IBC Celebrates its 15th Anniversary, Opening Ceremony of Female Hostel, Ground Breaking Ceremony of Male Hostel, Alumni Gathering and the 12th Convocation
Saturday, September 07, 2019 is a historical day for the International Buddhist College (IBC) as it held together five celebrations that is to commemorate IBC 15th Anniversary, the 12th Convocation, Alumni Gathering, the Opening Ceremony of the Female Hostel Block (Mahapajapati Vihara) and Ground Breaking Ceremony of the Male Hostel Block (Sona Vihara).
Prior to the grand events, an Eye-Opening Ceremony of the Buddha and blessing ceremony was held at 8.30 in the morning to seek the blessings of the Triple Gem. The chanting was led by the honorable Mahasangha and Venerable Dr. Wei Wu.
Lunch dana was offered to Mahasangha and lay devotees at 11 a.m at IBC dining hall.
The Councils led by the Most Venerable Chairman, held its council meeting at the dministrative Meeting Room at 1 p.m.
The 12th Convocation ceremony, held at the auditorium of the International Buddhist College, Songkhla, commenced at 2.30 p.m. sharp with the Triple Gem Eulogy followed by speeches from the Most Venerable Chairman and Honourable Rector.
Appointment of Rector Emeritus by the Most Venerable Chairman for the Most Ven. Dr. KL Dhammajoti started with the reading of the citation by the Honourable Rector.
Presentation of Outstanding Educator Awards by the Most Venerable Chairman for the Most Venerable Aggamaha Saddhammajotikadhaja U Nayaka, the Most Venerable Dr. Thich Nhat Tu and Dr. Kim Phaik Lah began with the reading of citation for the awardees by Prof. Kapila Abhayawansa, Vice Rector and Dean of Faculty of Religious Studies.
Many graduates from the BA, MA and PhD programs received their degrees from the Rector and Council Chairman during the grand ceremony. More than three hundred fifty people were present at the ceremony which ended at 4.30 p.m. with a group photo taking session and high tea.
While most of the participants and guests were busy with taking photo, interacting, congratulating fresh graduates with flowers and souvenirs, IBC alumni, instructors, executives and distinguished guests gathered at the Ksitigarbha Classroom for Alumni Reunion at 4.30 p.m.
IBC Alumni Gathering was graced by the students from each Academic batch staring from its first batch 2004, IBC’s prestigious faculty members, staff, distinguished guests and the most Ven. Dr. Wei Wu. Many of the ex-students shared their memories of IBC student life and current life status during the interaction session. Refreshment was served to all participants during alumni reunion session. IBC 15th anniversary celebration and alumni reunion paved a great opportunity for IBC students to interact with their professors, lecturers, friends and classmates to relive their past memories together after a long time in person.
Some alumni who could not participate the reunion, sent videos, power point presentation etc containing memories of their memorable days here at IBC.
Opening Ceremony of the Mahapajapati Vihara (Female Hostel Block) began with a speech from Ven. Dr. Zhen Yuan at 6 p.m. It is the first hostel block for female lecturers, staff and students; and it also contains the first shrine hall for daily services for the Chinese Buddhist Tradition. Venerable in her speech pointed out that it is very meaningful to have our hostel complex named after Mahapajapati, the first Bhiksuni or Bhikkhuni in Buddhist Monastic order, who is also the aunt and step mother of Prince Siddhattha who brought up Prince Siddhattha when Prince’s mother Queen Maya passed away when Prince was only seven days old.
Distinguished guests, sponsors and donors were then invited to inaugurate the Female Hostel Block in a ribbon cutting ceremony, and the copper plaque was unveiled by Venerable Zhen Xin, the senior Bhiksuni from the Than Hsiang Temple, Penang.
Opening Ceremony of the Mahapajapati Vihara was followed by the Ground Breaking Ceremony of the Sona Vihara (Male Hostel Block) starting with chanting in Mandarin and ground breaking rituals, a speech from Ven. Zhen Chan and Pali chanting.
In his speech, Ven. Zhen Chan illustrated that “We had chosen Sona Bhikkhu as the name of the vihara, because Sona Bhikkhu and another monk, Uttara Bhikkhu, were the first two Bhikkhus sent by King Asoka to spread Buddhism in Southeast Asia. They have contributed significantly to the history of the development of Buddhism in Southeast Asia. They traveled thousands of miles, overcome all kinds of hardships and life challenges, their spirit of selflessness, and their great mission of working for the good of many should be a good role model for all of us to learn.”
Last but not the least, guests gathered for the IBC 15th Anniversary Dinner at the auditorium of IBC. In his welcoming speech, the Most Venerable Dr. Wei Wu thanked everyone for their tremendous support and dedication for the establishment and smooth running of IBC for the past 15 years in the event graced by some two hundred and fifty guests and participants both from local and abroad. This was followed by a speech from the most Ven. Rector Emeritus Dr. KL Dhammajoti. Distinguished guests, Professors and Venerables were then invited to inaugurate the IBC 15th Anniversary Dinner in a cake cutting ceremony.