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Impressive last day in Thailand, onto Singapore

Visit with Chulalongkorn University

Tuesday, our final day in Bangkok, began with meeting at Chulalongkorn University (Chula), a partner with IU going back to 1965. In the 1990s, Dr. Vorasak Pienchob, a former dean of Chula’s School of Physical Education, set up an exchange to help faculty members come to IU for one semester. From 1996 to 2008, seventeen faculty members from the then-renamed School of Sports Science were hosted by IU’s School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (HPER).

Chulalongkorn University

Executive Director Shawn Reynolds, President Piron Kamolratanakul, Vice President M.R. Kalaya Tingsabadh, President Michael McRobbie, First Lady Laurie Burns McRobbie, and Vice President David Zaret

President McRobbie and Vice President Zaret met Drs. Piron Kamolratanakul, President, and M.R. Kalaya Tingsabadh, Vice President. While the purpose of the visit was to reaffirm IU’s longstanding partnership with Chula, they also had the opportunity to talk about our institutions’ respective strengths in area studies and begin to explore possible collaborations.

Hosted by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn

Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn

Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn

Back in December 2010, IU conferred an honorary degree to Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand. She was recognized for her efforts to expand and improve public education all across Thailand, especially in remote and rural areas. For decades, IU has had a close relationship with Thailand on many endeavors – helping to establish leading universities, contributing to the development of the K-12 educational system, supporting the growth of Thailand’s modern health and dental care, and offering guidance as it developed governmental policies. Many of these advances would not have been possible without the cooperation of the Thai royal family, particularly Princess Sirindhorn.

Her Royal Highness graciously extended an invitation to President McRobbie and the other members of the IU contingency for a meeting at her palace in Bangkok. The informal gathering gave President McRobbie a chance to talk to the Princess about the issues facing Thailand today and educational initiatives she is pursing in different regions of the country.

Visit with Nanyang Technological University in Singapore

On Wednesday morning, the IU contingent departed Bangkok and arrived in Singapore shortly after the lunch hour.

Our first stop in the city was a brief visit to Nanyang Technological University to learn more about the university and explore possible general connections. After a meeting with Er Meng Hwa, Vice President for International Affairs, we had the pleasure to meet Bertil Andersson, President of NTU, along with other members of the faculty. Interestingly, Kian-Lam Toh, the Director of the Office of International Affairs, is a 1997 graduate of IU’s School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation.

Reception with IU Alumni in Singapore 

Following the NTU visit, President McRobbie and the IU contingent joined Eric de Haan, Director of International Alumni Relations, and around 80 alumni who reside in Singapore for a special alumni reception. Alumni Eric Teo and Audrey Chang have provided superb leadership of the local chapter and certainly provided a positive experience for all the attendees at the reception.