The Greenwich University Convocation 2004 held at the
University campus on December 11, 2004 was not a run of the mill affair
as there was nothing stereotyped about it. It was marked by a happy
blend of pageantry and academic sobriety.
The programme started with a bugle being sounded to
announce the entrance of the academic procession. As Dr Ishrat-ul-Ebad
Khan, Governor of Sindh, and the platform party took their seats, a band
of the Pakistan Navy, artistically positioned in the midst of the
audience, played the national anthem.
The proceedings commenced with recitation from
"The Holy Quran", followed by a Na'at soulfully rendered by Ms
Research is one area where Pakistani Universities,
both in the public and private sectors, have been seriously lagging
behind", observed Dr Ishral-ul-Ebad Khan, Patron of Greenwich
University and Governor of Sindh, in his presidential address. He,
however, expressed his satisfaction at the fact that Greenwich
University was the first university in the private sector to have
launched a research programme leading to M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees in
In his message on the occasion, President General
Pervez Musharraf said, "I am convinced that no meaningful change in
the socio-economic sectors can come about without raising the quality of
our education at all levels, particularly university education. I also
believe that the private higher education institutions can play a major
role in raising the human resource potential of the country by imparting
quality education, as the onus of providing leadership in various
branches of learning falls largely on our universities, both in the
public and private sectors".
Earlier, in her welcome address, Ms Seema Mughal,
Vice-Chancellor of Greenwich University, expressed her profound sense of
gratitude to the President of Pakistan, to the Prime Minister, to the
Federal Education Minister, and to Prof Dr Atta-ur-Rehman, Chairman,
Higher Education Commission, for their generous appreciation of the role
of Greenwich University in promoting academic excellence in Pakistan.
Apart from the Bachelors and Masters degrees which
were conferred on 221 students at the Convocation, honorary doctorate
degrees were conferred on three eminent Pakistanis who have achieved
international recognition in their respective fields. The three
recipients were Maulana Abdul Sattar Edhi (services to humanity), Prof
Dr Masood Hameed Khan (Medicine) and Prof Rafat Karim (English). While
Prof Dr Masood Hameed Khan is the Vice-Chancellor of the Dow University
of Health Sciences, Prof Dr Rafat Karim is the senior most Professor of
English at Karachi University, and also the President of the Shakespeare
Association of Pakistan.
Owing to a tie, the traditional Greenwich Excellence
Awards were given this year to two alumni, Mr Dewan Abdullah Ahmed of
Dewan Group of Industries, and to Mr Asim Ansar Siddiqui, Deputy
Commissioner, Income Tax.
Thirteen Gold Medals were awarded to the high
achievers. The gold medals were given away by the Governor.
The entire proceeding of the Convocation had a
spell-binding effect on the large audience, comprising members of the
diplomatic corps, senior civil and military officials, educationists,
eminent citizens, parents, students, and the graduating classes. The
entire campus, particularly the Convocation area, was tastefully
decorated and lit on the occasion.
The formal convocation was followed by a sumptuous
dinner and a Graduates' Musical Night. The main attraction of the
Musical Night was an ecstatic performance by the internationally
renowned "Junoon Group".
A member of the audience was overheard saying:
"I have never seen a Convocation like this in Pakistan". That
comment epitomized the reaction of all those who attended the
The Greenwich University Convocation is going to be
the talk of the town, at least among the educated circles, for a long
time to come. "The Greenwich Legend lives on," was the burden
of the song that memorable evening.