IIMA organized its 57th annual convocation on April 13, 2022.
IIMA has been organizing an annual convocation every year and hence the convocation ceremony had almost become ritualized, more so for staff and faculty who attend it every year. There is a familiarity in that ritual; there is a natural flow in the sequence of activities which happen before, during and after the convocation. The faculty and students get dressed in black gowns, take a group photograph, convene in the brick road before Dorms 16-18, walk past the Harvard steps and RJM Auditorium, turn left into the Louis Kahn Plaza with the sun still shining brightly in the western sky. This year was different. The convocation was being held under the shadow of an ongoing pandemic and under the blazing Ahmedabad sun in April rather than the traditional slot in March. The black gowns were replaced by stoles, the procession started much later in the day to avoid the heat and individual degrees were not handed over to graduating students on that day. That was reserved for a separate ceremony the next day.
After missing a convocation in 2020 and having a virtual convocation in 2021, the changed routine of the 2022 convocation was of little consequence in face of the much bigger realization – the joys of having a physical convocation.
The joy of meeting students, their family members, faculty and staff colleagues; the joy of everyone standing up in the Lois Kahn Plaza while the national anthem plays; the joy of taking photographs with graduating students and their families; the joy of watching the beaming faces of the graduating batch. It did not matter that most of the faces were unfamiliar, it is difficult to remember faces when they are stacked one on the top of other, screen after screen, in a Zoom window. The 2022 batch had only a few weeks of physical classes on campus, but at least had a physical convocation.
Wishing the 2020-22 ‘Covid batch’ all success and welcoming them as alumni.
Prof. Saral Mukherjee
Dean, Alumni and External Relations