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A Bittersweet Convocation

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The seventh class of the Dual Master’s Program for Global Business Lawyers—a partnership between NYU School of Law and the National University of Singapore (NUS)—gathered at the Raffles Singapore hotel on March 3 to celebrate the program’s very last convocation. Professor Eng Chye Tan, deputy president for academic affairs and provost of NUS, addressed the final graduates, a close-knit class of 21 people from 15 countries.

Tan described the day’s ceremony as a “special yet bittersweet one,” marking both the end of an era and a chance for NYU and NUS to find new ways to work together.

Founded in 2007, NYU@NUS graduated 237 men and women during its first six years. This year, to toast the program’s accomplishments, all alumni were welcomed back. They flew in from all corners of the globe, with the largest turnout from the very first cohort, the Class of 2008.

Student speaker Eduardo Rosenberg Paiz LLM ’14 of Guatemala expressed how day-to-day life in Singapore had inspired him. The low crime rate contrasted sharply with that of his home country; it gave him peace-of-mind to attend class knowing his wife was safe. “The fact that this dream became a reality in less than a lifetime,” he said, “will feed my every instinct to leave whatever I encounter in a better way than how I found it.”

Mona Boughaba LLM ’14 of Switzerland, the other student speaker, was grateful for the close ties shared by the 2014 class—the “legacy year, as we liked to call ourselves.” While the previous months had included an array of challenges, ranging from routine stressors like demanding classes to disasters like the typhoon in the Philippines, the high points stood out. Among them, she said with a laugh: “After so many years, the surprise organized for Professor Alan Tan’s birthday was finally a real surprise for him!”

During the celebratory dinner, Alan Tan, director of NYU@NUS, and Simon Chesterman, founding director of NYU@NUS and now dean of the NUS Faculty of Law, cut a custom-made cake: two three-tier confections joined by a bridge adorned with both schools’ logos. It represented the partnership that had made those seven academic years so sweet.

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