(March 2015) When the ferocious waters of the 2011 flood struck the library of the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) in Thailand in November 2011, no one could have imagined the extent of loss suffered to its prestigious library. The entire ground floor of the library was inundated, with precious books and theses lost forever.
As the library rebuilding began, individuals, particularly alumni started offering support. But the Institute thought of targeting the corporate sector. Last month, they received what was the biggest donation for the library so far. The Siam Cement Group (SCG), ASEAN’s leading business conglomerate has announced a 10 million Thai Baht donation (equal to 300,000 USD) for rebuilding the AIT library.
“AIT is focusing on cementing ties with the private sector, particularly where AIT alumni have risen to the upper echelons,” AIT President Prof. Worsak Kanok-Nukulchai remarked as he thanked SCG for its gesture. It is indicative of the path that AIT wishes to traverse, not only in raising resources, but also in bringing corporates closer to the Institute, President Worsak added.
President Kan expressed his admiration of the strategic role played by AIT in the development of human capital in the region, and especially in Thailand during its 55 years of existence. “SCG is extremely happy to support the AIT library modernization campaign, and we hope that this 10 million THB will act a good starting point, and the modernization of the AIT library will become a reality this year,” he said. The President and CEO of SCG added that he was delighted to learn from Vice President Chaovalit Ekabut that SCG has so far employed the most number of AIT alumni among all private organizations in Thailand, and perhaps in the world. Chaovalit, a former President of the AIT Alumni Association facilitated the meeting between his alma mater and the organization where he is now Vice President.
AIT and SCG have been strategic partners since 2007, when the two signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), aimed at strengthening human capital development in Thailand and the region. Under President Kan’s leadership, SCG has operated with a strong sense of societal responsibility, with an emphasis on education.
In a meeting held earlier in January 2015, President Worsak reported that the AIT Campus was inundated for over two months by the great Thailand flood in October 2011 which caused tremendous damage to the campus including the AIT Library. In order to revive the facilities of the library, AIT has planned to renovate as well as modernize the library with state-of-the-art facilities. With this planned modernization, AIT would create a full-fledged contemporary library for its international students, which will act as a showpiece in the region as a world-class learning facility. In the 21st century, libraries are no longer mere places to refer to books or to complete assignments, but they are also meeting and learning spaces with multimedia centers, digital repositories, and wonders of modern architecture, design and technology, Prof. Worsak added.
In this regard, AIT invited SCG to be one of the supporters to AIT’s library modernization campaign which aims to raise the required fund of 50 million THB.
For further inquiries about the AIT Library Modernization Project and offer to donate, please contact:
Ms. Chalita Lertwinyu, Assistant to the President.
Email: [email protected] or Call 081-813-0535, or Visit www.modernlibrary.ait.asia
This announcement first appeared on the AIT website.