I have long been inspired by the motto emblazoned on the gate of the old Sind Madressah compound that reads Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve. This motto is not unique and is used by many colleges and universities around the world. Its origins are obscure but most likely lie in religious seminaries from medieval times.
It is easy to see why this motto is popular with educational institutions. We are clearly associated with learning and many of us feel that one of the principal purposes of acquiring knowledge is to serve society.
When I took over as Director two years ago, I was familiar with the learning aspect of the Institute. It took me a while to realize that we also have a service aspect. This aspect is illustrated most clearly by the Responsible Citizen requirement that each and every student complete a Social Internship during his or her passage through the Institute. This internship exposes our students to such social concerns as poverty, illness, illiteracy, disability, discrimination, and homelessness, among others. The service aspect is also illustrated by the orientation of some of the student clubs we have at the Institute, such as those that focus on community welfare or on environmental concerns.
Participating in the Social Internship program or relevant student clubs was but an introduction to the notion of service. Today, as you prepare to leave IBA, I invite you to think about making service a lifelong habit.
I am confident that you will all have distinguished life paths. Some of you will enter the corporate world and make a name for yourself there. Others will go on to higher education and possibly embark upon a career in research and teaching. Still others will join the public sector or a non-government organization. Whatever you choose to do, I wish you well. I also hope that you will reflect upon the weeks or months that you may have devoted to social work while at the Institute, and quietly resolve to do even more in the rest of your lives. Nothing would make your alma mater prouder!
Dr. Farrukh Iqbal
Executive Director, IBA