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Special Coverage: Convocation 2022

After a hiatus of three years, Ashoka University is celebrating convocation in person at our campus for the Class of 2022. A series of ceremonies have been planned over the course of the day as more than 700 graduates are set to receive their degrees

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11 June, 2022 | read

Coming of age moment for graduates

According to Ashoka University’s Vice-Chancellor Prof. Malabika Sarkar, the convocation marked the students’ moment of “coming of age”. It is the moment when they leave their alma mater in search of a career, “which may be in higher studies at another institution or in other chosen career paths.” She remarked that a world full of aspiration, anxiety and fulfilment awaited the graduating students, but she beseeched the students to not feel daunted.

Prof. Sarkar wished joy and success to the graduating students in their future endeavours and expressed her wish to stay connected with them even after they have left the ramparts of Ashoka.

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Keynote Address by Prof. Maria Leptin (President, European Research Council)

Prof. Leptin began her address to the students by stating that graduation is a very significant milestone in everybody’s life and it also may be a moment to consider how one can change the future for us.

A greater part of her address was shaped by her own experiences and also largely dealt in not only natural sciences but all areas of academic research. She remarked that while she does not have a penchant for giving out career advice, her major tip to the graduating students would be that “the most important thing for you to do is to find something that you really enjoy doing, because then you will excel at that, and if you excel at something the rest will follow by itself.”

She also pointed out that she has always asked her students to question dogma, to question leaders, including political ones, and asked the graduating students to do the same. Towards the end, she acknowledged the presence of cut-throat competition in the world, but at the same time, she also highlighted the importance of cooperation and communication in the academic world. Prof. Leptin opined that often in the process of networking and communication, we end up receiving more than we have managed to give.

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Keynote Address by Prof. Kelvin Everest (Emeritus A.C. Bradley and Professor of Modern Literature at the University of Liverpool)

The distinguished keynote speaker for the convocation ceremony of undergraduate class of 2022 at Ashoka University was Prof. Kelvin Everest, Emeritus A.C. Bradley and Professor of Modern Literature at the University of Liverpool.

Prof. Everest’s ties with Ashoka University are indeed strong; he has donated more than 400 books to Ashoka University’s library on the famous Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.

He started his address by celebrating the importance of the convocation and being a graduate. Prof. Everest urged the students: “give this moment your full and undivided attention to soak it all in for the future and the rest of your lives.”

“Ashoka University is an outstanding example and model for the manner in which India has gone about addressing the fundamental question of how to educate its aspiring population to an appropriate level in the contemporary world,” he maintained. 

Prof. Everest recalled his first visit in India, remarking on how different India was then than it is today. He noted how, despite all the change, India’s democratic spirit is the one thing that hasn’t gone. “It is a vision of nationhood, a great deal to the life of Mahatma Gandhi,” he stated.

He ended his address by telling the students to remember that they have the power and potential to help the world change, and reminded them to enjoy convocation and remember it forever. 

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Wrap Up: Convocation for Award of MA, MLS & PG Diploma Degree

The ceremony commenced with a heart-warming video, which was an ensemble of heartfelt goodbye messages to the graduating students, and beautiful montage shots of the university as well as the vibrant campus life against the background score of the nostalgia-inducing Memories by Maroon 5.

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Wrap Up: Convocation for Undergraduate Programme

The convocation ceremony for the undergraduate batch of 2022 kicked off with a speech by the Chancellor, Prof. Rudrangshu Mukherjee. Prof. Mukherjee encouraged the graduating students to “step over the threshold of Ashoka into an onerous phase of life”. He further described how the graduating students would be entering the “university of life” and leaving their existence in a bubble in Haryana. He urged the students “not to forget the virtues of integrity, moral courage, sense of responsibility that they learnt at Ashoka and to serve as beacons of these virtues to the people around them.”

His words were met with a loud round of applause, after which he invited the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Malabika Sarkar, to address the august gathering.  

Prof. Sarkar, in her speech, acknowledged the difficulties faced by most of us during the COVID-19 pandemic. She praised the university’s efforts in overcoming these difficulties, celebrating how “everyone made sure that the vibrancy of the university was not taken away by the challenges of the pandemic.” 

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