POLITICS & POLICY

NAB UNDER FIRE

COLUMN

FOR THE RECORD

SOCIETY

A CONVOCATION TO REMEMBER

 
A CONVOCATION TO REMEMBER
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Greenwich University awards Honorary Doctorate Degrees to the Living Legends of Pakistan


Dec 20 - 26, 2004
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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 Hooria Rafique.

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 English.

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 Convocation.

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.