LUMS hosted an online convocation ceremony to honour the Class of 2021 on July 3. The ceremony was streamed via Facebook Live. His Excellency, the President of Pakistan and Chancellor, LUMS, Dr. Arif Alvi, joined the University’s senior leadership, including Founding Pro Chancellor, Syed Babar Ali; Rector, Mr. Shahid Hussain; Pro Chancellor, Mr. Abdul Razak Dawood and Vice Chancellor, Dr. Arshad Ahmad to congratulate 1,281 graduating students. The keynote speaker at the ceremony was Ms. Faiza J. Saeed, Presiding Partner at the prestigious USA law firm, Cravath, Swaine & Moore in the USA who delivered an inspiring address to the graduates.
Dr. Alvi praised the graduating class for their perseverance, and urged them to serve their community while they pursue their careers. “I encourage all the graduates today to start giving back to society; by the knowledge you have gained here, and through your active involvement in each sector of the economy for the country’s holistic growth,” he said. He also appreciated the University’s role in facilitating the nation’s progress, and referred to it as an ‘icon of merit’, whose principles can become a guiding light for other educational institutions. Dr. Alvi also acknowledged LUMS’ funding initiatives to support bright students, including those from remote areas of the country, to provide access to quality education.
Founding Pro Chancellor, Syed Babar Ali wished all graduating students the best of luck and encouraged them to keep supporting their alma mater as a way of giving back to the society, “No private university can survive on its own. It needs to be supported both by advice and especially by finances from its alumni, who as a result of their studies, benefitted from LUMS.”
Pro Chancellor Mr. Abdul Razak Dawood encouraged the graduates to cherish the values that they gained at LUMS, and not only work for their own success but also for the progress of their fellow citizens. “Our hopes are that you will always follow the hard work you have learnt at LUMS to face the challenges that come your way, and during the whole process, please do not forget your alma mater,” he said.
In his remarks during the ceremony, Dr. Arshad Ahmad congratulated the graduates for their achievements and stressed on the importance of making meaningful contributions to society while embodying empathy and authenticity. He added, “You already hold the hallmarks of a LUMS graduate which are merit, integrity and respect. And your enduring advantage is this, you have developed the ability of thinking holistically and to use your intellectual gifts and your values-based education to further generate a new vision for Pakistan.”
In her keynote speech, Ms. Faiza J. Saeed urged the Class of 2021 to savour their accomplishments and encouraged them to take the path less travelled, “Depending on wherever you decide to go from here, or the profession you pursue, please find yourself a rarity. If you do, remember that every room you are in, is changed merely by your presence and that is a powerful tool.”
She further stated, “Progress happens as societies and institutions evolve and become more tolerant and more inclusive, giving more individuals the opportunity to develop, express and contribute through their talents. That is the ethos that defines LUMS and it is a gift that each of you takes away from your time here.”
The Class of 2021 also shared some memories of their time spent at LUMS, and the overarching impact it had on their lives. Ms. Zainab Imran, a graduate of the Electrical Engineering class, reflected on her experience and said, “During my time at LUMS, I had the honour of interacting and working with some of the most accomplished and inspiring members of the faculty, who encouraged me to shatter the glass ceiling day after day. Today, I stand proud of my achievements so far, and I look forward to the future with an unwavering drive to strive for more.”
During the ceremony, the winners of the inaugural Vice Chancellor’s Awards for Teaching Excellence were also recognised. Dr. Zubair Khalid, Dr. Ali Raza, Ms. Angbeen Mirza, Dr. Muhammad Tariq, and Dr. Momin Ayub Uppal, received the award for their contributions to significantly enhance the quality of their students’ learning experiences.
Additionally, for the first time in LUMS’ history, six faculty members were honoured with the title of Professor Emeritus: Dr. Ehsan Ul Haque, Dr. Syed Zahoor Hassan, Dr. Jamshed Hasan Khan, Dr. Anjum Nasim, Dr. Arif Zaman and Dr. Anwar Khurshid. These professors have a longstanding history with LUMS, and have played pivotal roles in shaping the institution to what it has become today.
The ceremony, with 1,100 live views during the Facebook broadcast, and 83,602 views afterwards, culminated with graduates of the five schools at LUMS receiving their awards, medals and degrees. The conferral of degrees was followed by an unplugged performance by singer, Mr. Ali Sethi who charmed the audience with his rendition of famous ghazals.