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2016 Alumni Year-end Dinner: a night to remember

01 Dec, 2016 News Center 1,410

It was a night to remember. KDI School hosted the 2016 Alumni Year-end Dinner event on November 25 at the JW Marriott Hotel Dongdaemun in Seoul. Alumni, faculty, staff, and family members gathered in one place to celebrate a successful year and to look ahead into the future for a better KDI School.

This year’s event was particularly special as Minister of Urban Development of Housing in Ethiopia Ambachew Mekonnen (1999 MPP) was invited to receive the ‘Outstanding Alumni Award’. Minister Ambachew was recognized for his dedication to KDI School and achievements in the public sector of Ethiopia. In his acceptance speech, the Minister described himself as a “product of KDI School” and will continue to do his best to facilitate the cooperative relations between Ethiopia and Korea.

The event opened with a welcoming speech from Alumni Association President Chang Ouk LEE. President LEE brought up the exciting news that KDI School will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2017. He looked back on the highs and lows of the past two decades and asked everyone in the audience for their support and interest for an even more successful 20 years in the future. This gave Associate Dean Man CHO a great opportunity to share the School’s vision for two more decades of even greater success. According to the Associate Dean, KDI School is looking to become a ‘global hidden champion’ among graduate schools in public policy.

In a kind gesture of reciprocity, Minister Ambachew presented the Alumni Association with a trophy as a token of appreciation. Earlier that week, the Minister presented KDI School President Joon-kyung KIM with a similar trophy to thank KDI School for inviting him to Korea.

Of course, as a social function, the night featured some light entertainment. Unlike previous years, a sand artist was invited to create images representing the past and future of KDI School using sand. Also invited was a quartet of musical performers for a selection of songs to help set the mood. Most notably, the group sang “Blow in the wind” and “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” by Bob Dylan, winner of the Nobel Prize in literature 2016.

Photos were taken, food was eaten, drinks were shared, and alumni relations were rekindled. The night ended in great success and all joined in for a group photo in the end. Alumni Association President LEE didn’t forget to remind everyone to stay connected to the School and come again next year to the Alumni Year-end Dinner event.

Marian GRASS [2015 MPP, Egypt]