In February 2017, Jessica Tan (February Main Intake 2017), daughter of Madam Choong Wai Lan (TCFS 1994), created history by becoming the first offspring of any Foundation Studies alumni to study at Trinity College.
Madam Choong was ‘very surprised’ when she heard her child, Jessica, was to become the first progeny of a Trinity College Foundation Studies (TCFS) alumni to study at Trinity.
Business owner of a chain of hair salons, Madam Choong, enjoyed her time studying at Trinity College and believes studying here made it easier to transition to the University of Melbourne.
She also has fond memories of the teachers in the Foundation Studies program including the Former Director of Foundation Studies Program and Mathematics Lecturer, Diana Smith and Drama Subject Leader, Rosemary Blight.
‘After lectures and tutorials, we could always go and ask the lecturers questions, especially Diana. She was very popular among the Foundation Studies students. A lot of us went to her for help in maths. If we had any questions we could grab her and ask for help,’ says Madam Choong.
On returning to Trinity, Madam Choong was struck by how the standard of the facilities and services at the College has improved.
‘This Dining Hall for example is now bigger and more beautiful and I heard the food is getting better as well. Jess tells me there is now complimentary tea and coffee from the machines. More facilities also, last time we couldn't use the Evan Burge Library, we have to go to the Baillieu Library at Melbourne University.’
Meanwhile, Jessica is settling into life at Trinity and enjoying living in Melbourne, she says Big Noise and the Fair Dinkum Festival were highlights so far.
Despite not seeing any kangaroos at the zoo, she also enjoyed her trip around the Melbourne Zoo and ‘bonding’ with her fellow students. Living with her fellow students at College Square has helped her settle into life in Melbourne.
Both Jessica and her mother are excited by the prospect of Jessica’s brother coming to study at Trinity next year.
‘Next year I hope my son will be coming to Trinity. I hope Jess can look after her little brother and keep an eye on him,’ says Madam Choong.
Whereas, in the Theological School and the Residential College there are families with up to four generations of history at Trinity, this moment marks a very important milestone in the history of Foundation Studies, since the program commenced in 1990.
It looks like the family legacy is set to continue and there are exciting times ahead for the Choong family and Trinity College.