Tales of triumph from proud graduates

Graduates getting ready to receive their scrolls. — Photos: ­­ZAINUDIN AHAD/The Star

JUBILATION filled the air as graduates of University of Wollongong Malaysia KDU Penang University College (UOWM-KDUPG) received their scrolls at Hotel Equatorial Penang.

Among the 684 Malaysian and 27 international graduates were two valedictorians from the School of Engineering, Computing and Built Environment.

C. Naris Pillaii and Brian Ong Wen Qian, both 21, earned first-class honours in Bachelor of Computer Science (Hons) and Diploma in Electrical and Electronic Engineering (Microelectronic) respectively.

The other graduates were from the School of Mass Communication and Languages, School of Business, and School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts.

Present at the ceremony on Sunday were University of Wollongong Malaysia chief executive officer Jennifer Ng Glok-Hong, University of Lincoln deputy vice-chancellor Toby Wikinson and UOWM-KDU vice- chancellor Dr Chong Beng Keok.

Dr Chong in her speech said the students were being rewarded for all their sacrifices.

“They have shaped themselves into people with a high level of intellectual capability, perseverance and diligence,” she said.

Naris Pillaii, in his speech, said he clocked 17,250 hours of hard work, assignments, exams and sleepless nights to reach the convocation ceremony.

“If only life was a digital video. One can then replay the ups and downs. Like every college student, I faced them too and to be honest, there were more downs than ups.

“But I was lucky to have God, my parents, supportive lecturers and my college mates. They were the Infinity Stones that made me into a bold, passionate and responsible individual,” he said.

(Infinity Stones are a reference to powerful artefacts in the Avengers movie franchise.)

Ong, in his speech, recalled the honour he felt when he joined a technology competition and UOWM-KDUPG’s Head of the School of Engineering, Computing and Built Environ-ment Dr Yeap Gik Hong became his “Grab driver”.

“How many of you can say that the head of your school was your driver? It was a privilege indeed,” he said.
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