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Indiana University

More than 100 IU alumni in Thailand attend reception

Distinguished alumni

Distinguished IU alumni with President McRobbie and wife Laurie

On Monday evening, more than 100 alumni of Indiana University from across Thailand joined President McRobbie for a reception at the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel. The event, coordinated by Peter Boonjarern and Voralak Snidwongse with assistance from the IU Alumni Association, brought together a diverse range of alumni, from the recently graduated 20-somethings to the most distinguished leaders in Thai education, business, and government.

Before the reception officially started, President McRobbie met with a small group of esteemed alumni, including Dr. Vichai Tunsiri, former Deputy Minister of Education; Dr. Juree N. Vichit Vadakan, chairperson of the Center for Philanthropy and Civil Society at NIDA; Prayoon Tosanguan, acting association dean of Panyapiwat Institute of Management; and Prachan “Sean” Boonpracong, international advisor to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. President McRobbie shared many of IU’s exciting international endeavors and requested the assistance of the alumni to serve as ambassadors in order to attract more Thai students to IU, as well as advocate in positive ways for increased study abroad and internship opportunities for IU students in Indonesia.

IU alumnus Peter Boonjarern

IU alumnus Peter Boonjarern

Following this introductory session, Peter Boonjarern welcomed all of the attendees  and thanked them for their sustained interest over the years to maintain relationships with Indiana University. David Zaret, IU Vice President for International Affairs, then introduced Dr. Danai Tonketmonghon, O.D., a graduate of IU’s School of Optometry and currently a faculty member at Ramkhamhaeng University. In his moving remarks, Dr. Denai recounted his warm experience with faculty members at the IU School of Optometry and the profound influence that they had on the development of optometry as a legitimate, recognized area of study in Tailand.

To conclude the ceremony, President McRobbie highlighted some of IU’s accomplishments over the past year and called for an increased role for alumni as advocates and promoters of Indiana University within Thailand.

After his remarks, President McRobbie spoke one-on-one with many alumni, including the distinguished couple Dr. Vorasak Pienchob, former IUAA-Thailand president and former dean of Chulalongkorn University Department of Health Physical Education Department, and Sucharit Pienchod, Ed.D., a performer of classical dance with Her Royal Highness and instructor of dance. The children of the Pienchob’s also graduated from Indiana University.

The Pienchob family and others pose with President McRobbie and wife Laurie

The Pienchob family and other alumni pose with President McRobbie and wife Laurie