Ben Ong

Singing for his degree

October 4, 2007

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For SFU chorister Ben Ong (above), who has been belting out the national anthem at convocation ceremonies for the past 10 years, this year’s performance will be a little more memorable—he’s singing at his own convocation ceremony.

Ong, who earned his undergraduate degree at SFU, is now graduating with a PhD in mathematics. In the midst of his studies he found time to revive the almost-defunct SFU Choir, growing its membership from eight to 120; it now stands at about 50 members who give one concert per semester. "It’s time away from work and research," says Ong. "It’s a different way to meet people and ensure memories."

In recognition of his leadership and volunteer service, Ong has been nominated for both the Renaissance Community Service award and the Roger G. Welch Alumni prize.

Ong flew in for this fall’s convocation, at which he will perform with his former quartet, CQT. He has just begun a post-doctoral fellowship at Michigan State University, where he is researching engineering physics problems related to fuel cells and plasma shielding for spacecraft.

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