Universiti Malaysia Sabah ( UMS) was formed on the 24th November 1994 and it is 20 years old this year. In the span of these years, many changes have taken place in the number of students, staff both academic and non-academic, facilities of the buildings, styles of management, courses and programs offered etc. The number of graduates has increased tremendously since its inception. Up to now, we have recorded 50,000 graduates as part of the Alumni. It is hoped that all students become members of this association automatically upon graduation. The role of the Alumni is closely related to the development of the learning institutions. A student’s education does not end with graduation. On the contrary, he should return his gratitude in terms of services to his alma mater so as to boost the image, quality and welfare of the university. As it is practised in other universities elsewhere, former students play an important role to help develop the Alma Mater in more ways than one from time to time.
In many tertiary institutions globally, it has become a norm that the Alma Mater is managed well, effectively and systematically. Hence, UMS has taken this paradigm to a higher level to consolidate its position by appointing a director since 2012 and formed as an important entity under the Vice Chancellor ( Student Welfare and Alumni ). This initiative recognises the role of Alma Mater and with this recognition the Alma Mater can be brought into the mainstream activities of the university, and consequently promote the image and reputation of the university both locally and globally.
The importance of this centre is increasingly felt because the definition of ALUMNI has widened its scope to include many categories of students ranging from those who have ever registered themselves as students to the undergraduates and those who have ever received special awards from the UMS. This means that the majority are the undergraduates, while the rest are the post-graduates as well as individuals who have ever received certificates or awards of some sort from the UMS.
The Alumni Centre has its own venue in the university. This geographical location reflects the fact that we cannot separate the Alma Mater from the mainstream university. The Alumni exists along side with the ecosystem lifestyle of the campus. Sense and feel of the campus is part of the sense of belonging of each and everyone in the campus. The Alumni can act as an agent and image of excellence for the university in the eye of the public, hence assist in the accomplishment of objectives and functions of the university as one of the higher learning institutions in the country.