The alumni of Aga Khan University in North America established an alumni organization first in 1993, and a reunion was held in 1994 at the Cosmos Club in Washington D.C. The “AKU Alumni Association of North America” (AKUAANA), as it was called then, operated for all AKU alumni of the School of Medicine.
The second reunion was held in 1996, and the third in 1997 in Houston where other alumni took over management of the association. The association continued to function as an informal group while a parallel group developed under the auspices of the Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America (APPNA).
In 1999, APPNA leadership invited AKU alumni to organize their reunion during the APPNA Fall Meeting held in September in New York. APPNA was eager to bring the AKU alumni association under its umbrella similar to other alumni associations of major medical schools from Pakistan. A formal resolution was introduced at the Annual APPNA meeting held in New Orleans and AKU was formally inducted as a component society of APPNA in 2000 with full voting rights.
The association has since participated in mentorship programs, immigration assistance, research and counseling programs, identifying class representatives as well as re-invigorating AKUNAMA (Aga Khan University Newsletter and Magazine for Alumni).
AKUAANA members continue to contribute to their alma mater and to Pakistan. Over the course of the last 25 years, contributions have been made in philanthropy, exchange programs, research development, education and student support. Various alumni have returned to Karachi to give lectures, provide best practice guidelines and collaborate on projects in public health, critical care, emergency medicine, pediatrics and surgery.
As the alumni mature, large philanthropic gifts have been provided at the 25th year anniversary of the classes of 1988, 1989 and 1990. Other classes have also contributed anonymously to the Aga Khan University and have developed mechanisms to help with student loans and educational development.
Besides supporting AKU directly, alumni continue to provide leadership in Pakistan by developing links with other NGOs such as The Citizens Foundation (TCF), Developments in Literacy (DIL), Hunar Foundation and the Indus Hospital. Natural disasters have unfortunately affected Pakistan and alumni have quickly assisted providing material, financial and medical assistance.
AKU alumni have been recognized by APPNA as academic leaders in North America and across the globe. AKUAANA and APPNA are thus partnering to leverage the alumni to promote APPNA’s education mission.
In 2015, the Executive Council of the association adopted its mission and vision to broadly encompass and guide its growth. We look forward to serving the needs of alumni, our communities in Pakistan and America.