NEDAASC Fundraising Dinner and Musical Evening
By Mansoor Khan
Pictures by Anwar Khawaja and Faiz Ahmed
Pictures above: Glimpses of the NEDAASC Fundraising Dinner and Musical Evening
NEDAASC Fundraising Dinner and Musical Evening
The NED Alumni Association of Southern California (NEDAASC) Fundraising Dinner and Musical Evening was held on Saturday, March 20, 2010 at the Aashiana Restaurant in the City of Diamond Bar, California. The event was packed house. The event was well attended by a large number of NEDians, their spouses as well as individuals interested in supporting education. Alumni ranging from the classes of early 1960s to the late 2000s were in attendance. It was great to see so many alumni in attendance from all over Southern California as well as the keynote speaker Ashraf Habibullah (NED Civil 1969), CEO of Computer & Structures Inc., who came all the way from Northern California to support this worthy and noble cause. Many NEDians and guests expressed strong support for the NEDAASC Scholarship Program.
Following recitation of the Holy Qur’an with translation by Mohammed Arif Moghal (NED Electrical 1986), the proceedings of the program began with a welcome address by Mansoor Khan (NED Civil 1983), Chairman Function Committee. Three great NEDians - Mohammed Nauman, NED Professor of Electronics Engineering Department; Izhar Haider Naqvi, NED Student Union President 1964-1965; and Afaq Sheikh, Professor of Civil Engineering Department - who are no longer with us were remembered with moments of silence. Mujib Ahmed (NED Civil 1974) was the master of ceremony for the evening program. He entertained the crowd with various couplets of Urdu poems and jokes and made the event lively and interesting.
Moqueem Ansari (NED Civil 1980) made a motivational and inspirational power point presentation outlining the history of NEDAASC, its accomplishments and achievements. Moqueem emphasized the scholarship program initiated by NEDAASC in 2008. NEDAASC has been providing scholarships and various financial assistance to numerous NED students on Need-cum-Merit basis and will continue to do so. It has been the hallmark and focus of the program by NEDAASC. Scholarships funded by NEDAASC Board of Directors, members, alumni and friends provide wonderful opportunities to NED students, many of whom are from families of modest means. The experience of receiving a high-quality education at NED University is truly life-changing and we are deeply grateful to those who help to provide this opportunity through charitable support of student scholarships.
Mujib Ahmed evoked the feelings of NED nostalgia through poems and a slide show. It was an opportunity for the alumni to see the slides and hear how the campus has evolved since their college days into a full-fledged university. It was a nostalgic stroll down the memory lane. NEDians from different eras shared their wonderful memories associated with the alma mater. Dr. Arshud Mahmood (NED Civil 1965) reminisced about the NED of the 1960s. Arshad Syed (NED Civil 1971) told stories of our beloved Professors Dr. A.T. Khan and Aziz-ul-Hassan. Maliha Ansari (NED Civil 1986) recalled the NED of 1980s.
The keynote speaker of the evening was the world renowned structural engineer and distinguished alumnus Ashraf Habibullah, CEO of CSI. He is known for his great sense of humor. He took us to a trip down the memory lane of the old NED Engineering College. It was a humorous speech that brought giggles, chuckles and laughter. His speech was the highlight of the evening. It was a memorable, entertaining speech by Ashraf and will be remembered for a long time.
Ahmed Ali (NED Civil 1971) has provided a strong leadership to NEDAASC during his tenure as President of NEDAASC. He is known for his devotion, dedication and commitment. His vision, intellect and temperament have united NEDAASC Board of Directors who have worked as a team to achieve the goal of helping our alma mater.
The past two years have been years of tremendous growth, excitement and success at NEDAASC. The evening was particularly special as NEDians recognized past President of NEDAASC Ahmed Ali. Current President Dr. Farhat Siddiqi (NED Civil 1965) presented a plaque to Ahmed Ali for his outstanding contributions and services to NEDAASC. Ahmed Ali expressed his long-standing affection for NED and his gratitude. He stated that he could not have done what he did for NEDAASC without the support and cooperation of the Board Members and the NEDians alike. Dr. Farhat Siddiqi in his speech looked forward to an exciting period of growth and close cooperation between NEDians to see this organization reach new heights of success.
Door prizes were drawn through raffle to lucky winners. The door prizes were made possible through our sponsors from KOA Corporation, Geo-Environmental, Inc, Pakistan Link, Crown Technical Systems, MCE Consultants, Inc. and Inland Engineers. Ashraf Habibullah was gracious enough to donate $10,000 towards NEDAASC scholarship program but on the condition that the NEDians match his contribution of equal value. The NEDians and guests accepted his challenge and rose to the occasion by matching his contribution within fifteen minutes. Over $20,000 were raised for the scholarship program, thanks to the generosity of Ashraf Habibullah and the NEDians. It was noted that the unprecedented success of the fundraising became more significant when considered in terms of the negative impact that the faltering economy has had on fundraising initiatives nationwide. And yet NEDians came through to make this the most successful NEDAASC fundraising. During the later part of the evening, the tenor changed to that of a celebratory gala, with a delightful variety of cuisines.
The night was still young and the audience was anxiously waiting for the final portion of the program. The floor was given to Tahir Iftekhar to begin the cultural program of the evening. He took the stage and mesmerized the audience with his captivating voice and vocal magic. Tahir Khan (NED Mechanical 1981) demonstrated his singing talents. His magical and soulful vocals transported the alumni and guests into an evening of fun and loud cheers. The program continued till 12:00 AM in the night with requests for favorite songs pouring in from the audience.
It was exciting to renew old friendships and establish new ones at the alumni gathering and to get to meet the NEDians and well wishers from all across Southern California. In conclusion, one needs to commend the NEDAASC Board Members and general members for putting together this very successful program. It was great to see so many people come out to support NEDAASC scholarship program. NEDAASC has set the bar high for fundraising for next year. It was a great delight to see this sort of event strike a chord with a group as diverse as the one that attended the event. It shows that the development efforts are certainly on the right track as the campaign for scholarships continues.