The 26th annual graduation ceremony of the Elite School of optometry, the CU Shah institute of ophthalmic science and the Vidyasagar institute of bio-medical science was celebrated with great zest an vigour at the Sri V.D.Swami Auditorium, Sankara Nethralaya main campus on the 6th of October 2014. The placid and quiet interiors of the Sri V.D Swami Auditorium came to life with thunderous clapping, cheering and hoorays, as the students and parents lustily cheered their friends and wards who had made their mark and were stepping into the next stage in their lives. Delivering the welcome address Dr. Rajeswari Mahadevan, Head of the Contact lens department and faculty member at the Elite School of Optometry declared with pride that the Chief Guest of the day Dr. Suresh Vishwanathan was a proud student of the 1990 batch at the Elite School of Optometry, she implored the graduating students to serve the world in typical Sankara Nethralaya spirit. Dr. Rajeswari took Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharath Abhiyan the pledge undertaking to keep the country clean and tidy and exhorted every member of the Sankara Nethralaya family to take the pledge most earnestly.
This was followed by a most spirited and vibrant account of the academic achievements, recognitions in terms of papers presented and recognized at national and international seminars, symposiums attended, lectures delivered, PhD’s awarded by Dr.S.Meenakshi, Senior Ophthalmic surgeon. The Director of Academics summed up the achievements of the institution right from the fresher to senior consultants to the living legend award won by the founder and Chairman emeritus, with much of her commentary drowned by loud cheering and clapping. Introducing the Chief Guest of the day Dr.T.S.Surendran, Vice-Chairman, Sankara Nethralaya was at his spontaneous and humorous best, he regaled the young audience by taking them back to the founding days of the institution, his class room sessions and jokes enjoyed with the Chief Guest who was his student, the proud master expressed in his characteristic humility that much of his student’s high academic achievements in his later years were out of his comprehension.
Delivering the Chief Guest’s address Dr.Suresh Viswanathan, Chair of the Biological and Vision Science at the State University of New York College of Optometry (SUNY) and a proud alumni of the Elite School of optometry expressed that he was proud to be the Chief Guest at the event not only because it was his Alma Mater but also because Sankara Nethralaya continues to be the pioneer and premium institution in eye care, research and education in the sub-continent. Imploring the new graduates to charter their own course, he quoted from acclaimed poet Robert Frost’s lines prompting them to choose the road less travelled when it came to choosing their career. The illustrious alumni member’s clear message to the graduating students was ‘Do not ask yourself the stock question ‘What do I want to be? Instead ask yourself ‘Whom do I want to be like for the rest of my life? He explained that the former question restricted its scope to the professional goals to be reached but the latter question probed into the deeper realm of value sets to be imbibed, ethos, convictions and their service orientation. He remarked that the role models to be emulated by them were present right at the venue and the students could choose whom they would want to be like from those assembled on the dais and the hall. He fervently appealed to the students to be individualistic in setting their goals and once the goal is set to work ceaselessly towards its realization.
Dr. Lily Therese, Professor and HOD, L&T Microbiology Dept and Dr. Krishna Kumar, Principal, Elite School of Optometry proudly announced the students who had made the grade in various courses offered by their institutions. The high power function closed with a Vote of Thanks by Ms. A.Rashima, Lecturer, Elite School of Optometry