by Oscar Akerburg (Faculty)
During the 50th anniversary celebrations, MUWCI hosted series of events on each day between Wednesday, September 19th 2012 and Sunday, September 23rd.
The 50th anniversary celebrations at MUWCI were also marked by a joyous event in India: the birthday of Lord Ganesha, which is one of the largest festivals in the state of Maharashtra. This coincidence was remarkable because in Hinduism Lord Ganesha is also known as the Lord of Beginnings and the Remover of Obstacles.
On the first day, students organized activities aimed at bringing the spirit of all the different UWCs onto our campus and bringing the UWC movement and ideals into the everyone’s minds.
To start, MUWCI staff members brought a figure of Lord Ganesha to a place in the school where various ceremonies were held. A priest conducted a ceremony in which our Head of College participated. This ceremony represented not only the start of the Ganesha festivities, but also the start of the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of UWC.
The main activity of the first day of festivities was to bring to life each one of the different UWCs in our academic area, the AQ. In the AQ there are currently 11 classrooms and apart from MUWCI there are 11 other UWCs. Students thus came up with the idea of renaming each of the classrooms with the names of all the current UWCs. Each UWC was assigned to a classroom in chronological order: A1 became Atlantic College, A2 South East Asia, A3 Pearson College, etc. Each of the classrooms was decorated according to the spirit of its namesake and the students displayed videos, photos and gave talks about what is currently happening at other UWCs. After the students’ presentations were finished, the classrooms kept their new UWC names, so we can always remember that we are not alone in our UWC mission.
In the middle of the UWC presentations, staff from the cafeteria brought a cake to the AQ. Students and faculty gathered around the common room of the AQ to listen as a student read the speech that Queen Noor had written for these celebrations. These motivating words were followed by a speech from the Head of College. Finally, all sang a Happy Birthday song for UWC and had a delicious taste of the cake!
After dinner, many students gathered in the MPH to see the live broadcast of the 50th anniversary inauguration ceremony at Atlantic College.
The activities of the first day concluded with a panel discussion about the UWC movement, which asked: where do we come from and where are we going? The panel consisted of four members of our faculty, one MUWCI alumnus and a student moderator. The discussion was very interesting and raised topics relevant in our quest to both reshape MUWCI and find its place in the context of the UWC movement.
The 50th anniversary of UWC celebrates more than the beginning of the movement, the beginning of the next 50 years, which will be difficult and full of obstacles. For this reason, we at MUWCI are very happy to have experienced a wonderful coincidence of the 50th anniversary of UWCs and the birthday of the Lord of Beginnings, the Obstacle Remover, Lord Ganesha.