The darkest moments are to be followed by the brightest – Malala Yousufzai
Amidst these dark and unprecedented times, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) on Saturday, celebrated the graduation of it’s 32nd batch of students. World’s youngest Nobel laureate, Malala Yousafzai spoke on the occasion.
The graduating class of 2020 was honored vis a virtual convocation, which was the first of its kind in the institution’s history. The ceremony was hosted on Facebook Live and joined by more than two thousand viewers.
“For students, graduation signifies the successful completion of their studies, and offers them a perfect opportunity to celebrate and reflect on their achievements with their family, friends and faculty. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions, and health and safety protocols, LUMS is marking this momentous occasion with a virtual ceremony,” read the official note issued by LUMS in this regard.
LUMS convocation proceedings
In the days leading up to the ceremony, the graduating students were sent heartfelt packages that, amongst other souvenirs, entrusted them with their graduation caps.
The convocation proceedings began with a goosebump inducing rendition of the National Anthem of Pakistan sung by the LUMS’s own students, and was followed by an encouraging message from the Vice Chancellor of LUMS, Dr. Arshad Ahmad.”Could this be your defining moment, to look beyond personal ambition and consider a noble, social vision that is required more than ever before?” urged the Vice Chancellor while considering the prevailing circumstances posed by the global pandemic.
Malala addresses graduates of LUMS
After the VC had concluded his welcome address, Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel Laureate and a global advocate for education and women empowerment, was introducted as the keynote speaker for the event.
Malala gave an inspirational and commendable speech highlighting her lived experiences in Swat and abroad. She highlighted the importance of advocating for equal opportunities for all, especially education. “Change does not occur itself, someone has to step forward and speak out,” said the Nobel Laureate.
She commented on how Pakistan has the second highest out of school females and thus stressed on how as a community the young graduates should acknowledge their role in challenging gender discrimination, injustices and harmful practices towards women. “To all the men you have an important role to play… speak out for girls and women’s rights, stand by them, and sometime step back so they have an equal presence.” added Malala.
“We are graduating in a time period where uncertainty could not be more certain … while the pandemic has affected all of us it has not affected us all equally,” concluded the keynote speaker.
And she sounded true as the batch of 2020 globally is the one faced with unique challenges, graduating into a world where economic recession is rampant, and old unsustainable ways of living need to be overlooked. Perhaps a virtual convocation was the best way for these kindred spirits to adapt themselves to a brave new world.
A congratulatory wish from GVS to the LUMS class of 2020
The keynote speech was followed by the conferment of academic awards and degrees. Graduates of each school were directed to links where they could view the degree conferment of their specific discipline/major.
LUMS currently comprises of five schools that offer majors in business, humanities, engineering & sciences, law and education. The GVS team congratulates its newest recruit Maneha Tariq, as she was conferred with an award of distinction for graduating on the Deans Honors List from the Shaikh Ahmad Hassan School of Law.
While the class of 2020 takes on what comes ahead, GVS team wants to remind them to not let their concrete ambitions be obfuscated by a global pandemic. Surely, as Malala rightly pointed out, the darkest moments are followed by the brightest, and as graduates enter into a world of new possibilities – it is in this time that they must hold back their angry tears and focus on the silver lining — they are healthy. They are safe and they are now, college graduates.
GVS News Desk