community enjoyed the much-anticipated annual event live on campus.

This year marks the 23rd anniversary of Singapore Management University (SMU) and to commemorate the occasion, SMU students, alumni, staff, and members of the public gathered at Campus Green for an extravaganza event like no other.

The theme for this year’s event was “A Time for Everything”, which speaks to the idea that there is a season for all things – a time to think, a time to act, and a time to celebrate.

Carnival celebrations

The annual celebration of SMU – organised by a 26-student organising committee as guided by staff from OSL - provided a day of diverse entertainment, shopping, and food experiences. Headlining the event was homegrown singer-songwriter Linying and alt-R&B trio brb., alongside our popular student clubs SMU Eurythmics, SMU VOIX, SMU INDANCITY and SMU SoundFoundry providing an energising musical backdrop for attendees. Many of the student performers this year are year ones!  In addition, various gourmet stall offerings allowed guests to sample delicious meals and snacks throughout the day.  Attendees also had the chance to win various attractive prizes through carnival games, adding an exciting air of competition to the festivities. And speaking of competition, the exciting Inter-Faculty Tug-Of-War returned to the PD grounds after a hiatus of two years, with the Yong Pung How School of Law clinching the SMOO SMOO trophy from 2020’s champion Lee Kong Chian School of Business.

Patron’s Day 2023 also paid homage to the University's commitment to sustainable living with the introduction of Go Green with SMOO, a special initiative that encouraged participants to upcycle their T-shirts and tote bags with customised hybrid patches. The event proved to be highly successful, as it managed to upcycle 400 shirts and bags. The initiative was able to bridge the gap between sustainability and innovation while bringing out creativity in its participants through their fashion designs.  Besides environmental sustainability, PD23 also launched a new social sustainability initiative SMU(LTIPLY), where students and staff were encouraged to pay-it-forward by donating carnival vouchers for 100 of our cleaners, technicians, and gardeners. 

A perennial Patron’s Day favourite, the SMU Makers’ Market is a curated showcase of products handcrafted by the SMU Community. Having gained much traction over the years, the Makers’ Market has become an anticipated event among discerning shoppers, faculty, staff, and the student body — exceeding expectations with each new edition. This year’s line-up of retailers included slow-made punch needle brand Sibei Zhup, traditional batik label Batik Liem and local sustainable business The Sustainability Project.

In the lead-up to 13 January, multiple roadshows were also held, which entailed the giveaway of PD2023 vouchers. Besides the Makers’ Market, the vouchers could also be used across 12 culinary stalls, such as fusion snack purveyor Loco Loco and modern patisserie Esclusiva — which sold flavoured croffins and crowiches.

Welcoming SMU Patron and new Chairman of the SMU Board of Trustees

The day’s festivities culminated in the Patron’s Day Dinner at the SMU Hall, which was attended by Guest-of-Honour — SMU Patron, President Halimah Yacob; Chief Executive Officer of the DBS Group and the University’s new Chairman, Mr Piyush Gupta; and SMU President Professor Lily Kong.

“Through this increased and closer engagement [as a city university], we can foster even stronger connections with business, with government and with the wider community,” said Mr Gupta, who took over the role from founding chairman Mr Ho Kwon Ping.

“And all these connections will fuel what we want – will fuel our research, and fuel our thought leadership, and fuel our educational offerings as well. It is heartening to see that events like this afternoon’s celebration, draw in passers-by from local areas and showcase the vibrancy and dynamism of SMU.”

Through the years, SMU has continued to play its role as an engaged city university, drawing in its stakeholders and the surrounding community to various events held on campus including Patron’s Day. From enjoying the physical events to those who attended to lively social feeds documenting the anniversary celebration highlights, this year’s Patron’s Day was truly one for everyone – A Time for Everything, indeed.

See also: At SMU’s 23rd birthday celebrations, there was indeed A Time for Everything.

Relive the best moments and see more pictures of PD 2023 here




Related Topics:  Undergraduate Education  SMU Leaders