Chancellor Charges Parents on New Eagles, as Ajia Emerges Best Graduate Ever
The Chancellor and Chairman, Board of Regents, Covenant University, Dr. David O. Oyedepo, has charged parents and guardians of graduates of the institution to allow their wards live the Covenant University dream, as a graduate of Petroleum Engineering, Miss Motunrayo Ajia, emerged the first graduate with 5.00 CPGA in the history of the University.
Dr. Oyedepo, while delivering his address titled, ‘What is Unique About Covenant University’, to the mammoth crowd at the 14th Convocation Ceremony of Covenant, held on Friday, July 19, 2019 at the University’s Chapel, pleaded with parents and guardians to allow the graduands pursue their vision in life, allow them to exercise their themselves in their chosen fields, as long as it was not criminal or socially unacceptable.
The ceremony tagged, ‘The Release of Eagles’ had a host of dignitaries in attendance. They included Vice-President, Education, Living Faith Church Worldwide, Pastor (Mrs) Faith Oyedepo; wife of the Vice-President, Mrs. Oludolapo Osinbajo; the Corps Marshall, Federal Road Safety Corps, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi; the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed; Chairman, Strategy Advisory Committee, National Universities Commission, Professor Peter Okebukola; the Olota of Ota, Oba (Professor) Abdulkabir Obalanlege amongst others.
To the graduands, dubbed, ‘The Peculiar Set’, Dr. Oyedepo said the University did not expect any of her graduate to be on the job market as they had been equipped to be job providers. “I charge you all to start thinking strategically, productively and futuristically and there shall be no limits on your rise and impact in the adventure of life,” he said.
According to the Chancellor, Covenant’s custom-built programmes took their bearing from the University’s core values, which included the Total Man Concept, Entrepreneurial Development Studies, Leadership Development Studies, and Towards a Total Graduate. He said that the combination of all these had ensured the success of the University in all academic rankings, both locally and internationally. For example, he enumerated that Covenant was ranked No. 1 on most ranking platforms in Nigeria, she is leading in many areas of research globally, ranked in the top 200 of young universities globally, and ranked in the 801-1000 bracket in academic reputation both in research and teaching worldwide amongst other attainments.
While delivering a speech on the topic, ‘The Africa We Want: The Role of Higher Institution’, the Convocation Keynote Speaker, Dr. Monisoye Afolabi, said Africa urgently required a new set of leaders devoid of the sit-tight syndrome and who were more of statesmen than politicians.
He stated that Africa needed leaders more concerned with the well-being and upliftment of their people, rather than winning the next election. “We do not need leaders who own and reign over their people, whose only preoccupation is the protection of their social and material interests. We need leaders who know the essence of power in forging a better life, and not the acquisition of power for the sake of power,” he stated.
The Keynote Speaker, who is the Chairman, Baobab Media and Baobab Think Limited, said that despite attempts by the West to portray Africans as a people of wars and famine, of political perturbations, of unhealthy habits and cultures, of unsettled borders, of uncounted and uncountable demography, and of social and economic disorder, Africans needed to, by words and actions, demonstrate who they really were.
As the second largest and most populous continent on earth with an estimated 1.4 billion inhabitants, Africa’s population, according to Dr. Afolabi, could be turned into an advantage, for instance, the vigour and resilience of youth, coupled with a purpose-driven educational agenda, could raise the economies of the continent to enviable heights, resulting in improved welfare of the African citizen. He stated that, the African Union had promulgated the ‘Agenda 2063: The Africa we want’, as Africa’s blueprint and masterplan for transforming Africa into the global powerhouse of the future, with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), being a flagship project of Agenda 2063.
While explaining the role of higher education in arriving at the kind of continent desired by Africans, Dr. Afolabi said that, as governments at national and continental levels set economic and social goals and targets to enable academia to tailor the products of higher education, it became imperative for an academia-industry collaboration, with industry helping academia to help industry. He posited that, “This will result in higher education producing readily useable graduates with the knowledge and skills to fully participate in the Africa we want”.
Dr. Afolabi, a former Director of Business Environment, United States Agency for International Development in Accra, Ghana, charged the graduands to always remember where they came from (their noble institution, family and religious heritage), remember their status as Eagles, and commit themselves to being part of the solution towards the Africa desired by Africans. “But it is far more important to know your God, to walk with God, and to do exploits in His Name and to His glory,” he added.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, Covenant, Professor AAA. Atayero, said the University’s pedagogy and curriculum were designed to raise a new generation of leaders spiritually and mentally equipped to restore the dignity of the Blackman.
While informing the audience about the imminent actualization of the University’s vision to become one of the top 10 Universities in the world by the year 2022, Professor Atayero stated that Covenant was presently ranked in the 601-800 bracket in the Times Higher Education World University Ranking as the best University in Nigeria and West Africa as well as being among the top 97th percentile of universities in the world.
Professor Atayero, who reeled out a host of other milestones reached by Covenant, particularly in terms of research and contributions towards the Sustainable Development Goals, said the 2019 Convocation Ceremony was the celebration of products of life-applicable learning process with the award of 1,341 Bachelors and 239 higher degrees in various disciplines, having found the graduands to be worthy in character and in learning.
“In the Bachelor’s degree category, 215 of the graduates made First Class, 668 Second Class Upper Division, and 43 Third Class. As for Higher Degrees, there are 42 Ph.D, 152 M.Sc, 23 M.Eng, 16 MBA, 4 M.A, and 2 PDG,” he stated.
The Vice-Chancellor congratulated the 14th set of graduating students, parents, relatives and friends for the milestones accomplished.
The Best Graduating Student, Miss Motunrayo Victoria Ajia, in her response, expressed gratitude to the Chancellor, the Vice-Chancellor, faculty and staff for their sacrifice, which had culminated in the students’ graduation. She attributed her staying power through her years in Covenant to God and her mother’s counsel.
“To my fellow graduates, you should all be proud in yourselves, no one else could feel what we went through, we felt it with one another. You leave here with memories that last a lifetime. With what we have learnt in this institution over the last five years, our views have been shaped to deal with different situations that may come our way. In life, our grades and honours do not define us, what we do with the honours in the years that follow is what matters,” said Ajia.
Also at the ceremony were members of Covenant University’s Board of Regents; Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Akan Williams; Registrar, Dr. Lanre Amodu; other members of Management, members of the Senate, faculty and staff, visiting Vice-Chancellors or their representatives, families of the graduating students, and other distinguished personalities.
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