Prof Wong pointed out that just like the words on the backdrop tribute banner, “As one chapter closes, another begins for you”, Prof Dhanarajan would be moving to the 11th floor of the Albukhary Building to assume his new job responsibilities.
Prof Dhanarajan takes on the new role as Director of WOU’s Institute of Research and Innovation on an honorary basis, and will head WOU’s Centre for Teaching and Learning, which has received an international funding of RM600, 000 for the first two years. He will still be a member of the University Council, and has been appointed by WEF to serve as ‘advisor’ for both WOU and Disted College.
Meanwhile in his farewell address as Vice Chancellor, he said that his childhood experience of walking miles and taking a bus to go to school somehow influenced his “genetic make-up” to take teaching to the people.
His advice to staff: “If you have commitment and intuition to serve, and put rewards aside for the time being, you’ll find that everything comes to you. You’ve got to serve in order to reap. And without working for reward, for me it has paid enormous dividends.”
As for the new chapter of his life, he borrowed the allegory of the green movement of recycling as opposed to discarding to say in jest that he’s “being recycled”.
On his time as WOU Vice Chancellor, he shared, “I enjoyed the fun of assembling good people like yourselves and working with old friends. It’s a great, wonderful life – you’re the icing on a very mature fruitcake.”
Prof Wong later handed a ‘Down Memory Lane’ album to Prof Dhanarajan which he thoroughly loved; it was a compilation of photos, pictures, and news clippings of his personal and professional life.
At the close, WOU’s Staff Recreational Club president Dr Andy Liew led everyone in toasting ‘yam seng’ to Prof Dhanarajan and the “new man at the helm”, Prof Wong.
Many thanks to School of Foundation and Liberal Studies (SFLC) lecturer Jasmine Emmanuel who acted as emcee, and to everyone who paid tribute to Prof Dhanarajan by penning down a few lines of appreciation in the guestbook and through their attendance.