Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (Deemed to be University) held its 34th Annual Convocation at Sai Kulwant Hall, Prasanthi Nilayam in the Divine Presence at 3:00 p.m. The convocation ceremony is a testimony to the values-based education philosophy of the university’s Revered Founder Chancellor, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
The annual convocation at Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (SSSIHL) coincided with the 90th birthday of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. A considerable amount of detailed organization and thought that goes into the event was visible during the ceremony.
The chief guest of the 34th Annual Convocation was Prof. Kenji Uchino, Director, International Centre for Actuators and Transducers, Professor, Electrical Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, USA. Prof. Uchino is a highly reputed and decorated material scientist.
The university brass band—one of the finest in the country—lead the ceremonial procession into the Sai Kulwant Hall at 3 p.m. The packed hall of over 10,000 people was colorfully decorated for the event. The procession was led by two students carrying the University Standards on either side of the Registrar, who carried the Ceremonial Mace. Other members of the procession included 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.
Following the invocatory veda chanting, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. K B R Varma 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. Varma stressed on the fact that Bhagawan Baba developed this university in the spirit of developing national character in students, and that while academics and research are strong, the uniqueness of the university is the development of ethical and moral values in students, who get inspired to develop humility and selfless love for humanity. He then summarized the academic and research achievements of the past academic year.
Following this, 469 candidates for the various programmes of study were admitted to their various degrees (undergraduate, postgraduate and professional programmes as well as Gold Medalists, and M.Phil. and Ph.D. awardees) 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 the Gold Medallists of the university were honoured. These fine women and men students excelled in the Faculties of Sciences, Management & Commerce and Economics & Humanities during the academic year 2014/15.
The chief guest, Prof Kenji Uchino then highlighted how he spent over forty years of his career commuting between Japan and the nited States in the quest for his philosophy of living: one step ahead. He encouraged students to embrace change, as it is part of life regardless of what they do, especially in the current state of play we find ourselves in.
Finally, a convocation benediction by the Revered Founder Chancellor, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba was beamed across the hall. He told students that they are essentially pure and urged them to expand their hearts. He said that we cannot know the true nature of an atom (the smallest of the small and the biggest of the big). Instead we must transcend the need to know (in the material realm) and attempt to experience bliss. This, He said, is practical knowledge. The true meaning of education education is to brush aside their negative qualities and serve others with joy. There is no property worth owning more than love.
The event came to a close at 5 p.m. following the national anthem and Managala Aaarti.