"Trust and tolerance: these are the two things we must have and which I plead with you to emphasize in the life of our College," said Prof. Naseem Haider Kazmi at the faculty reception held Tuesday, 3 April 2012 to honour his 37 years of service to Edwardes. "We must trust each other in order for the College to run smoothly," he said, "and tolerance is essential in the current situation of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the country."
Prof Naseem retired as Vice Principal on 31 December 2011 after serving for several years, one of them as Acting Principal in the difficult interim between the departure of the previous principal in May 2010 and the coming of Dr. Titus Presler in May 2011. A graduate of Edwardes himself, he began teaching Biology at the College in 1974 and since then also served as Senior Hostel Warden and Director of Studies. He continues to teach Biology in re-employed status.
A succession of speakers at the dinner reception paid tribute on the Bungalow Lawn to the high standards of personal integrity that Prof. Naseem embodied in his teaching and administration. "Here we have tolerance for human beings," English Lecturer Ayesha Shakeel recalled Naseem telling her when she was struggling in the early days of her teaching at Edwardes. Other speakers included English Asst. Prof. Nasir Iqbal and English Asst. Prof. Julzar Jalal, both of whom studied under Naseem; Biology Head of Department Atta ur Rehman Anjum; and Vice Principal Kalim Ullah. About 65 faculty gathered for the occasion.
A highlight of the evening was the recitation in Urdu and English translation by the father-daughter team of Assoc. Prof. Alwin Edwin and Lecturer Myra Edwin of the poem “Waqaat” (“Time”) by Indian poet Javed Akhtar, with the translation by his wife the Indian actress and parliamentarian Shabana Azami. Music for the evening was provided by a duo of rabab and tabla.
"Efficiency, grace and wisdom are three qualities that stood out in Prof. Naseem's leadership during a difficult time in the College's history," said Principal Dr. Titus Presler. "He got things done, but he always did so with grace, caring deeply both for persons and for the future of the College. His wisdom was indispensable during a time when many important decisions had to be made." Humility, compassion and hospitality were personal qualities of Naseem that Titus cited.
The Principal concluded by presenting to Naseem the framed resolution passed by the Board of Governors at its 9 March 2012 meeting:
Resolved, That the Board of Governors of Edwardes College congratulates Prof. Naseem Haider Kazmi on his retirement after 37 years of service to Edwardes College; and be it further
Resolved, That the Board of Governors expresses its deep gratitude to Prof. Naseem for the expertise and creativity he demonstrated in his teaching of Biology to generations of Edwardians, and for the dedication and vision he demonstrated in the administrative posts he fulfilled, including Senior Hostel Warden, Director of Studies, and Vice Principal; and be it further
Resolved, That the Board of Governors commends Prof. Naseem especially on his service as Acting Principal of Edwardes College during the 2010-11 interim in the office of Principal, a period of difficulty in the internal life and external relations of the College, during which Prof. Naseem offered wise, compassionate and firm leadership in the financial, legal and personnel challenges that the College faced; and be it further
Resolved, That the Board of Governors concurs with the Principal’s view that Prof. Naseem offered invaluable advice and assistance as Vice Principal during the Principal’s early months of service from May 2011 until Prof. Naseem’s retirement on 31 December 2011 and joins the Principal in gratitude for this service; and be it further
Resolved, That the Board of Governors wishes Prof. Naseem and his family a happy and fruitful retirement even as he continues to teach Biology at Edwardes in re-employed status.
The resolution was signed by Board Chair His Excellency Masood Kausar, Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; Board Vice Chair the Rt. Rev. Humphrey Peters, Bishop of Peshawar; and the Principal. Other gifts presented to Naseem were a picture book of Pakistan from the Management Team and a fountain pen and a collection of compact discs of Sufi music from the College.