It was a day of great joy and celebration, as Habib University on June 15, 2019 celebrated its second convocation on its campus. The second batch of graduates from Pakistan’s first Liberal Arts and Science university are known as ‘Pioneers’ because they are regarded as forerunners who will set an example worthy of emulation for future generations of students.
In total, 126 students graduated this year with degrees awarded from the University’s two schools, the Dhanani School of Science and Engineering (DSSE), and the School of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences (AHSS). From the DSSE, 53 students received degrees, of which 30 received Bachelor of Science degrees in Electrical Engineering, and 23 received Bachelor of Science degrees in Computer Science.
Seventy-three degrees were awarded from the AHSS, of which 53 students received Bachelor of Science degrees with Honors in Social Development and Policy, and 20 students received Bachelor of Arts degrees with Honors in Communication Studies and Design.
The Convocation 2019 procession started with distinguished members of the Habib University community and honored guests smartly dressed in their graceful regalia, being led to the convocation pavilion by the University Registrar. This procession included Members of the Board of Governors of Habib University, Members of the Board of Directors of Habib University Foundation, graduating students, members of the Faculty, Deans, VP, Patron, President Wasif Rizvi, Chancellor Rafiq M. Habib, the Patron and Governor Sindh, Imran Ismail, and Commencement Speaker, Dr. Reza Aslan.
After a beautiful recitation from the Holy Quran by a student, the Master of Ceremonies invited the Habib University Choir onstage to sing the national anthem, following which the Chancellor Mr. Rafiq M. Habib officially opened Habib University’s Convocation 2019, which was met with a huge round of applause by all those in attendance.
The 2019 Valedictorian, Maisam Hyder Ali, a graduate in Social Development and Policy, and recipient of the Dean’s Medal and the President’s Medal, gave a speech in which he spoke about his own personal experiences at Habib and how the University had opened opportunities for him.
In a great distinction for an undergraduate, Maisam recently earned a scholarship to do a PhD at the University of California, Riverside, USA. The Valedictorian expressed gratitude to his professors at Habib, under whose guidance he said he discovered a passion for literature, philosophy and linguistics.
President Wasif Rizvi then addressed the convocation in which he congratulated the batch of 2019 and thanked all those who had helped to make this special occasion possible. He also lauded the role played by the Habib family for helping make Pakistan’s first Liberal Arts and Sciences University into a reality, and expressed his gratitude to the University’s second batch of graduates for helping to make Habib into an institute.
“Four years ago when you joined Habib, you were given the title of ‘Pioneers’ and looking at your journey here at Habib, you have done more than the justice to this title. A pioneer is someone who charts the way, making it easier for those who will follow to take the same path. You have embodied that spirit in being so engaged, so insightful to help us grow our new institution,” he said.
Mr. Wasif Rizvi stated that everyone at Habib University was inspired by the courage, initiatives and support of the graduating students, which has helped the University overcome many challenges and helped make the path smoother and easier for subsequent batches.
“Inspired by values of Yohsin, you have shown an indomitable right to serve by organizing and participating in a number of projects ranging from raising cancer awareness, to sharing your knowledge with schoolchildren from underprivileged backgrounds and many other engagements allowed this thoughtful self-cultivation to grow deeper. You have become an agent of dignity and beauty for yourself and for others around you,” said Mr. Rizvi in his concluding remarks.
Following this, the Patron and Governor Sindh, Mr. Imran Ismail spoke at the ceremony in which he lauded the graduating students for this momentous day and congratulated them on having reached such an important milestone in their lives. He paid tribute to the Class of 2019 and expressed his confidence that the future leaders and engaged citizens Habib University would produce will make the nation extremely proud.
The Master of Ceremony then invited Dr. Anzar Khaliq, Assistant Dean of DSSE, on stage to announce the conferment of Electrical Engineering degrees and Computer Science degrees, which President Wasif Rizvi then awarded to the graduating students.
Following this, Assistant Dean AHSS, Dr. Sabyn Javeri, announced the conferment of Social Development & Policy degrees and Communication & Design degrees, which the President then awarded to the graduating students.
Mr. Wasif Rizvi then introduced the Commencement Speaker, Dr. Reza Aslan – an internationally renowned, author and scholar of religions – to address the convocation.
In his inspiring speech, Dr. Aslan congratulated the Class of 2019 and told the students that their graduation was only the beginning of the next great journey of their lives, and that the knowledge and experiences they have gained at Habib University will provide the bedrock for their future.
“You are a member of an extremely small and privileged group. You are college graduates. The degree you have earned here is like a treasure. It sets you apart from 90% of your fellow human beings on this earth,” he told the Convocation.
Speaking from his own life experiences regarding identity and finding ones place in the world, Dr. Aslan advised the graduating batch that, “your identity is the result of the interweaving of multiple markers. Race and ethnicity, nationality, gender, political and social status. These are the individual strands that when woven together, form the unbreakable coil of your identity, and no single one of these strands should be allowed to overcome the others.”
Following Dr. Aslan’s Commencement speech, Chancellor Rafiq M. Habib gave the closing address of the convocation in which he expressed his heartfelt congratulations to the second graduating batch. The chancellor spoke about how important a role education has played in the House of Habib’s philosophy and philanthropic efforts. He thanked this year’s Pioneers for their putting footprints and adding to the legacy of Habib University.
The Chancellor’s Yohsin Award, the most prestigious award at the convocation, was given to the Valedictorian Maisam Hyder Ali. The prize is given to the graduate who has not only excelled academically, but has demonstrated the qualities of the University’s philosophy of Yohsin through their meta-curricular activities on and off campus.
The evening concluded with the singing of the Habib University anthem by the HU Choir after which the convocation was declared closed by the Chancellor.