Wrap Up: Convocation for Award of MA, MLS & PG Diploma Degree
Ashoka University organized an in-person convocation for the batch of 2022, which was graced not only by the graduating students but also by several eminent speakers and faculty members
Office of PR & Communications11 June, 2022 | 4m read
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.
After the display of the video messages, the procession led by the Registrar, the Chancellor, the Vice-Chancellor, and consisting of the Keynote Speaker, faculty members and the graduating students entered the convocation Hall.
Soon after this, the Chancellor of the University, Prof. Rudranghsu Mukherjee, was called upon to deliver his opening address. He extended a hearty welcome to everybody present in the hall and celebrated the fact that Ashoka University is now able to conduct an in-person convocation after three years of holding an online convocation ceremony.
After quoting the acclaimed writer Mary Wollstonecraft, Professor Mukherjee remarked that if even some of the graduating students “do not play a part learnt by rote, and succeed in pointing out through the mud and dust the road to others”, they would do Ashoka proud. He hoped that everything that the graduating students have managed to learn at Ashoka University will be carried forward by the students into the larger “University of Life”, and that these learnings will prove to be beacons in their life and in the life of others. With these words, the Chancellor declared the convocation open.
Chancellor’s opening address was followed by the Vice-Chancellor, Malabika Sarkar’s address to the graduating students. After congratulating the students at the beginning of her address, she observed that “this convocation is a threshold convocation.”
According to her, the convocation marked the students’ moment of “coming of age”, as 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.
Towards the end of her address, the Vice-Chancellor introduced the keynote speaker for this year’s convocation ceremony at Ashoka University, Prof. Maria Leptin.
Prof. Leptin was introduced not only as the President of the European Research Council but also as a yoga enthusiast. She is a developmental biologist by training and has been the recipient of various awards and honours in her life.
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.
The Chancellor and the keynote speaker handed out the degrees to the students as they climbed the stage amidst repeated roars of applause from their loved ones. This was followed by the Dean of Academic Affairs, Professor Bharat Ramaswami, administering the oath to the graduating students. The Vote of Thanks was delivered by Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Mr. Venkat Eshwara.
The ceremony reached its conclusion with the singing of the national anthem.
(Reported by Zoya Sayeda, a first-year student of English and Media Studies at Ashoka University)