[By Valerie Bong]
Everyone deserves some form of recognition for their efforts. That was the main purpose of the Scholars Annual Dinner 2015, the first of its kind to be held in Taylor’s University for the ever-hardworking scholars. As quoted from their Facebook page, the dinner was held “to create an explicit culture among the scholars and to recognize their contribution in Taylor’s University”. The event was held on 16 October, opened ceremoniously with several performances, but the most memorable one was by the Taylor’s University Symphony Orchestra. It was truly remarkable and awe-inspiring, especially when they played the ‘Phantom of the Opera’ theme.
As the ceremony began, Surayyn Selvan and Elsie Ong, the hosts for the event, introduced Ms. Saw Bee Lian who officiated the event by making a speech about the Scholars @ Work program and the effort of the scholars in all that they do for the university. Soon after, it was the moment that everyone was waiting for: Dinner was served!
There were more performances as attendees feasted on the delicious dinner, and who was to show up but Demon, the champion of The Freedom Open Beatboxing Championship 2014, with a looping machine that he utilized as he sang Bruno Mars’ ‘Just the Way You Are’. He had brought along his apprentice, Elliot, who also performed amazingly. Next were Ili and Rayyan, a very talented duo who performed acoustic versions of songs and got everyone singing along with them. Not to forget, Backseat Affair did fantastic renditions of popular songs like ‘I See Fire’ by Ed Sheeran and ‘Royals’ by Lorde which had us all entranced due to the powerful quality of the lead singer’s voice. A few people even went up to the dance floor and did a little jig towards the end of their performance! Finally, The Ace Crew captivated the crowd with their fantastic dance moves, establishing their mark as a crowd favourite that night.
After the performances, Surayyn and Elsie introduced the guest of honor, Brandon Ho, a former student of Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Accounting and Finance in Taylor’s University under the Taylor’s World Class Scholarship in 2011. He is also currently a television host on 8TV, hosting Malaysia’s longest urban talk show, the 8TV Quickie. He talked about his past experiences and offered some advice to the current scholars, telling them to “be outstanding and be humble in every way”. It was truly an eye-opening speech and everyone present at the dinner is sure to remember his advice in future endeavors.
Then, there was the Reward and Recognition session where they showed each of the top scholars’ short videos of their experiences and achievements since joining the Scholars @ Work program before they were called onto stage to receive their awards. Some of these scholars were Amanda Woo Meijze, Natasha Anne Fernandez, Kylar Oh Loong Hui and Tan Xue Ying. Soon after that, the Student Leaders Team was introduced. Surayyn and Elsie then proceeded with the Lucky Draws, which they had been doing for the short intervals in between sessions and countless prizes were won left and right by eager members of the audience.
At around 10 pm, the dancing began. Everyone had a jolly good time dancing or swaying to the music before the event came to a close at 11 pm. All in all, the Scholars’ Annual Dinner was a booming success and kudos to the organizers for planning such a grand event. Of course, there is always room for improvement, but as Oscar De La Hoya once said ‘There is always space for improvement, no matter how long you’ve been in the business’.
[ Photo credits: Yang Kit Photography and ETC. Magazine Photographer Rafeq Razlan ]