Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn was the first recipient of a specially crafted commemoration medal to honor significant contributors to the AIT Library Modernization Campaign. She was bestowed this honor on 27 April 2018 by Dr. Subin Pinkyana, Chairperson, Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) Board of Trustees at the inauguration of the modernized AIT Library.
The opening of the modernized AIT Library was a virtual gallery of personages, with 14 Ambassadors and Thailand’s former Foreign Minister joining high-profile donors and dignitaries, some of whom had specially flown in for the occasion from across the globe.
It was the donation of Princess Sirindhorn that kickstarted the library campaign in 2015, and which resulted in a total collection of 80 million THB for the library — the most successful fundraising campaign in AIT history. She also served as the Honorary Chairperson of the International Advisory Committee for the Library Modernization. At the ceremony, HRH Princess Sirindhorn honored 28 donors for their contribution.
The recipients included Dr. Hwa-Wei Lee, the founder director of the AIT Library who served as an Advisor for the concept of a modern digital library. Mr. Pote Narittakum, CEO of iGroup (Asia Pacific) was honored for donating the RFID gate, self checkout, return and IR system; while Mr. Zhanyuan Cai, CEO of Jetion Solar (Thailand) was felicitated for donating 20 KW PV solar power conversion units. Senior Col. Nuttapong Promsorn was honored for leading the Engineers Battalion 202 to defence the campus from the 2011 flood, while Lt. Col. Pakkakhunkao Chariyatharasit was the military engineer of Second Battle Command who repaired the dyke before and after the flood of 2011.
Mr. Yuttana Jiamtragan (representative of Siam Cement Group) and Mr. Somkhit Rujeepakorn (representative of T.C. Pharmaceutical Industries) were bestowed honors for contributing 10 million Baht each; while Mr. Tevin Vongvanich (CEO, PTT Public Company) and Mr. Chaiwat Kovavisarach (President, Bangchak Petroleum) were honored for donating 5 million Baht each. Donors who contributed 2 million Baht included Col. Yanyong Phataralaoha (Managing Director, Thai Pipe Industry), Mr. Surachai Hirannitichai (representative of Intouch Holdings), and Ms. Lisa Nngamtrakulpanich (Vice President and representative of Thai Contractors Association).
Fourteen donors who were honored for donating 1 million THB each included Dr. Twarath Sutabutr (President, AIT Alumni Association - Thailand), Mr. Viwat Kromadit (Vice President and representative of AMATA Corporation), Mr. Polpat Karnasuta (President, Nawarat Patanakarn), Mr. Chawalit Chantararat (CEO, TEAM Consulting), Dr. Naveed Anwar (Representative of Computers and Structures Inc), Ms. Kanya Worawichawong (wife of Prof. Yordpol Tanaboriboon, on behalf of students and friends of Prof. Yordpol), Dr. Prasert Patramai (Chairman, TEAM Group of Companies, and AIT Alumni - 1971 and 1973), Dr. Sumate Tanthuwanit (CEO, Ngow Hock, and AIT Alumni 1972)), Mr. Rafiul Ahad (representing himself and Mrs. Frances Kasala Ahad, AIT Alumni 1980), Dr. Chainarong Na Lamphun (President and CEO, Index International Group, AIT Alumni 1980), Ms. Ai Lee Loh (AIT Alumni, 1981), Mr. Tan Chin Nyan (Managing Director, Bridgex Bina Sdn Bhd, Malaysia, and AIT alumni 1986), and Dr. Phannachet Na Lamphun (representing himself and Lamphun family).
Chairperson of AIT Board of Trustees, Dr. Subin Pinkayan and President Prof. Worsak Kanok-Nukulchai, who had contributed 1 million THB each towards the campaign, also received honors from Princess Sirindhorn. All donors received a special commemorative medal and a certificate. They were also honored with a special photo session with Princess Sirindhorn.
The inauguration of the Modernized AIT Library by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn had a galaxy of Ambassadors, diplomats, donors and other dignitaries attending the event. Ambassadors of 13 countries, and representatives of four embassies were among those who attended the event, and participated in a special photo session with Princess Sirindhorn.
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand H.E. Prof. Kantathi Suphamongkhon, and former Deputy Prime Minister and Chairperson of AIT Executive Committee Dr. Sahas Bunditkul were among the dignitaries at the event. Five Ambassadors, who are also members of the AIT Board of Trustees graced the occasion with their presence. They include H.E. Mr. Long Visalo (Cambodia), H.E. Ms. Donica Pottie (Canada), H.E. Mr. Lyu Jian (China), H.E. Mr.Asim Iftikhar Ahmad (Pakistan), and H.E. Mrs. Kshenuka Senewiratne (Sri Lanka).
Eight ambassadors who honored AIT with their presence included H.E. Mrs. Laila Ahmed Bahaaeldin (Egypt), H.E. Ms. Raushan Yesbulatova (Kazakhstan), H.E. U Myo Myint Than (Myanmar), H.E. Mr. Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli (Nigeria), H.E. Mr. Kirill Mikhailovich Barskiy (Russia), H.E. Mr. Joaquim Amaral (Timor-Leste), H.E. Mr. Andrii Beshta (Ukraine), and H.E. Ms. Evren Dagdelen Akgun (Turkey).
Ms. Judith Schildberger, Chargé d’Affaires a.i.,Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of Austria; Prof. Dr. Mustari, Attache for Education, Mr. Dodo Sudrajat, Minister Counsellor, and Ms Dhian Kurniawati, Teacher of Bahasa from the Embassy of Indonesia; Mr. Gholam Reza Tajik, Third Secretary, Iran; Mr. Oukham Songkeomixay, Minister (DMC), from the Embassy of Laos; and Mr.Johan Ikram Ahmad Rusli, First Secretary (Political), Malaysia, Mr Janga Bahadur Gurung, Deputy Chief of Mission, Nepal; Ms. Elisa Maria da Silva, Counsellor, and Mr. Paulino H. Ribeiro, Attache of Education, Timor-Leste represented their embassies at the event.
Other non-ambassadorial Trustees and Executive Committee members who attended the event included Dr. John Nelson, Professor Emeritus, Colorado State University, and Former CEO, Engineering Analytics, Inc., USA (Vice Chairman, AIT Board of Trustees), Professor Ricardo P. Pama, Secretary General, Association of Universities of Asia and the Pacific (AUAP), and Former AIT Vice President, Ms. Maria Fe Nuestro Ferriols, President of the AIT Alumni Association, Ms. Chadarat Singhadechakul, Assistant Secretary-General representing the Office of the Higher Education Commission of Thailand, and Prof. Dr. Siriwan Suebnukarn, Vice Rector for Research and Innovation representing Thammasat University.
Other dignitaries included Professor William C Webster, Professor Emeritus, Civil & Environmental Engineering; Former Vice Provost for Academic Planning and Facilitates, University of California, Berkeley, USA (Chairman of AIT’s Institute-level Advisory Board), AIT Hall of Fame inductee Dr. Shamsuddin M. Qureshi, former Minister and Chair of councils and commissions on higher education and research in Pakistan, Mr. Anthony Zola, Board Member, JFK Foundation; Mr. Kimihito Miki, Managing Director, Shinki International Company; Dr. Vishwa Mohan Bansal, Chairman of New Delhi Institute of Management (NDIM) and Dr. Divya Raj, Manager of the SHE (Social Awareness, Health and Education) Foundation, India.