An event of the year:
Every once in a while we come across a person, an incident or an event that leaves a deep and long lasting impression on our minds. A few weeks back, on the 24th of the previous month to be precise, I attended one such event, The Greenwich Convocation-2010.
The convocation was everything any convocation should be like, and beyond. The stage that the staff of the university had set up after tremendous hard work was nothing short of splendid. There was a huge green-dominated banner in the background with the name of the University glowing in gold on it. Just below it, the chairs were arranged in the form of steps for the students all the way down to the main platform where the faculty and the honourable guests were to be seated. The platform was connected to a few-hundred-meters-long ramp that was to be used by the students as well as the faculty to come to the main stage later on. The ramp was ending near the steps that were ascending towards the arch from where the procession & recession was to take place. The red carpet that stretched all the way from the platform to the ramp and then further from the stairs to the arch, was adding further grandeur to an already overwhelming environment.
It was a grand sight. A tentative total of about 500 - 600 people appeared from the arch. They descended from the steps, walked on the ramp and finally made their way to their respective chairs on the stage. What made the procession even more eye-catching was the fact that there were two queues walking simultaneously together on the ramp and every time the persons walking side by side stepped onto the stage.
They diverged in the opposite directions towards the steps that were specially made for the students on both sides of the chairs, and later converged again in the center of the stage near their respective chairs.
The students, teachers and the members of the platform party were all dressed up in different coloured robes.
The graduates were given red and black robes while the undergraduates had blue and black ones. The members of the faculty followed the colour theme of the prodigious banner above the stage which was green and gold. The chief guests, since they were truly special, were given red and gold robes.
The chief guests were introduced first. The list of the names was nothing short of extraordinary as some of the most premier figures of the corporate world today were there. The list included people like Dr. Hameed Haroon, the CEO of the Dawn Media Group, Mr. Sirajuddin Aziz, the CEO of Bank Alfalah Limited, Mr. Ali J. Siddiqui, the Director of Jahangir Siddiqui and Company Ltd., Mr. Fouad Hussain, the Managing Director of Mindshare who also happens to be a member of Greenwich Alumni. There were a few more prominent figures from The Dawood Group, Din Group of Industries, Hilton Pharma (Pvt) Ltd. and Stallion Textiles (Pvt) Ltd.
All the chief guests said a few words of wisdom and gave the graduates some enlightening advice at the start of the ceremony before they started handing out the degrees.
The names of the gold medalists were announced first. They were followed by the graduates and then the undergraduates who collected their degrees amidst the cheering from their colleagues, clapping from their parents and relatives and heartiest congratulation on the stage from every member of the platform party standing there.
As the ceremony ended and the dinner was served one could see the media people from different channels trying to get the students' and the teachers' comments.
It was a wonderfully strange sight.