From 2007, there have been attempts to facilitate fellowship amongst faculty and students outside of the classroom setting. Read on to find out more.
In 2007, a group of students came together to organise the very first Family Day in BGST. Held at a chalet, it consisted of fun and games, and was well-attended. Various ones chipped in, be it in terms of program planning or contributing to the cost, and a sense of comraderie was forged amongst the local and foreign students.
Come 2008, the same group of students continued the tradition of planning a Family Day, this time at a fish farm. Through the games and time there, students and faculty had a chance to interact in a way that was different from usual. You might be curious who these students were. They are Dr Kenny Tan, Wong Choon Yew and Ng Boon Thian. Along the way, there were others who helped like Pauline Koe.
Kenny also took the initiative to interview fellow students to have an idea of what led them to study at BGST and essentially their stories. These accounts were shared in the BTW then (BGST This Week) and gave both an insight into fellow students’ journeys as well as provided mutual encouragement. Some of us also started to bring food to our classes to share during the break where we could fellowship a little. For certain classes, we even managed to venture further to have end-of-class dinners as a closure and farewell.
The tradition of having Family Days continued for three more years. 2009’s was held at Fang Soong’s place and best-attended with 60 pax. With a theme of multi-culturalism, we incorporated games and songs from foreign countries, and a friendship dance. Door gifts were also presented and various students stepped up voluntarily to help out. It was a pleasure to organise it.
For 2010, it was at Hort Park where we included an eco-talk and an own-time-own-target walk at the park itself after lunch. It was hoped that the entire family would be able to enjoy the place for what it had to offer.
Finally, in 2011, Family Day was held at OMF with the theme of missions. We learnt about OMF history, we heard testimonies from our very own BGST students who were (and still are) involved in mission work in different parts of the world, and we even had a missions’ version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” game so that the children could be engaged. Most significantly, the love gift we received, we gave it to OMF for their work.
Front (L-R): Rina Lai, Ho Peng Kee, Chong Ser Choon, Alvina Ng
Back (L-R): Brian Chew, Francis Yong.
Absent with apologies: Lau Hoong Chuin, Saw Seang Pin, Kenny Tan.
With a lapse in 2012-2013, BGST later decided that it was time to formalise an alumni network with a core committee known as Alumni Resource Team (ART) in Jan 2014. It was first formed with a Chairman (Mr Chong Ser Choon, adjunct faculty), two Council members (A/P Ho Peng Kee and Dr Kenny Tan), a few invited alumni and one student. The intention was to firstly establish what BGST could do for the alumni as well as to identify what the alumni can do for BGST. With these in mind, ART had a few initiatives in 2014.
The first was a booth at Graduation ceremony in May 2014 where graduands could find out more about ART. The second event was an informal tea session where alumni were invited to hear the vision for ART and share what their needs were. The third was a sharing conducted by Timothy Liu entitled “Reflecting Theologically on Your Vocation” followed by break-out group discussions. This was a meaningful time where much feedback was gathered as to what ART could initiate in the coming days and also where our mental faculties were whetted in contemplating theologically on our daily work.
As momentum began to pick up for ART, we sought to look outwards for more alumni members to join us, not just as mere manpower but also to see how we can meet their needs in their marketplace, family and church ministry. It is hoped that in time to come, BGST and its alumni foster such close relationships that we can begin to be synonymous.
Here’s looking forward to meeting more and more of you in the days ahead as we organise more events and try our very best to meet the needs that you share with us. Hope to hear from you soon!