UNN to honour 1963 pioneer graduates

Posted by News Express | 12 August 2013 | 5,049 times

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The University of Nigeria Nsukka will for one week in October roll out the drums and raise its flag in honour of surviving members of its 1963 pioneer class. 

Vice Chancellor Prof. Bartho Okolo announced during the week the formation of a Committee to ensure the realisation of the goal of celebrating the pioneers who entered the first indigenous university in Nigeria on October 7, 1960 and graduated in 1963. They then went on to perform excellently at various interviews, including placement in the then Western Nigeria Civil Service, thus cementing the reputation of the university as a centre of excellence.

The celebration of the pioneers would form an integral part of the 2013 Founder’s Day of the University from October 1-7, 2013.

UNN opened its doors to 220 students in 1960, while 150 of them graduated in 1963.

Inaugurating the Committee on 50th anniversary of 1st graduates of the University of Nigeria, the Vice-Chancellor Okolo said it was a thing of honour for the university to have produced its first graduates three years after it was established in 1960. He said the university would therefore be pleased to honour its pioneer graduates who started its journey to restoring the dignity of man. 

Prof. Okolo assured the committee of the support of the University administration to ensure the success of the event and make it memorable.

Responding, Chairman of the Committee, Dr. Okey Ewurum, said that it was important to recognise the pioneer graduates of the Institution because they believed in the future of the university when other people were not confident of its survival.

“Whatever name the University of Nigeria has made, as the first indigenous university in Nigeria, is made possible because of the quality of products it has put forward in the labour market. If we cannot celebrate any other class, it is important that we celebrate the first graduates who left the university in 1963. This is because when this university started, most people did not give it a chance of survival,” Dr. Ewurum said.

“It was called a glorified secondary school because people thought it would collapse, so if the university survived, it was because of that first class who believed in its future,” he added. 

Dr. Ewurum, who was the President, National Alumni Association of the University of Nigeria, from 2001-2005, added that the uniqueness of the pioneer set was evident in their active involvement in the affairs of the university as four of them had served as National  Alumni Presidents out of the total of 10 presidents so far recorded by the alumni association.

He therefore pledged the willingness of his committee to work towards the success of the event and thanked the university administration for finding him and members of his committee worthy for the job.

A statement signed by Gabriel C. Ndu, Communication Secretary to the Vice-Chancellor, gave the names of members of the committee as Prof. Obioma Njoku, who will serve as the secretary; Chief Dr Grace Ukeje; Chief Bar. Andrew Oru; Emeka Anuforo; Prof. Anene Moneke; Prof. Peter Onwualu; and Prof. Nkeadi Onyegegbu. Others are Dr Edith Nwosu, Miss Chioma Onyenwe, Dr Chukwudi Anyanwu, and Mazi Nnamdi Okwuadigbo.        

•Photo shows UNN VC, Prof. Barth Okolo.

Source: News Express

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