Earlier this year, University of Toronto’s Tamil alumni community reached a much-awaited milestone and formed the University of Toronto Tamil Alumni Network (UTTAN).
UTTAN is the official university-recognized network of undergraduate, graduate, professional, and continuing education alumni of Tamil heritage. Coming together to strengthen connections, recognize achievements and reinforce the unique identities of the Tamil diaspora in Canada and around the world, the network is open to all alumni from Scarborough, St. George, and Mississauga campuses.
For its first event, UTTAN is hosting SANGAM Redux, a special gala fundraiser in support of the Chair in Tamil Studies at University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC). The creation of an Endowed Chair at UTSC is fueled by donations fundraised by individual members of the global Tamil community, which has been organizing concerts, runs and galas since June 2018.
SANGAM Redux, an exclusive evening reuniting nearly 300 U of T alumni and friends from across GTA, will be held at 6:00pm on Friday, October 4, 2019 at Scarborough Convention Centre. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit http://my.alumni.utoronto.ca/uttangala.
“UTTAN wants to support this significant initiative to grow the Tamil Language”, says Suganya Tharmalingam (BCom, UTSC 2001), Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer at Kensington Capital Partners. “The Tamil language is such an important part of my culture and identity. Personally, Tamil has been instrumental in providing a different view of things which has been a great advantage in life."
“I am delighted to be involved in UTTAN. It is a unique opportunity for me to contribute my skills towards a great cause in my community,” says Gajenthini Selvarajah (BA, UTSC 2003), an inaugural executive committee member and an event management professional who decided to bring her expertise to the gala.
Ragaven Sabaratnam (BA 2001), Director, Mental Health and Addictions Programs, at the Ontario Ministry of Health, agrees. “Kumaran Nadesan (BA, UTSC 2004), who is the chief convener of the UTTAN approached me and asked if I wanted to get involved.
I hesitated briefly because when I was at university, I was not very involved with Tamil centered activities on campus, and even after graduation, I must admit, I have not been an active member of the U of T alumni community.
But as I get older, thinking about my family and my growing professional network, I recognize the need to connect with my Tamil roots. I am in awe of younger generations of Tamil students who embrace and celebrate their Tamil identity and culture. And it inspires me to get involved - better now than never.”
Selvarajah elaborates “Establishing a Chair in Tamil Studies marks an important turning point in the preservation and study of Tamil language and literature. I am a mother of two, and when I think of my children growing up, I want them to know their mom was a part of this momentous occasion in the history of the Tamil identity in Canada.”