Diversity has been a hallmark of Forman Christian College (A Chartered University) since its founding in 1864 when the Rev. Charles W. Forman gathered several dozen students from Lahore’s Sikh, Hindu and Muslim communities under a tree to teach the first Forman class. By the early 1900s, FC College was recognized as a leading institution of higher learning in Punjab, among other things becoming the first such institution in the province to admit female students and offer degrees to women.

Subsequent generations of Forman graduates, both women and men, have left a deep impact on Pakistan in many fields including aS civil servants, diplomats, soldiers, politicians, entrepreneurs, health professionals, academics writers and cultural figures. Most graduates have acknowledged a deep appreciation for their years at Forman, in particular citing the lasting impact of a college experience that included encounters with fellow students from a variety of different backgrounds.

In this regard, Forman prides itself in having a campus community that “looks like Pakistan,” with students, faculty and staff coming from every part of the country and representing a variety of religions, ethnic groups and socio-economic backgrounds. More than 40 percent of all undergraduates at Forman are female, as are more than 60 percent of those enrolled in MPhil and PhD programs: With respect to minority groups, the first sikh officer in the Pakistan army was a Forman graduate, as was the country’s highest ranking Christian officer. Jamshed Marker, a member of Pakistan’s Parsee community – and a leading Pakistani diplomat who once presided over the UN General Assembly — also proudly described himself as an “Old Formanite”. Generous financial aid programs help build, maintain and strengthen diversity on the Forman campus. During 2022-2023, Forman provided more than 338 million rupees in financial aid to more than 2,300 students (out of a total of nearly 9,000 students) at both the college and university level. Students from Pakistan’s Muslim, Christian, Hindu and Sikh communities all benefited from this support.

Members of the Forman community have also contributed to a wide range of worthy causes in recent years, including those affected by health concerns such as Covid-19 and natural disasters such as floods; Formanites also responded immediately to provide assistance in the aftermath of the recent events related to sectarian violence in Jaranwala. In addition, Forman demonstrates its social responsibility in a number of other ways. For example, it operates a campus Day Center for the children of faculty, staff and students. In addition, it supports a school for special needs children as well as a K-10 school for the children of its service workers. Known as “Light of Hope`, the latter enrolls 250 students, most of whose parents never had the opportunity to attend classes beyond fifth grade. Recent test scores have been encouraging and “Light of Hope”‘ graduates are now enrolled in various prestigious institutions of higher learning in the Lahore area including Forman College and Kinnaird College. Forman will shortly inaugurate its new $13 million, state-of-the-art Campus Center, named after former Rector Dr. James Tebbe. The building will include a digital library, offices, conference rooms, auditorium, exhibition space, art gallery, coffee shop, dining hall and multiple lounges. Most of the contributions that made this Center possible came from private US citizens donating through Friends of Forman, our Atlanta-based support organization. Private donations from private American citizens channeled through Friends of Forman also help make Forman’s scholarship programs possible.