Alumni are welcomed back to the faculty at annual Dean's Reception event

17 April 2013

On Wednesday evening in Maclaurin Hall, past students of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences were welcomed back to the university as guests of the Dean, Professor Duncan Ivison, at the annual Dean's Reception.

Alumni mingled with old friends and acquaintances, as well as a number of current student ambassadors and staff, while enjoying a glass of wine and some canapés.

To begin the formal proceedings for the evening, Professor Duncan Ivison presented the new faculty video, which essentially aims to answer the question 'Why study Arts and Social Sciences at Sydney?' before going on to welcome and thank the guests for their ongoing support. He also gave an exciting sneak-peek mention of the faculty's upcoming re-launch of some of their postgraduate degrees, and reminded guests of the Faculty's standing in the top 21 universities in the world in the area of the arts and humanities.

He then introduced third year Bachelor of Arts student, Elizabeth Toriola, who had also been circulating the room as a Student Ambassador. Elizabeth is doing pre-honours in the Department of Political Economy, and she outlined that when making a decision about what path she would choose in her studies, she took on the advice of her high school teacher who had advised her to "not just wander after your dreams, but build them".

Elizabeth Toriola
Student Ambassador and third-year Political Economy student, Elizabeth Toriola.

"The subtle difference between following and building changed my world view," said Elizabeth. "Instead of listening to everyone telling me what I should do with my final marks after high school, I decided to build upon my passions - the humanities and social sciences."

And she described the University of Sydney as being her "first and only choice" of educational institutions.

"I'll never forget the first moment I realised Sydney offered the only department of its kind in the country, Political Economy, or as I saw it as, everything I loved about economics without the maths," she joked.

"Even though I now know that it's only part of the interdisciplinary and innovative hallmark of our faculty, that moment of finding out the incredible flexibility and the widest range of Arts majors offered by any university in Australia, was an invitation to a wealth of knowledge too compelling to ignore for a hungry young ingénue".

Her interest in drama was another factor that drew her to the University of Sydney, and has seen her hold a number of executive positions in the Sydney University Drama Society (SUDS) ("SUDS was the place to go post-HSC Drama") and the Verge Festival. In addition to this she has thrown herself into running, fundraising and the Student Ambassador program.

"But my story and inspirations are only one of several here. Please feel free to approach myself and the other Student Ambassadors here tonight. We're the ones in the red shirts, you can't miss us."

And with that she returned to the crowd to keep meeting alumni and to share her story further, not to mention to learn more of the inspiring stories of other former students in the room, of which there were many.

Photos of the event can be seen on the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Facebook page here.

Follow the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences on Facebook here

Contact: Kate Mayor

Phone: 02 9351 2208

Email: 2e200e03770e072e092a38320f32073632411f300f193314