On Thursday 8th February 2018, GD Goenka World Institute hosted the graduation ceremony for students who successfully completed Lancaster University programmes in 2017 at the Institute. Nearly 170 individuals including graduating students and their loved ones, academic and administrative staff from G D Goenka World Institute and guests from G D Goenka University, G D Goenka World School and the Goenka Group attended the award ceremony.
This year’s ceremony, the eighth Lancaster University graduation hosted by the Institute, witnessed several firsts. This is the first time, after nearly 7 earlier graduation ceremonies, that the ceremony was held on campus; this is the first time that the Goenka Group’s Vice-Chairperson, Mrs Renu Goenka attended the Lancaster University graduation ceremony hosted by G D Goenka World Institute; this is the first G D Goenka World Institute graduation ceremony at which the catering was provided in-house by students pursing the hospitality programme at G D Goenka University; and this the first time that the recipients of the Gopi Ram Goenka Award and the Chancellor’s Medal were both from the mechanical engineering course.
The Platform Party comprised Mrs Renu Goenka, Vice Chairperson of G D Goenka Group; Professor Suku Bhaskaran, Director of G D Goenka World Institute; Professor Steve Bradley, Pro-Vice-Chancellor International of Lancaster University; Professor Kim Anne Menezes, Dean of G D Goenka World Institute; and Mr Tom Buckley, Principal of Lancaster University’s Cartmel College and also Lancaster University’s Director of Recruitment, Admissions and International Development. The Guest of Honour for the occasion was Mr Sumit Mitra, Chief Executive Officer of Tesco Global Business Service.
Professor Bhaskaran welcomed the congregation. He spoke of the considerable empowerment students’ have gained through pursuing the world-class Lancaster University programmes which would have developed their competencies to access, analyse, review and apply knowledge – attributes that are critically important in a connected and rapidly transforming society. Professor Bhaskaran advised that the Goenka Group was committed to continue on the path of making available world-class education at affordable costs to students in India.
In his ‘Opening Address, Professor Steve Bradley spoke of the achievements of the now nearly 9-year partnership between Goenka and Lancaster University. He said that, in the last eight years, more than 1,000 students have earned Lancaster University qualifications through pursuing their studies at G D Goenka World Institute. Students completing their courses at G D Goenka World Institute are part of a global network of more than 140,000 Lancaster alumni. Professor Bradley envisaged that the Lancaster University qualification would position the graduates to pursue their goals and become contributing members of the local and global society.
The ‘Graduation Address’ by Mr Sumit Mitra, the Guest of Honour, was engaging, entertaining and provided a personal perspective of decision making in regard to education, career and goals in life. Mr Mitra encouraged students to believe in themselves, take risks and explore unchartered waters. He emphasised the need to shift from a mindset of pursuing narrow traditional professional careers to being cognisant of the dynamism and transformations in the workplace and be ready to access these new opportunities. Mr Mitra highlighted that beliefs and attitudes, commitment to achievement and perseverance would be key influencers of the students’ continued success and capability to achieve goals in life.
Two students, both from engineering programmes, received special recognition for their outstanding contributions. Mrs Renu Goenka presented Mohd. Asad, BEng (Mechanical Engineering Studies), the Gopi Ram Goenka Medal in recognition of his outstanding contributions in curricular, co-curricular and extra curricular activities. Allan Prasad Varghese, MEng (Mechanical Engineering Studies) received the Chancellor’s Medal for exceptional academic achievements. Allan, now at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, could not attend the ceremony. His father, Mr Varghese, received the Chancellor’s Medal from Professor Steve Bradley on behalf of Allan.