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Princess Sirindhorn Inaugurates Saengtham College,  Xavier Chiang Rai Campus

Princess Sirindhorn Inaugurates Saengtham College, Xavier Chiang Rai Campus

February 27, 2024, marks a momentous day that is etched in the history of Saengtham College, Xavier Chiang Rai Campus, as Her Royal Highness Princess Sirindhorn graced the college with her presence to open its doors officially. This visit was highlighted by a series of captivating moments that left an indelible imprint on the college.

Princes Sirindhorn’s arrival in the afternoon was met with eager anticipation, warmly greeted by a crowd of Cardinals, Bishops, priests, students, faculty, staff, as well as local people from neighboring villages. The air was filled with excitement and reverence as she embarked on this ceremonial commencement, symbolizing a new chapter of the college.

Following the opening address by Father Vinai Boonlue S.J, the director of the campus, Princess Sirindhorn bestowed recognition upon twenty individuals whose unwavering dedication had significantly contributed to the growth of the campus. The rewards served as a testament to the collaborative spirit that defines the community.

The afternoon proceeded with the official opening of the Nicholas Hall. In a symbolic gesture, Princess Sirindhorn also planted a tree (Rain Tree, ต้นจามจุรี) on the campus grounds, underscoring the importance of sustainability and growth. This act resonated with the values of the institution in nurturing not only academic minds but also the environment. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me. I am so honored to be part of it,” Miss Meechair Mopo said excitedly as she served the Princess in planting the tree.

Princes Sirindhorn then took the time to engage with the students, browsing through an exhibition they had prepared. The exhibition indeed showcased their talents and ambitions. Undoubtedly, the highlight of the day was the students' performance, titled "Power of the Dream: Wisdom of the Cross and a Ray of Hope." The audience was enchanted by the artistic presentation embodying the values and aspirations of the college.

After the performance, Princess Sirindhorn interacted with students, teachers, staff, and administrators, posing for pictures to commemorate the occasion. She also kindly signed a commemorative stone plate and received souvenirs presented by the college. Miss Jarmriang prombutra offered her handicraft, which had been made for more than ten years. She added gratefully, “ I finally have a chance to present it to her. I feel so fortunate that she likes it.” 

 

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 “With my grateful heart, I would like to say ‘thank you’ for this opportunity. I was nervous and knew it was beyond my capabilities to present the exhibition to the Princess. Above all, I am thankful for this valuable experience”, said Trakol Ruankham, a representative of the students. Wassana Promwichai added, “It took us weeks to prepare for the event, and we are honored and delighted to be part of this important day. We did our best, and we are proud of it.”

As the day concluded, Princess Sirindhorn bid farewell, leaving with memories that will be cherished for generations, inspiring all to continue the journey of learning and growth with renewed spirit. In addition, her visit will serve as a source of motivation and direction for the years to come.

In 2023, the Catholic Bishops' Council of Thailand through Saengtham College, together with the Jesuits in Thailand, established Saengtham College, Xavier Chiang Rai Campus, to elevate the Xavier Learning Community (XLC) to be a higher education institution of the Thai Church. It aims to expand educational opportunities that benefit ethnic youth in the northern region of Thailand and neighboring countries, along with other dimensions of development.

Currently, Saengtham College, Xavier Chiang Rai Campus, offers a Bachelor of Arts, Faculty of Liberal Arts, majoring in English for Education, Religion, and Culture. In the academic year 2023, thirty first-year students have been enrolled, including Thai students and students from the Lao People's Democratic Republic and the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. It has also opened a one-year English language program for seminarians and novices to gain fundamental English language skills to apply in pastoral work and daily life.

 

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