Syed Babar Ali Sb, Rector, Shahid Sb, parents and freshmen, faculty, staff and students, ASW. Welcome and thank you for joining us from near and far to mark this important occasion.

Let’s begin by congratulating 1,100 students in this room who were admitted to LUMS.

Let us also begin by acknowledging our parents and family, for trusting LUMS and for the sacrifices you make for your children.

YahaN jitnay validain mojood haiN, aur wohh bhi, jo yahaN mojood nahiN haiN, uun sub ka bohot bohot shukriya.
Uunki kaavishoN kay baghair…. aaj ka din mumkin nahin ho ta.

Ladies and gentlemen, please join me to applaud our parents and family here today  *Applause*

To the class of 2023, a very warm welcome to each and every one of you. We share your excitement. It’s your first official day here, and there is so much to achieve together.

Kaha jata hai ke,
‘Ilm haaasil karein, ye tau zaroori hai
Laikin ilm se kuch haaasil karein….ye bohat zaroori hai.‘

Learning at LUMS will not just be about business, law, or science, it will be about learning who you are… how you want to help the world that surrounds you …and how you can be the light that guides those around you.

Over the years, LUMS has been proud to do its part in making your dreams come true. Take, for example, the story of Shahrukh Swati. And multiply Shahrukh’s story by over 13,000 LUMS alumni… who have gone on to tell their stories. These stories speak to the impact of higher education in our society.

These stories also reveal why LUMS, since its inception in 1985, admitted students… not because of their gender, disability, ethnicity, locality or difference in income… but solely on the basis of merit and capability. Class of 2023, you have earned a seat to join the LUMS family.

To provide world-class education to just over 1,100 students from 160 villages, towns and cities, LUMS provides financial support to one out three students in need. Last year Rs. 1 billion was disbursed through scholarships and financial aid.

The point is that LUMS is not a school of privilege and status but rather a footprint of diversity from all corners of Pakistan. Meeting this challenge to support diversity is a commitment that differentiates LUMS from other universities.
We are proud to support students in need, especially because we are not a public institution dependent on provincial or federal funds.

We are instead a private but not-for-profit institution. This means our support comes from donors who believe in higher education – donors from public sector organizations, the business community and philanthropists like Syed Babar Ali Sb.

LUMS is also a learning organization where research and teaching will enable you to address 21st century challenges and those challenges facing Pakistan and the subcontinent.

This is why our motto of “no boundaries” applies especially to you, who come from diverse backgrounds and experiences. And this is why, I encourage you to learn from peers across the schools – from Business, Humanities & Social Science, Science & Engineering, Law, and Education…. all of these disciplines are at your doorstep.

Whether you choose a bachelor’s in social sciences, accounting and finance, economics, or an MSc in Computer Science, or an MBA or PhD, LUMS offers you choice.

In fact, LUMS offers much more than disciplinary knowledge.
Aristotle once said that “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”

LUMS opens pathways to find your purpose. It is a rite of passage to demonstrate your courage to help others less fortunate than yourselves. It is a place where you can shine your light on those who are in the dark. 

Remember. If LUMS is your passport to success, then taking short-cuts, is your ticket to failure. Punctuality… matters here. Honesty… matters here. Integrity matters here. I mention these values because they will serve you for the rest of your life.

Life at LUMS is about keeping up with readings, your assignments, passing exams and being pushed to your limits to earn your degree. But the real purpose of your education is far richer than that.

The real purpose is to be humble, let go of your ego, support others and have a clear moral compass. In other words, the real purpose is far greater than yourselves.

Life at LUMS is also about countless opportunities to be active in community building and to have fun as you learn.

There are 42 student-run societies that will be welcoming you at the Academic Block at noon today.

Life at LUMS is also full of activity. You will have several opportunities to participate in democratic initiatives and processes. The Dean of Students encouraged you to work with the student-elected council so you can contribute to improving your School and the University.

Beyond that, you represent LUMS – locally, regionally and internationally, not only when you win accolades and awards, but upon each interaction with society as our ambassadors, as our teachers and as our leaders.

It has been said that millennials can be over-confident, but as the Pulitzer Prize writer Pearl S. Buck wrote:

“The young do not know enough to be prudent. And therefore, they attempt the impossible. And achieve it, generation after generation, after generation.” Unquote.

We want you to succeed in your journey to make a better world. Fear not what happens when you fail, because failure is a very good teacher. But also imagine what you can do as you succeed.

Allama Iqbal ne farmaya hai, 

Manzil se agay barh kar, manzil talash kar
Mil jaye agar darya, th-o samandar talash kar
Har sheesha toot jata hai, pathar ki chot se
Pathar hee toot jaye, woh sheesha talash kar.

Sajj-doN say teray kya huwa?
SaddiyaaN guzr gayeeN
Duniya teri badal dey,…..
wohh sajda talaash kar

Dear students, university life is different from school-life in many ways.

The biggest difference here is that you are treated as adults. This means assuming responsibilities of respecting your peers and especially your teachers with whom you have a very special and sacred relationship.

Your teachers care. But most of all, they are here to support your intellectual and personal development and provide insights in a world that is not black and white but infinitely nuanced and complex.

Let me also say that LUMS is not only an academic institution.
It is also a cultural institution because we believe that cultural education means we build in ourselves the capacity for reflection about our own culture and the culture of others.

This means that we look through the lens of philosophy, the arts and science to build our cultural self-conscientiousness.

And it is this acculturation which makes our student body the most resilient and the most successful of any student body in any institution in Asia, and I would say anywhere in the world.

I’d like to close by sharing a few reflections from my own education which are this:

First, submit to how little you know.  Ask good questions and teach others how to ask good questions.

Second, finish what you set out to do.  There are limits to everything except one thing – And that is your learning. 

And third, embrace your friendships here. Over the years, your close friends will outlast your time at LUMS and provide an infinite source of strength.

Let me also say that we, the administration, the staff and your teachers – we are by your side throughout your journey here at LUMS – in the hallways, the weekly events, at the sports facilities and of course at your convocation!

Your journey has begun.
Aspire to change yourself.
And above all, aspire to change the world.

Together inshallah, you will not only make your parents and families proud, you will fulfill the dreams that make us proud to be Pakistani.

God bless you.
Thank you.