REPORT ON THE 19th CONVOCATION OF EMPI
The alumni who started arriving from the morning in small groups were accorded the traditional warm welcome by the current students, though the seniors were really returning to the place which was their earlier home for two years. Most of them promptly went off to the hostels, mess, canteen and the lawns to revive their nostalgia. There was a good amount of backslapping, recalling funny past events and pranks. Many of them were accompanied by their spouses and parents who were proudly shown the sacred spots of the campus. Among the visitors, two small children were also spotted.
Gently pushed and cajoled by the faculty, mindful of the time, the graduates collected their ceremonial gowns and assembled in the allotted spaces for the procession converging at the Convocation Assembly Hall of the R&D Building.
Now it was time for EMPI Academic procession which was led by the President, followed by the Chief Guest, Dr Uma Nambiar, a woman pioneer – Ex-Navy, Neurosurgeon, Hospital CEO, Global Advisor and now a Start-Up CEO (with VGH – Harvard)… and Mr P.S. Bami, Presiding Chairman, Academic Advisory Board, India Energy Forum Former Chairman, NTPC and other facilities of the institute. The Convocation Ceremony began with a mesmerising Saraswati Vandana followed by the ceremonial lighting of the auspicious lamp by the Chief Guest, Guest of Honour and the Dignitaries.
After a formal welcome to all Mr Gurnam Saran, President, EMPI, invited Mr P.S. Bami to preside over and take charge of the function. The students of the various Programmes were by turns called to order conferred their diplomas and were administered the oath of their honour to 'adhere to and abide by the covenants of practice and behaviour deserving of their respective Diplomas they were honoured with'.
Dr Uma Nambiar, the Chief Guest delivered her Convocation Address. In the well-received speech, she advised the students and said “You don’t live up to anybody’s expectations except your own. You decide your own path. Education gives you a head start, you are far better than all those who do not have the kind of education you have. Education brings you power, you keep learning every single day of your life. Learning is an endless thing so keep learning from anybody and everybody who teaches you. In addition, she exhorted them also by saying “Don’t stop living. You decide what is good and what is bad for you. Nobody has the right to judge you. One thing which you have to stop doing is comparing yourselves with somebody else. You are your own benchmark, your own yardstick. You decide what are the limits you want to take and go ahead and do it. There is nothing that stops you”. Further Dr Nambiar guided the students by saying “Don’t think that anything is beyond you. You have to develop other interests as well. When you are well educated you are like shining diamonds, you have been well cut. But to really dazzle in life you need to have a good setting. The setting is what you need to develop in life for yourself. Hope you bedazzle the whole country. In today's country, you are the leaders in the world. Today you can proudly say you are Indian and you get recognised. Ms Uma said that “I want you to be the torch bearers of that India and make everybody proud”.
Thereafter the meritorious students were called and the respective Heads of the Departments gave away the Honour Certificates and Mementos to them.
The event came to a close with the rendering of the National Anthem. The students followed the Dignitaries and faculty to the PTDA Building steps for group photographs. That marked the end of the formal academic and administrative part of the Convocation.
This being the most cherished event in the day of any student none was in a mood to leave it off easily. Selfies and group photos of and with all friends had to be taken in different combinations for FaceBook and Whatsup postings and for future reference. The gowns, hoods and mortars were returned with great reluctance, for only then the original Diploma Pads would be given. After the usual high-tea, the new Diploma holders left the campus with moist eyes but happy hearts.