President John B. Simpson Delivers Commencement Address to UB Students at Singapore Institute of Management

By Sue Wuetcher

Release Date: July 11, 2008 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Delivering a commencement address and meeting with UB alumni top the travel itinerary for University at Buffalo President John B. Simpson, who along with 10 other members of the UB community, left Buffalo on July 7 for a 10-day trip to Singapore and Malaysia.

Simpson will address graduates of UB programs at the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) and confer UB degrees on July 11 during the commencement ceremony, during which students will receive bachelor's degrees in business administration and communication, and Executive MBA degrees.

Marsha Henderson, vice president for external affairs; John Thomas, dean of the School of Management; and Bruce McCombe, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, also will address the graduates. Joseph Hindrawan, assistant vice provost for international education, will announce the candidates for degree conferral.

Other members of the UB delegation are Katherine L. Simpson; Stephen C. Dunnett, vice provost for international education; Frank E. Tutzauer, associate professor and chair, Department of Communication; Philip R. Perry, associate professor of finance and managerial economics and associate dean for international programs, School of Management; Paul Yong, director of the UB-Konan University (Japan) Economics and Business Administration Program; and Joyce Kryszak, news and cultural affairs producer for WBFO-FM 88.7, UB's National Public Radio affiliate. Kryszak is reporting from Asia for WBFO. To listen to her reports, go to

More than 800 students are enrolled in UB degree programs at SIM. These include the EMBA, the first U.S.-accredited MBA degree program in Singapore; the undergraduate degree programs in business administration and communication; and a new undergraduate degree program in psychology that began in 2007. Programs in economics and sociology are pending for 2009, and UB and SIM also have operated a two-year master's program in school counseling in partnership with the Center for American Education in Singapore since 2002.

While in Asia, Simpson and members of the UB delegation will meet with members of the Singapore and Malaysian chapters of the UB Alumni Association.

The Singapore chapter was one of the earliest chapters formed as part of the alumni association's international chapter program, according to Kenneth Lam, assistant director of the UB Alumni Association. More than 400 alumni live in Singapore, and approximately 210 persons have registered to attend a reception on July 12, during which Simpson is expected to update alumni on what's been happening at UB since he last addressed the chapter in 2005, Lam says.

The future of UB -- in particular, UB 2020 -- is expected to be the topic of Simpson's address to Malaysian alumni during a reception to be held July 14 in Kuala Lumpur -- the first time UB has hosted an event of this kind in Kuala Lumpur, Lam notes. The reception also will provide alumni and friends of UB with the opportunity to network, he says, noting that the Malaysian chapter has nearly 400 active members.

UB has one of the largest enrollments of Malaysian students of any U.S. university, with 112 students enrolled in the university during the 2007-08 academic year, Lam says.

UB's collaborative degree program with Malaysia's Institut Teknologi-MARA -- since renamed University Teknologi MARA -- which ran from 1986-91, has served as a model for subsequent branch campuses, Lam says.

This trip to Asia is the most recent opportunity Simpson has had to meet with alumni abroad. In March, he attended a reception with alumni held in Talpiot, Jerusalem, as part of a trip to Israel organized by the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of New York. The trip, led by CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein, included a small group of presidents of New York state college and universities, who met with government and public officials, as well as their counterparts at several universities in the country.

Twenty-two UB alumni attended the reception, which was organized by the JCRC to provide an opportunity for the university presidents to meet with alumni from their respective campuses, Lam says.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.