“Sri Sathya Sai” Birthday Celebrations – Day 5
XXXIII CONVOCATION OF SSSIHL
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (Deemed to be University) held its 33rd Annual Convocation at Sai Kulwant Hall, Prasanthi Nilayam in the Divine Presence at 10:35 a.m. The convocation ceremony is a testimony to the Values-based education philosophy of its Revered Founder Chancellor, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
A Special Occasion
The Annual convocation at Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (SSSIHL) is special – both conceptually and in the manner in which it is conducted. The university brass band—one of the finest in the country—leads the ceremonial procession into the Sai Kulwant Hall followed by two students carrying the University Standards on either side of the Registrar, who carries the Ceremonial Mace. The procession comprises of the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, Deans and the Heads of Departments along with the chief Guest, Members of the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust and the Board of Management.
The chief guest of the 33rd Annual Convocation was Dr. Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan, Former Chairman, Space Commission; former Secretary, Department of Space, Govt. of India and former Chairman, Indian Space Research Organization.
This year, the procession entered a packed, decorated hall of over 15,000 people at 10:35 a.m. Following the invocatory veda chanting, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. J Shashidhara Prasad prayed to the Revered Founder Chancellor to declare the convocation open. The Convocation was then declared open in the Divine voice of Bhagawan Baba.
It is customary for the Vice-Chancellor to then deliver his introductory speech. Prof. Prasad spoke on the fact that SSSIHL – a modern Gurukula (where students and teachers live and learn together) has stood the test of time with over three successful decades of strong academic performance and character building of students. He touched upon the many academic and research achievements of SSSIHL in the recent past.
Following this, 479 candidates for the various programmes of study were admitted to their various degrees by the Honorable Chancellor, Justice M N Venkatachaliah, former Chief Justice of India.
The convocation oath was then administered by the Vice-Chancellor, after which 26 Gold Medalists of the university were honored. These fine women and men students excelled in the Faculties of Sciences, Management & Commerce and Economics & Humanities during the academic year 2013/14.
The chief guest, Dr. Kasturirangan then spoke in length about the system of education that Bhagawan Baba has set up before citing examples from various fields about the professional excellence Indians have achieved, both at home and abroad. He ended his speech by advising students to be humble, respect and understand their colleagues.
Finally, a convocation speech by the Revered Founder Chancellor, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba was beamed across the hall. He stressed that the essence of education lies the accumulation of ideals and not just degrees; that despite the (over) one crore undergraduate students in India, not many are focusing on quality. He asked His students to never give up on human values and to tread along the right path, and influence their friends and family to do the same.
Following the national anthem and Managala Aaarti at 12:30 p.m., the event came to a close.