KARACHI: More than 400 graduates celebrated their success at the Aga Khan University’s convocation ceremony on Saturday. This year’s ceremony was especially significant as it marked the graduation of the University’s 15,000th student and 10,000th woman student.
In his convocation message on the 35th anniversary of the University’s founding, AKU Chancellor His Highness the Aga Khan spoke of the institution’s long-standing tradition of educating students who drive change and make a difference in people’s lives.
“I am confident you will demonstrate, like those who came before you, that an AKU education is preparation for a consequential and rewarding life in a diverse world,” he said.
The Chancellor added that the most significant social change is driven by people who share a common set of qualities. “Recognize that change requires agility, flexibility, and the capacity to absorb new facts and adjust theory to reality. Nothing will serve you so well in the future as a hunger for learning.”
This year, 441 students received degrees in different disciplines including nursing, midwifery, medicine and education. This included 228 graduands from the School of Nursing and Midwifery, 160 from the Medical College, 44 from the Institute of Educational Development and 9 from the Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations.
A number of students won awards at the convocation. The 2018 Best Graduate Awards went to Anmol Minaz from the School of Nursing and Midwifery and Basim Ali from the Medical College.
The chief guest, Ms Roshaneh Zafar, Kashf Foundation founder and managing director, extended her congratulations to the graduating class and encouraged them to continue their quest for knowledge through the experience of serving others:
“You are graduating today, commit to yourself that you will use this knowledge to be a process of change for others.
“We may have finished our studies today but this process of learning can never end. So we must continue to use our knowledge to change the world that we are currently in. And that again must never stop.”
In his welcome address, AKU President Firoz Rasul urged graduates to be bold, to pursue excellence, to work to improve the lives of the disadvantaged, and to anticipate the course of change, in accordance with AKU’s founding vision.
“You can lead a life that contributes to the great tasks of overcoming disease, poverty, ignorance, and suffering,” he said. “A life that empowers others to pursue their dreams, and brings something new into this world. A life that calls upon all the knowledge you have acquired and all the skills you have developed, and challenges you to continue learning, growing, and discovering new capacities.”
President Rasul emphasized that AKU graduates are indeed a “powerful light” as described by the Chancellor 30 years ago.
Valedictorian Sarosh Madhani echoed these thoughts in his speech. “In our time here… we have seen people from all walks of life. People of different ages, genders, races, ethnicities who came to us battered by sickness and broken in spirit and we brought them back up on their feet. But most importantly, we gave them their right to hope: hope for a future full of health, sustainability and opportunity.”