LAHORE – The Government College University Lahore, the oldest seat of learning in Pakistan, turned 149-year today (Tuesday).

The GCU Vice Chancellor Dr Khaleequr Rahman announced the 2013 a year celebrations for all Ravians and old and new, saying that the university and Old Ravians Union had planned several literary, co-curricular and social events to mark the sesquicentennial year.

Talking about the history of GCU, the VC said that teh varsity was made as Government College, Lahore in the Haveli (palace) of Dhian Singh in the Walled City on January 1, 1864. The present gothic-style majestic building of the GC University Lahore was completed in 1877 on 3700 square feet in the north of Soldiers Garden (Gol Bagh) with a cost of Rs. 320,000.

The College was initially affiliated with the Calcutta University as there was no university in this part of the sub-continent at that time. The Government College, Lahore was raised to the status of University in 2002 and was renamed as the GC University Lahore. From first principle Dr G W Lietner to second VC Prof. Dr Muhammad Khaleequr Rahman, as many as 27 heads have served this great institution. 

The VC said that the academic travel which was started in 1864 with just nine students and three teachers produced hundreds of literary figures, politicians, two Nobel laureates, five prime ministers, jurists, sportsmen and scientists. He said the college was established on the pattern of Cambridge and Oxford and it is available in historical records that it was decided that all students of this college would be given 10 to 15 rupees scholarship annually.

He said that Poet of East Allama Muhammad Iqbal, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, NM Rashid, Patras Bukhari, Ashfaq Ahmad, Qudsia Bano; only Pakistani nobel laureate Prof Dr Abdus Salam, Chief Justice MR Kyani, Chief Justice Naseem Hassan Shah, Justice (r) Javed Iqbal, Justice (r) Khalilur Rahman Ramday and Justice (r) Khawja Muhammad Sharif are Old Ravains. He said that tennis star Aisamul Haq, cricketers Amir Sohail, Ramiz Raja, Inzmamul Haq and Salim Malik are also Old Ravains.

The GC University Lahore also produced five prime-ministers namely Feroz Khan Noon, Yousaf Raza Gillani, Nawaz Sharif, Zafarullah Khan Jamali and Moeen Qureshi besides hundreds of political leaders including Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Hanif Ramay and former governor Salman Taseer. He said that if you come to performing arts, noted Indian actor Dev Anand, Rafi Peer, Syed Imtiaz Ali Taj, Shafqat Amanat Ali, Ali Zafar, Hadiqa Kyani and Jawad Ahmad also studied from GCU.

The vice chancellor paid tribute to the efforts of Dr Leitner, the first principle of Government College, who established it on the pattern of College of London, UK. The VC said that they would maintain wonderful traditions of academic excellence, research, promotion of new ideas and above all, respect for others’ belief and views.

In his message on GCU’s birthday, noted nuclear scientist and Old Ravians Union President highlighted that the biggest contribution of GC University in the history of Pakistan, saying that out of 140 experts who carried nuclear explosions in 1998, 60 were old Ravians and their team leaders who pressed the button for explosions were also the former students of the GCU.