Tue 13 Apr 21
Award-winning graphic artist Sonny Liew received an honorary degree at a special virtual graduation event which also celebrated the success of more than 250 graduates who completed University of Essex undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at Kaplan Singapore
Sonny is a Malaysian born comic and graphic artist based in Singapore is pushing back the boundaries of his art form. He is best known for the book The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye which won multiple awards including the Singapore Literature Prize, the Pingprisen for Best International Comic, and three Eisner awards - the Oscars of comics. He has also championed comics produced in Southeast Asia.
He embodies the long-standing Essex drive to be “freer, more daring, more experimental” proclaimed by our founding Vice-Chancellor Albert Sloman in the 1963 Reith Lectures.
Dr Stevphen Shukaitis, from the University of Essex, gave the oration for Sonny at the virtual event. He said: “Sonny Liew’s work in the arts has for years expanded the possibilities of visual expression and storytelling. By developing his craft, he has managed to bring new attention to the medium and expand its visibility and recognition.
“His work is a testament to the reality that being daring and asking difficult questions, taking up the Essex spirit, is not just worth it in itself, but can enrich the lives of those around you. So, it is for this reason, we are immensely proud today to welcome him into the University of Essex family of honorary graduates.”
Our Vice-Chancellor Professor Anthony Forster spoke at the event and told graduates: “It is wonderful to still have this opportunity to bring together members of our University community to share and celebrate your hard work and achievements.
“I am thrilled to see how our graduate community continues to grow and strengthen thanks to our successful partnership with Kaplan Singapore.
“Essex has longstanding links with Singapore. More than 50 years ago students from Singapore were among our very first graduates, just three years after Essex was established in 1964. Five decades later I am excited to see our special relationship with Singapore flourishing
“I hope that your time studying for an Essex degree at Kaplan Singapore has contributed to your understanding of who you are, of what you can achieve, and what you can change for the better.”
Dean of Partnerships at the University of Essex Professor Dominic Micklewright told graduates: “The University of Essex and Kaplan have been in partnership since 2007 and through our partnership we have been offering degrees in Singapore for eight years. We are a University that believes in international higher education and through our partnership with Kaplan we have been able to create life-changing education opportunities for students in Singapore.
“We hope that you will make a positive difference in the world and that you will inspire others around you to make a difference too because you are the future. We are proud of what you have achieved, and I am proud to welcome you to our alumni family.”