President Abdul Hamid appeared to be in his iconic good-natured demeanour at the 50th convocation of Dhaka University.
The president’s remarks – witty and candid – maintained a hold on the audience who were thoroughly charmed during the programme.
The president opened with: “I have to go off-script to be honest with you.”
President Hamid said: “Many years ago, a young man tried to enroll in Dhaka University. But the university refused to even give him an admission form!
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President Abdul Hamid conferring a Doctor of Science degree upon Prof Amit Chakma at the programme PID
“That young man is now the chancellor of Dhaka University, of all the universities – public and private alike – in the country,” he said as the students broke into laughter.
“It surprises me every day, every waking day, that I am the chancellor of Dhaka University,” he continued.
“I was a student with average results, achieved third division in my matriculate exams. It was by the sheer mercy of God that I was accepted at Gurudayal Govt College at Kishoreganj.”
“But, as a devoted student activist, I frequented the Dhaka University campus. I have been to every hall on the campus. Well, almost every hall, except for the girls’ hall. But I did hang around the girls’ hall every now and then,” the president said to a raucous laughter from the audience.
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President Abdul Hamid awarding the gold medal to an outstanding student at the 50th convocation of Dhaka University PID
He added: “I used to be envious of my friends who could wear the gown and cap for convocation. I always wanted to wear the convocation attire. But now I feel stifled when I wear them.
“I have to go to convocations so frequently now, that I am tired of wearing these heavy gowns with horrible airflow!”
In his usual jovial manner, the president added a unique liveliness to the programme and concluded by calling on DU Vice Chancellor Prof AAMS Arefin Siddique to hold convocations in the winter to save people from suffering in the heat of the convocation garb in the other seasons.