Posted by Inya-Agha Egwu, Nsukka | 8 February 2017 | 5,637 times
It was a beehive of activities at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) as the premier institution celebrated its 46th Convocation in grand style conferring about 12,448 degrees on deserving graduands.
The Convocation activities, which spanned from Monday, January 23 to Sunday, 29, 2017, attracted dignitaries from different parts of the country who either came to felicitate with their friends, wards or attended as special guests of the university.
Activities for the convocation were flagged-off at the Main Hall of the UNN Enugu Campus where the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Benjamin Chukwuma Ozumba, outlined the convocation events and briefed pressmen and members of the university community of major developments in the university within the past one year.
Prof. Ozumba informed the audience that the university had consolidated its primus position in the latest Webometrics rankings which still placed the UNN in the number one position among all the UNN with over 4,000 differences in citation between the institution and the University of Ibadan that occupies the second position.
“Having retained that enviable position consecutively for three rankings, we now consider it a privilege to remain at the top and we are not ready to abdicate that position anytime soon,” the Vice-Chancellor said.
At the conferment of first Degrees, Certificates and Diploma, a total of 10,425 graduands received first degrees, diplomas and certificates, 94 of them bagged 1st Class Honours Degree with Eke Ifeanyichukwu Emmanuel of the of the Department of Microbiology emerging the Best Graduating Student for the 2015/2016 session.
“As a student, I had no shoes, I did menial jobs, including photography, to survive, I thank God who crowned my efforts with good success,” Eke said while presenting his valedictory speech.
At the Postgraduate level, the University graduated a total of 2,023 students. 365 of them received Doctor of Philosophy Degrees (Ph.D) 1,419 received Masters Degrees while 239 graduates were awarded Postgraduate Diplomas. Professor Igwe Charles Arinzechukwu won the Vice-Chancellor’s Research Leadership Prize. Vice-Chancellor’s Faculty Postgraduate Prizes were won by Ibout Johnson Cletus, Faculty of Physical Sciences (1st Prize); Chukwu Jude Okechukwu, Faculty of Social Sciences (2nd Prize) and Melefa Omotosho Moses, Faculty of Arts (3rd prize).
A unique aspect of the convocation was a special convocation ceremony for the conferment of Honorary Degree on Pastor Enoch Adeboye, the General Overseer of Redeemed Christian Church of God. Adeboye, who gained admission into the University of Nigeria in 1963 but left in 1966 because of the civil war crisis, was conferred a Doctorate Degree in Divinity (Honoris Causa).
“My joy knew no bounds when it became clear to me that 50 years later, I will still go with a degree of this University”, the clergy said, adding that he was “grateful to God and to the authorities of the University of Nigeria”.
Engineer Emeka Obiora Okwuosa, Chairman and CEO of Oilserv Limited, and a seasoned administrator, Engineer John Obinna Chukwu were equally conferred Doctor of Business Administration (Hon. DBA) and Doctor of Public Administration (Hon. DPA) respectively.
Engineers Top Honorary Awardees
Meanwhile, many of those who were conferred Honorary Degrees and title of Professor Emeritus were Engineers. Besides Engineers Okwuosa and Chukwu, four out of seven Professors that received the title of Professor Emeritus were from the Faculty of Engineering. They included: Prof. Anthony Okey Odukwe, Prof Samuel Onuorah Onyegegbu, Prof Francis Igboji Idike and Prof Emmanuel Uchecukwu Odigbo.
Others who received the title included: Prof. W. I. Beniah Onuigbo, Prof. Benson Omeniha Oluikpe and Prof. Samuel Nnagbo Chiejina.
Buhari Praises Chancellor, Pro-Chancellor and VC
The Visitor to the University, President Muhammadu Buhari in his address at the convocation paid glowing attribute to the authorities of the University for holding forte with sound academic tradition bequeathed to the University by her founding fathers.
“I have noted with joy”, said the president who was represented by the Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwuka “that the present Vice-Chancellor, Professor Benjamin Chukwuma Ozumba, clearly understands the pedigree of the founding fathers and did not rest until the university became the first in Nigeria, the fourteenth in Africa, and presently enjoys an enviable and distinguishing ranking in the world!”
The President maintained that “Special thanks are also due the hardworking Chancellor as well as the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council, members of the Governing Council, the Senate, Staff and students of this university for respecting the product of visible work rather than clinging to the absurdity of invisible thoughts”.
President Buhari entreated the graduands to engage in fruitful jobs that would bring development to the country.
In his address, the Chancellor of the University, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Babatunde Ogunwusi, the Oni of Ife, charged the graduands and honorary awardees to be good ambassadors of the University, stressing that the University would continue to uphold its tradition of delivering quality education.
“Make excellence your watchword and remember always to be the stellar star in whatever environment you find yourself”, the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council, Mr Emmanuel Chukwuka Ukala, SAN advised in his address.
Mr Ukala maintained that the economic recession in the country presented opportunities for universities to excel in researches and innovations.
According to him, “well equipped universities in such seasons rise to the peak of of their inventiveness.” The Senior Advocate of Nigeria appealed to Nigerians to see opportunities presented by the prevailing economic situation in the country.
The Convocation ceremony was capped with Thanksgiving Service at St. Peter’s Chaplaincy, UNN. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ozumba, at the service thanked God for the success of the convocation activities and also thanked staff and students of the University for their Cooperation.
The Vice-Chancellor Stated that his administration had recorded achievements in the areas of provision of municipal services, environmental aesthetics, structural upgrades, timely promotion of staff, enhanced global visibility, among others.
“I dedicate these achievements to my management team and my staff and students”, he said.
•Photo shows, L-R; Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Prof Benjamin Ozumba, 2015/2016 Best Graduating Student of UNN, Eke Ifeanyichukwu Emmanuel, Pro-Chancellor, Emmanuel Chukwuka Ukala, SAN and the Registrar, Barr. Christopher Igbokwe, at the 46th Convocation of the UNN.