NTU to have 3 alumni clubhouses

An artist's impression of the reception area at the NTU alumni house at Marina Square, which is slated to open in November this year. It is a mega 10,000 sq ft clubhouse - equivalent to nine five-room flats - with facilities that include a restaurant
An artist's impression of the reception area at the NTU alumni house at Marina Square, which is slated to open in November this year. It is a mega 10,000 sq ft clubhouse - equivalent to nine five-room flats - with facilities that include a restaurant, a bar and function rooms. Entry is allowed with an alumni or employee card.PHOTO: COURTESY OF NTU

Membership is free for NTU grads; move to keep former students connected to school

They have got the degree.

Now, graduates of Nanyang Technological University (NTU) will also get a membership at not one but three alumni clubhouses with facilities such as restaurants and a gym. And it is free.

At a time when universities worldwide are doubling down on boosting alumni participation and philanthropy, NTU is looking to keep its former students connected to the school by establishing swish facilities for them in Marina Square, Buona Vista and its campus in Boon Lay.

  • 3 new clubhouses

  • 1

    Where: Marina Square mall

    Size: 10,000 sq ft

    Facilities: A restaurant and bar managed by Sodexo, a French gourmet company behind Michelin-starred restaurants Le Pre Catalan and Le Jules Verne in Paris. There will also be function rooms and lounge areas.

    Opens: November 2016

    2

    Where: NTU's North Spine Plaza

    Size: Not available yet.

    Facilities: Eateries, including a Western restaurant managed by the 1-Group. There will also be function rooms and lounge areas.

    Opens: End-2016

    3

    Where: one-north

    Size: Not available yet.

    Facilities: Part of the refurbished Executive Centre, which has guestrooms and function spaces. There will also be eateries, meeting rooms and a gym.

    Opens: 2017

The first to be ready will be a mega 10,000 sq ft clubhouse - equivalent to nine five-room flats - in Marina Square. Facilities include a restaurant, a bar and function rooms. It will open in November. Entry is allowed with an alumni or employee card.

The idea, said NTU president Bertil Andersson yesterday on the 25th anniversary of NTU's inauguration as a university, is to provide spaces for graduates to meet friends and former professors, or to relax with their families.

Singapore's universities have long provided alumni with clubhouse benefits. The National University of Singapore Society (NUSS), the university's alumni club which members pay a fee to join, has three clubhouses at Kent Ridge, Bukit Timah and Suntec City.

The Shaw Foundation Alumni House, located at its Kent Ridge campus, is free for alumni.

Singapore Management University (SMU) has no alumni clubhouse. But it has an alumni cafe, B3 Bistro, on its campus. Launched in March, it is owned and managed by the SMU Alumni Association, and alumni who pay to join get food and beverage discounts there.

But NTU's new initiative is unprecedented in its scale and outreach. The cost of the three alumni houses, which include renovation and operating costs, are funded by the university itself. NTU declined to reveal how much it spent on this project, which will cater to all alumni, faculty and staff.

The alumni houses are separate from the NTU Alumni Club, which members have to pay to join. It has its own clubhouse in Buona Vista that is currently under renovation.

Said Prof Andersson: "Our students don't just graduate from NTU and then close that chapter in their lives. All graduates have a lifetime NTU membership. The university will be with them at the various stages in their lives and we want them to continue to keep the precious bonds and friendships they have made at NTU."

Its alumni family, which includes the alumni rolls of its predecessor institutions - Nanyang University and Nanyang Technological Institute - has grown beyond 200,000 from 150 countries.

Professor Lee Sing Kong, NTU's vice-president for alumni and advancement, said the three alumni houses were designed in response to extensive alumni feedback.

Mr Asyraf Aliman, 25, an NTU graduate, felt that the Marina Square alumni house's central location was "ideal". "If there was only one alumni house at NTU itself, then those who do not live in the western region will probably not go at all," said the public servant.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 11, 2016, with the headline 'NTU to have 3 alumni clubhouses'. Print Edition | Subscribe