As mentioned in my previous post, here is the balance part of the post on the SPCE Alumni get-together, though quite a bit late.. :(
After the walk down memory lane through the college campus that got me all nostalgic, it was time for the evening programme to start. On the dias were the current principals of SPCE and SPIT and the other office bearers of the alumni association. Currently, Dr. PH Sawant from Civil Engg dept. is the SPCE Principal. I do not recollect him from our days, so must have joined recently. Dr. Prachi Gharpure (looking lovely as always) is the Principal of the unaided wing. For my Mech classmates, our Prof. A V Bhonsale (Engineering Controls anyone ?) is now the HOD of Mech department as also the Vice-Principal. Apart from these, the only other profs. whom I knew that day were Dr. Shubha Pandit (HOD-Elect) and, of course, the tireless and good-ol Prof. VD Raul. In charge of the alumni network, the man's energy is amazing. During the course of the evening, it was revealed that Prof. Raul has tried to kickstart the Alumni network movement thrice so far. The first two times (in the 1990s) it died a natural death but with the latest attempt having started in 2005 (the Annual Alumni meet started in 2005) and still continuing, hopefully it will be third time lucky for Prof. Raul and the Alumni office-bearers.
Coming to the audience, there were, quiet dissapointingly, only about 100 odd alumni who turned up. A huge chunk of them, of course, were from the 1986 batch who were celebrating the silver jubilee reunion. The joy on their faces as they met old batchmates and came back to their alma mater was something to savour. It was also heartening to see Sh Kothare from the 1967 batch show up !!!.. (Must have been the second batch out of campus). But apart from these, the turn out was quite low. In fact, there was not a single person there whom I knew or recognized, which would mean that possibly none from the 1999 to 2002 batch was present :(. As the speeches and the felicitations were going on, I chanced to see a copy of DISHA 2010 and spent good time browsing through it. It provided a good overview of the college activities and was especially heartening to see the strides we have made on the sports field. In fact, SPCE now boasts of a women's basketball team (can you believe that ?) plus other traditional sports like volleyball, football etc. In addition, we already have a alumni who has played for India U-19 in cricket. In Saurabh Netravalkar, we might see a future Indian cricketer from SPCE. All the very best to him !!. Interestingly, there is a now a system of a joint General Secretary, with one representative each from SPCE and SPIT jointly handling the post. Wonder how they work together !! :) After the function was over, it was time to chit-chat over dinner, which rounded off a nice evening.
Before I finish, a word about the enthu for the event. Quite shocking to see only about 100 of the 5000+ (and that is a conversative figure) alumni show up. In fact, one of the key discussion points which I had with the office-bearers during dinner was how to fix this low turnout. For starters, alumni could all register at the Alumni website i.e. http://alumni.spce.ac.in/. This would be a useful starting step whereby atleast our contact details would get recorded in the alumni database and thus, we would get intimations regarding future events conducted by SPCE-AA. I am glad to find 7 others from our Mech-Class of 2000 already registered there, but more are definitely needed. The Alumni Association is also present on Twitter (@spceaa), though not very active. Hopefully that will change soon as more of us follow and interact regularly with the alumni association on Twitter. Small steps like these would help increase the awareness levels regarding the alumni network, which is so vitally important for the growth and development of the institution. Would urge all SPCE/SPIT alumni reading this to not only register on the alumni website but also to share this with their classmates. In 2012, SPCE's 50th year, it is the least we can do to kickstart the process of having a vibrant alumni network.
Hope to see more of you around at the next alumni reunion in January 2013.