Friday, August 29, 2014 - 5am

The Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) has received the most generous gift of PKR. 1 Billion (Rs. 1,000,000,000) from the Gurmani Foundation which will be used to set up an endowment for supporting financial assistance programmes for the most deserving students and for a range of scholarly activities. This is the largest single gift ever received by LUMS and may also be the single largest gift ever given to an educational institution in Pakistan.

The Mushtaq Ahmad Gurmani Endowment Fund – named after agricultural reformer, philanthropist, Prime Minister of Bahawalpur State, and the first Governor of then West Pakistan – will be established by LUMS as a long-term endowment fund with assets currently worth Rs. 1.00 Billion. A principal use of the earnings from the Gurmani Endowment will be to assist the poorest and most deserving students, especially those from the remote areas of Pakistan, through financial assistance initiatives such as the LUMS National Outreach Programme (NOP). In addition, the Endowment earnings will also be used for scholarly Fellowships, Prizes and other projects that correspond to the University mission and the Gurmani Foundation goals of promoting research, education and training.

A more formal launching ceremony for the Endowment Fund will be held later this year. Meanwhile, the two daughters of the late Nawab Mushtaq Ahmad Gurmani (1905-1981) – Begum Abida Aminullah and Begum Khalida Ghazanfar – were present to sign the agreement. Both commented that the spirit of the Endowment embodies the passions that defined their father: a thirst for knowledge, a belief in the benefits of good education, and a deeply felt desire to assist those in greatest need and of greatest merit. Rabia Sultan, a member of the Gurmani Foundation Board added that “as a grandchild I am sure that our grandfather would be as happy and satisfied as we all are today.”

In celebrating the Endowment, Syed Babar Ali - the Pro-Chancellor of LUMS, said that since his childhood he had benefitted from Nawab Gurmani's affection and advice and that the goals of the Endowment mirror the cherished desire his late mentor and elder friend. He added that this gift exemplifies the deep commitment to education that the Gurmani family have always displayed. LUMS Trustee Dr. Pervez Hassan had also been close to Mr. Gurmani and commented on the shared commitment to education and of national uplift that are common to both LUMS and the Gurmani Foundation.

The LUMS Rector, Mr. Abdul Razak Dawood, said, “This is a unique and amazing act of generosity by the Gurmani family and is unlike anything that any Pakistani educational institution has ever seen before.” On behalf of LUMS, he thanked the Gurmani Foundation for the trust they have shown in the Univeristy and said, “LUMS will always make sure that it lives up to this trust.” Dr. Adil Najam, the Vice Chancellor of LUMS, added, “This gift is special to LUMS not only because of its sheer size but even more because of its intent and structure. The focus on financial assistance for the most deserving students matches LUMS’ own commitment and the fact that this is structured as an Endowment is testimony to the long-term trust that the Gurmani Foundation and the Pakistani society has in LUMS as an institution.”

The Gurmani Foundation is a philanthropic organisation that caters to the promotion and welfare of the community at large and has been actively involved in funding institutions geared at imparting knowledge and other culturally inclined endeavours. This current gift follows an earlier gift of Rs. 50 Million from the Foundation to LUMS to establish the Gurmani Centre for Languages and Literature  at LUMS.

LUMS was established in 1985, is widely regarded as amongst the leading Universities in Pakistan. Consisting of three schools – the Suleman Dawood School of Business (SDSB), the School of Science and Engineering (SBASSE) and the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Law (MGSHSS) - LUMS now offers a full range of Univeristy disciplines and courses and currently has over 3000 students enrolled in its graduate and undergraduate programmes.