LUMS Bids Farewell to the Class of 2012
The Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) held its 24th Annual Convocation on June 23, 2012, in the Syed Maratab Ali Sports Complex at the sprawling LUMS campus. The University campus community came together in traditional, celebratory spirit to mark the graduation of 713 students in a ceremony that also featured as the largest Convocation in the history of LUMS.
Degrees were conferred to these graduates in various majors and disciplines from all three schools of the university, while outstanding students, securing top positions in various degree programmes were honoured with awards and medals by the National Management Foundation (NMF), the governing body at LUMS. The ceremony also included the hooding of Malik Jahan Khan, a doctorate candidate from the Department of Computer Science from the School of Science and Engineering (SSE), making him the seventh doctorate in Computer Science from LUMS.
While declaring the convocation open, LUMS Vice Chancellor (VC), Dr. Adil Najam welcomed the families of the graduating Class of 2012 and thanked them for trusting in LUMS as an institution for all these years. The venue echoed with applause as graduating students rose to give a standing ovation to their parents and teachers on the VC’s request.
“Today we give back to you the future of Pakistan. It was your amaanat (trust),” Dr Najam said. He said that LUMS awarding PKR 340 million financial assistance to more than 40 per cent of its students. He said that 10 percent of the students were enrolled in the National Outreach Programme (NOP), which selects students on merit after determining economic need.
On that occassion, Rector Abdul Razak Dawood also made announcements regarding the far-reaching changes in the LUMS landscape. The existing Suleman Dawood School of Business (SDSB) will be joined by two newly named Schools - the Syed Babar Ali School of Science and Engineering and the Mushtaq Ahmed Gurmani School of Humanities and Social Sciences - and within the next three years an independent School of Law will be established.
The keynote speaker at the Convocation was Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, the Pakistani Oscar winner for her documentary 'Saving Face'. Ms. Chinoy has completed over a dozen, multi-award winning films in over 10 countries around the world and is the first non-American to be awarded the Livingston Award for best international reporting. This year, Time Magazine included her in the magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. She is also known for her work with human rights, women’s issues, and campaigning for marginalised communities from across the world.
In her address at Convocation 2012, Ms. Chinoy said, 'Please take a moment to reflect on the haunting difference between the two scenarios. In 1947, the dream that our founding fathers had envisioned for this land became a reality. Today, the very citizens of this land do not dare to dream. But as a nation we must dream, and we must dream big.'
While emphasising on dreaming big, Ms. Chinoy also appreciated LUMS’ one such dream: The National Outreach Programme (NOP), which was launched in 2001 to provide educational opportunity to bright and talented students who are unable to meet the regular fee requirements. Ms. Chinoy spoke well of LUMS’ role in writing off the social class differences within our country, through such financial assistance initiatives. Taking it further, she said, 'LUMS is a microcosm of Pakistan. Everyone is guilty of stereotyping. Stereotypes about that girl from Karachi, or that boy from Quetta; we judge people on what they wear, their accents, what community they belong to. But I sincerely hope that as you were forced to form study groups, and cram for exams or when you took trips with the LUMS Adventure Society and competed for the last spot in the common room, you realised that you are all the same - that the ethnic and religious differences that plague Pakistan melt away inside of LUMS.'
While highlighting the significance of working towards a better Pakistan, Ms. Chinoy added, 'You are all here for the very same reason. You want to make something of yourself. And for many, you want to make something of your country. It is your responsibility as Pakistan’s finest, to direct your talent towards the progress of this nation. Treat your future co-workers with the same respect that you treated your fellow Luminites, and then someday your subordinates as you head your own organisations.'
She went on and said, 'Extend the communion that you share with your graduating class with the wider Pakistan. They need you. So on this day as you step into the real world, please take with you some of my life’s lessons: Speak out, don’t take no for an answer, embrace failure and dare to dream!'
An evening earlier, on June 22, 2012, the traditional Graduate Night dinner was held. At the ceremony, graduates from the Suleman Dawood School of Business (SDSB) achieving distinction in business subject areas were presented with 10 Corporate Gold medals. This was followed by the presentation of the Deans’ Honour List shields to 129 graduating students from all three schools for excellence in academic performance.
Both signature events provided an opportunity for graduating students, faculty and proud parents to mingle with the campus community, applauding the graduates’ achievements with great appreciation and cheer. The ceremony was followed by a formal dinner organised at the university lawns.
This year’s convocation was also notable as it marked the first ever convocation for the inaugural batch of School of Science and Engineering (SSE) undergraduates.