Karachi: As many as 84 graduates, 37 men and 47 women, were awarded degrees at Habib University’s first convocation on Saturday. Degrees were awarded in four bachelors streams: BSc (Honors) in Social Development and Policy, BA (Honors) in Communication Design, BS in Electrical Engineering, and BS in Computer Science.The university has given the title of co-founders to its first batch of graduates. A statement issued on the occasion said, “The namesake comes from them being the first class of students who took a chance with and trusted a new institution with their higher education. Since 2014, the co-founders have worked closely with the faculty and staff to create and make Habib University what it is today: an institution of higher learning that is known for its innovative take on the liberal arts and sciences that encourages diversity, entrepreneurship, and global experiences.” The convocation ceremony began with recitation of the Holy Quran, which was followed by the National Anthem sung by the Habib University’s choir. Kicking off the ceremony, Habib University chancellor Rafiq M. Habib said, “it gives me immense pleasure to declare the 2018 Habib University Convocation opened.”As the valedictorian of the class of 2018 and winner of the President’s Award, graduate Saadia Pathan was invited to speak first. Talking about the university, Saadia said, “We call ourselves Pakistan’s first Liberal Arts university, but we are not just the first, we are new as well. Being new is far scarier than being first. But it is only this adventure that comes with being new that has given us the freedom to be our own individuals. I hope HU will be as new 50 convocations from now as today.” Thanking the president of the HU and each of her professors, Saadia went on and said, “The founders of HU are visionaries. Courage is needed to share a vision. And it requires trust that we put in them when we applied to HU and they put in us when they took us in as the first batch of HU. I ask you: just as you trusted us when we stepped in, trust us as we step out.”In his speech, Habib University president Wasif A. Rizvi congratulated the co-founders, and said, “Today is the day of joy and humble celebration. 84 students will walk as graduates today. 37 young men and 47 remarkable women.” In his advice to the first batch, he spoke of ‘The visions of Janice’, a concept that ‘looks behind as well as forward. Class of 2018: the meaning of a liberal arts education is teaching you how to think and subscribing human values to your education, and your education is really the job of a lifetime. I wish you way more than luck – I wish you Yohsin” (the philosophy that undergirds the HU’s approach to college education and is rooted in five paradigms: ‘striving for excellence; appreciating aesthetics (beauty); nurturing passion; respecting others; and serving the communities in which we reside’).Later, all 84 graduates walked onto the stage to receive their degrees. As they walked towards the stage, videos about their education achievements were played on projectors in the background to introduced them to the audience. Speaking on the occasion, Sindh governor Muhammad Zubair said, “It is a privilege and an honour to be here at the first convocation of possibly the best university in Pakistan. He congratulated and praised the graduates and their parents for ‘taking a risk and making the biggest contribution to Habib University’. He then invited the top achievers in the graduating student body to the Governors House to recognise their achievements.Chief Guest Syed Babar Ali, who was introduced by the president, also spoke words of encouragement to the graduating batch.Finally, the Chancellor’s Yohsin Award was presented to Abdul Wahid Khan. The award recognises excellence in curricular and extra-curricular activities in light of the university’s philosophy of Yohsin.The commencement was concluded with a performance by the Habib University choir, a word of thanks from the Chancellor, and a celebratory throwing of caps.Published in Daily Times, May 6th 2018.