Sambalpur: Connect 2020, the flagship event of Veer Surendra Sai University of Technology (VSSUT, formerly UCE, Burla) Overseas Alumni Association, held on 19 December, 2020 witnessed the coming together of over 230 of the University’s alumni in United States, Canada and India from batches across many decades.
The online program opened with a grand introduction to the attending alumni and their families. The event was choreographed by Padmaja Dash, Treasurer. The presentation aptly blended nostalgic pictures against a cultural backdrop comprising videos, music and other cultural reminders.
Anup Nayak, President of VSSUTOAA, kick-started the program by introducing the mission statement, history of the association and current goals. He explained the role of the association in the life of the alumni settled abroad as well as for the alma matter. He introduced the website as well as members of the executive committee and governing board. The association is registered as a California non-profit corporation and a 501-c charitable organization by the IRS, started informally since 2016, was formally created in 2018 with the encouragement from Prof C.R. Tripathy. Susanta Mohanty, the joint secretary, gave an overview of the importance being a ‘life member’ and how members can maximize their donation to this charitable organization through matching contribution from employer companies.
Amrita Mohapatra emceed the event. The audience in this virtual gathering was kept engaged through fun activities, periodic raffle draws and quiz games by Vandana Nayak, Anasuya Mohanty and Dhirendra Bhupati. The cultural activities included skits by the 1985 batch, as well as soulful singing by Anup Nayak, Debashish Panda, Bala Dixit, Samhita Dash. Nostalgic pictures were shown from different chapters across USA.
The event included congratulatory messages and words of encouragement from Dr. Atal Chaudhuri, Vice Chancellor of VSSUT, Prof. Chitta Ranjan Tripathy the Vice Chancellor of BPUT and Mr Bimal Mishra, the President of the VSSUT alumni association. Distinguished alumni held separate breakout sessions for “Innovation and Entrepreneurship” and “Career Growth and Higher Education” that were well attended and appreciated.
Finally, Sasi Panda, the secretary provided the vote of thanks to the organizing team. The successful event featured significant contributions from team members Vinay Sharma, Bhagabati Mula, Satchi Panda, Badri Subudhi, Susanta Dash,Robin Dash, Priyabrata Hota, Nihar Rout,Bijaya Dixit, Sandeep Mishra and many others from California, Seattle, Boston, New Jersey, New York and North Carolina.