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Launch of SMU Women Alumni Group

11 May 2016

Above left to right: Director of Office of Alumni Relations Associate Professor Low Aik Meng, President of Singapore Management University Professor Arnoud De Meyer, President of SMU Women Alumni Group Ms Anna Haotanto and Chairperson of the Shirin Fozdar Programme Ms Claire Chiang

More than 120 invited guests were the first to hear about Shirin Fozdar Programme’s (SFP) plans and to witness the birth of a new SMU alumni group, at the SFP Evening held on 11th May 2016 at SMU’s University Lounge. The Shirin Fozdar Programme (SFP), resident in SMU, facilitates the advancement of women in Singapore. It was established to commemorate Mrs Shirin Fozdar, an outstanding Singaporean woman who contributed vitally to women’s rights.

At the cocktails and networking event, Chairperson of the SFP Ms Claire Chiang outlined the milestones and the future of the SFP. SFP’s mission is to continue to serve as a platform to connect students, advocates, policy-makers, businesses, institutions and the public to shape a resilient community and nurture integrated perspectives in women’s development.

It was very apt that the SMU Women Alumni Group was launched at the event. Supported by the SMU’s Office of Alumni Relations and the SMU Alumni Association, the newly formed group brings the total number of SMU alumni groups to 29, serving and bringing together over 17,000 SMU alumni spread across the globe. The Alumni Group aims to gather the voices of SMU alumnae on shared interests and issues. It will organise activities to help members grow; including social and professional networking, personal and professional development, social and cultural activities, mentoring of alumnae and students, and community projects.

President of the SMU Women Alumni Group Ms Anna Haotanto (BBM, 2008) shared, “Our common goal is to reach out and represent the voices of females. We want to build a tight network of individuals, supporting issues that are pertinent to women in their personal and professional life and encouraging them to stay true to their authentic selves. With 9500 females in the alumni family, we have the potential to become the biggest alumni group in the SMU community!”

The Alumni Group concocted a special cocktail to commemorate the launch, symbolising wishes for stronger bonds to be formed amongst the women alumni community. With the special cocktails in hand, everyone gave a toast at the end of the launch. Anna said, “May our bond be everlasting and be perpetually inspirational to all of u!”  

For more photos, visit the Facebook album on our page here.


Please click here for more information on the event. You can also find out more about the Shirin Fozdar Programme at

SMU Women Alumni Group Executive Committee

Anna Haotanto (BBM, 2008) - President

Won Xue Ling (BBM, 2008)

Wenny Ow (BBM, 2007)

Christina Tarigan (BsocSc, 2008)

Swyn Teo (BSc (Econ), 2009)

Joan Chua (BBM, 2008)

Ivy Wong (BBM, 2008)


SMU’s Office of Alumni Relations spoke to President of the SMU Women Alumni Group Ms Anna Haotanto following the event and she shared more on the Group.


1) Congratulations on the launch of the SMU Women Alumni Group! How did the idea of forming the Group come about? What are its objectives?

I am in a few women’s networking communities outside and I think they are a great support system. I was talking to some friends and realised that SMU lacks a group that further women causes. It’s also a good way for us to reconnect, network and help each other.

SMU Women Alumni Group (SMUWA) seeks to gather the voices and interests of its female graduate community, and in doing so, support and further the role of women as leaders and active members of society. The Group will explore issues pertinent to women, particularly in the areas of personal development, family matters, financial literacy, and career advancement.

With 16 years of an estimated 9,500 female graduates, the Group has the potential to become the biggest alumni group and make a significant impact both on supporting the female graduate community and inspiring SMU's female undergraduates and young female students to join SMU for a fulfilling education.

Our objectives are:

i)                 To build a tight-knit community of members

ii)                To advocate and further the role of women as leaders and active participants of society

iii)               To support members in exploring issues that are pertinent to women in their personal and professional lives including, but not limited to: women’s health issues, family matters, financial literacy and career advancement.

iv)               To inspire members to pursue their aspirations and stay true to their authentic selves.


2) We love the symbolism of fruits used to signify the launch. Tell us more about the fruits and what they represent.

The special cocktail concocted in commemoration of the launch, underlined the strategic focus areas of the newly formed female graduate community: health, finance, family and personal development.

3) What are the plans for the Group? Any upcoming events?

SMUWA's first Executive Committee will strive to organise two to three events a year for its women alumni members as well as to foster the growth of an online community via social media to keep its members informed of its latest news and developments as well as current affairs issues that concern the community.

The first event will be a talk and networking session by a few prominent leaders who are able to provide advice on the struggles of female professionals in the workplace.

Our second event, which I’m extremely excited about, is our signature event - a half day summit that will offer our members the opportunity to learn from, and be inspired by, a panel of accomplished speakers who are able to share their real-world experience, advice and tips for our members to tap into for personal and professional growth.


4) How can one find out more and join the Women Alumni Group?

To ensure that you stay ahead of all the latest updates regarding the SMUWA group, please subscribe to our Facebook page at and stay tuned for the details of our upcoming events.


5) Last but not least, I'm sure many are curious to know, are men allowed to join the Group? 

Yes, as long as they are interested in furthering women causes. :)

Last updated on 13 Jun 2016 .