Saturday, August 19, 2006

Planning my alma-mater's Golden Jubilee

Other than dealing with the mystery foot injury, I have also been busy planning my alma-mater's (Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Madurai) Golden Jubilee Celebrations here in Newark, NJ on August 26, 2006. The college was started in 1957 by the legendary architect and philanthropist Karumuttu Thiagarajan Chettiar.

It's been an interesting experience planning this event. The first challenge has been to reach out to all the alumni in the US. Lacking a formal alumni organization which would keep a constantly updated database of all the alumni, we have mostly relied on Word of Mouth to get the word out about the event. Places like Orkut, Yahoo Groups & have been very helpful. One of my long-time wishes is to establish one such Alumni Network, just like Stanford. I have been trying for atleast last three years to kick start this effort but have been unable to make much progress. Hopefully this event re-energises me and others towards this goal.

The second challenge was to find a keynote speaker. After searching everywhere, with a lot of help from friends all over, we finally found not one, but two keynote speakers - Mr. Shanmugam Chellappa, who is a very accomplished engineer here, who immigrated from TN 30-some years ago and has a very successful multi-million dollar business here in the US. Inspite of many such challenges, we have planned the event successfully. The response to this event has been surprisingly positive. We have had alumni all the way from 1965 respond.

BTW, if you know of any TCE alums who are in the US, please spread this word to them about the event.