Wawasan Open University installed Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu as its first Chancellor in a simple yet elegant ceremony at its main campus.
The ceremony was historic in more ways than one, as it also brought together three politicians who have held or currently hold the position of the Chief Minister of Penang – Tun Dr Lim, Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon and Lim Guan Eng. It was an honour for WOU to become the surprise setting for the meeting of these eminent leaders particularly since the Chief Minister had initially indicated that he would not be able to attend the event.
The formal ceremony saw Wawasan Education Foundation chairman Dato’ Seri Stephen Yeap Leong Huat handing over the mace to Tun Dr Lim in a symbolic gesture of the latter’s installation as the first Chancellor of WOU.
Tun Dr Lim, in his official address, said, “The founders of the WOU recognise that while providing post-secondary education for the young is crucial to the future well-being of our nation, it is also equally important to educate our adults in order to ensure the present well-being of our national community.”
The special convocation that followed saw Tun Dr Lim conferring the Honorary Doctor of Letters on Professor Dr Wichit Srisa-an and the Honorary Doctor of Laws on Dato’ Dr Sharom Ahmat.
Prof Wichit, 74, currently serves as Chairman of the Council of Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University (STOU). He also chairs the Council of four other universities in Thailand and is the executive vice president of the renowned Chulabhorn Research Institute.
Meanwhile Dr Sharom sits on the Board of the Penang Education Consultative Committee (PECC), the Socio-Economic and Environmental Research Institute (SERI), and the Wawasan Education Foundation.
Over 300 people attended the installation and special convocation, notably WOU Council chairman Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik, national and Penang Gerakan committee members, representatives from several institutions of higher learning, members of the consular corps, and leaders of the corporate sector and the business community. Staff from WOU included Vice Chancellor Tan Sri Emeritus Prof Gajaraj Dhanarajan, Deputy Vice Chancellors Prof Wong Tat Meng and Dr Seah Soo Aun, deans, heads of department, and academic staff.