LUMS Hosts its First-ever Telethon!
In an effort to engage alumni in the University’s mission to make education accessible to all, the ‘Give a Day to LUMS’ campaign was launched in April of this year. The brainchild of LUMS’ Founding Pro-Chancellor, Syed Babar Ali, the idea behind the campaign is for alumni, and other members of the community, to donate a single day’s earnings, which will go towards financial support, and will help talented students across Pakistan pursue their education at LUMS.
With the campaign in full swing, having raised PKR 22 million thus far, and alumni increasingly up-to-date with the University’s efforts towards need-blind scholarships, LUMS hosted its very first Telethon for the campaign on Saturday, July 31, 2021.
With an eye toward engagement of the global alumni community, which is spread over 50 countries around the world, the event was held in two iterations - in the afternoon and evening - to cater to alumni in all possible time zones. Featuring the University’s leadership, including Founding Pro Chancellor, Syed Babar Ali; Rector, Mr. Shahid Hussain, and Vice Chancellor, Dr. Arshad Ahmad, the panel of guests also included prominent faculty members from across disciplines and saw live participation of 32 alumni from around the world.
The event presented an opportunity for stakeholders from across domains to shed light on the University’s ongoing efforts towards inclusivity in education. With 1 in every 3 students at LUMS on some kind of financial support, the University today is a distinctive example of accessibility and diversity. The Telethon thus saw many a discussion on the importance of giving back, paying it forward and the long-term impact of this on the educational landscape of our country.
Encapsulating the entire spirit of the campaign, Dr. Ahmad said, “Of all the stakeholders we have, everyone has a limited time, except for alumni. Alumni are there forever, just like the University. So I think it’s as basic as, if alumni want to see their alma mater thrive, then they must be part of the family to ensure that it continues to provide even more support to people on this kind of need-blind basis.”
In tandem with the deep discussions and inspirational stories about the University, live pledges and donations flowed in throughout the Telethon. It was perhaps most heartening to receive pledges from alumni who were on financial support themselves when at LUMS, and are now paying it forward. In what can only be described as a huge success, the enthusiastic and generous participation of alumni led to over PKR 16 million raised through the Telethon, bringing the to-date campaign total to a brilliant PKR 38 million.
Encouraging alumni to keep up with this spirit, Syed Babar Ali expressed his own feelings about giving back when he said, “Once you start giving, you’ll feel that you have not done enough and you will continue to do it every year.”
As the campaign promises to be an annual exercise, this truly is the LUMS hope.