40th anniversary

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AKU marks Founder’s Day, 40th anniversary

Official release by AKU
Dental Tribune Pakistan

Dental Tribune Pakistan

Fri. 14 April 2023


KARACHI: The Aga Khan University celebrated the graduation of the Class of 2022, besides its first-ever Founder’s Day and 40th anniversary of the varsity simultaneously in four countries, including Pakistan .

The celebrations were simultaneously held in Pakistan, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda and also broadcast online to an international audience of AKU’s friends and supporters.

Princess Zahra Aga Khan attended the ceremony held in Karachi and shared a message from His Highness the Aga Khan, Founder and Chancellor of the varsity.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah was the chief guest of the ceremony in Karachi.

A total of 777 students graduated from AKU’s global campuses with diplomas and degrees in 19 fields.

The varsity has awarded diplomas and degrees to more than 19,000 students, including over 4,500 in East Africa. In Pakistan, the number of the AKU School of Nursing and Midwifery graduates has reached 5,000. The students graduated in nursing, medicine, education, and media and communications.

In his message to the graduates, His Highness Aga Khan said: “My wish today is that you will know the joy of planting hope in people’s lives, of building bridges of understanding, of venturing into the uncharted waters where new knowledge is discovered. May your futures be rich in challenges embraced and overcome. May you be bold amid uncertainty, and see your boldness rewarded.”

AKU was granted charter by the Pakistan government on March 16, 1983, making this its 40th anniversary week.

On the Founder’s Day, a new annual tradition at AKU, the varsity reflects on the vision of His Highness the Aga Khan, celebrates its impact and recognises all those who are making the founding vision a reality, including faculty, staff, donors, volunteers, students, alumni and partners.

Princess Zahra Aga Khan expressed her gratitude to the global university community for the “magnificent gift” of its support for the AKU over the past four decades.

“As we mark its inaugural Founder’s Day, its 40th anniversary and the graduation of the Class of 2022, AKU has never had more to celebrate,” she said. “I am deeply, deeply grateful to everyone who has made its journey possible.”

AKU President Sulaiman Shahabuddin paying tributes to His Highness said, “His vision of a university that reconciles loyalty to international standards with service to those in need, that prepares its students to use knowledge to identify and solve problems, demonstrating that science is the property of no single culture, but of all humanity.”

In his message, His Highness the Aga Khan traced AKU’s 40-year journey from 1983 to the present, calling it a source of hope and expressed pride in its achievements and confidence in its future.

“Today, as in 1983, the future of the university lies in the hands of its leaders, faculty, staff, and supporters,” His Highness said. “Together, all of us are the custodians of the founding vision. Our history gives us every reason to believe that so long as we remain true to that vision, AKU’s light – the light depicted in the university’s seal – will grow ever brighter, helping to illuminate the path to a better future for the people it serves.”

In his valedictory speech, Mian Arsam Haroon urged his classmates to “transform into action the knowledge you have received in the halls of this university and honour the commitment of the village that raised you.”

In Tanzania the chief guest was Ambassador Manfredo Fanti, Head of the European Union Delegation to Tanzania and to the East African Community. In Uganda, Ms Cornelia Penzel, KfW Country Director for Uganda was the chief guest, while in Kenya, the chief guest was Dr Beatrice Muganda Inyangala, Principal Secretary, State Department for Higher Education and Research.  

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