OAU SET TO HONOUR 60 DISTINGUISHED INDIVIDUALS AT HER DIAMOND JUBILEE ANNIVERSARY

Kayode Olawuni, Ife

(L-R), The University Registrar, Mrs. M.I Omosule, The Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council, Oscar Owelle Udoji, The Vice-Chancellor Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede and the Representative of the Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II. 

As part of the activities marking its Diamond Jubilee Anniversary celebrations, the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife has concluded plans to honour 60 distinguished Alumni and outstanding members of the society who have made the institution proud and contributed to its advancement over the last six decades.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Eyitope Ogunbodede disclosed this while addressing journalists at a World Press Conference organized by the institution to usher in commemorative programmes and the official launching of its 60th Anniversary logo held at the Institution's Faculty of Technology main conference hall on Tuesday 8th June, 2021.

"Over sixty years of its existence, many people have willingly saddled themselves with the responsibility of using their resources to assist the University in various ways thereby promoting the rapid development of the institution and also uplifting the society and humanity at larg. Sixty of such individuals will be honoured as part of the Diamond Jubilee Anniversary celebrations", he said.

The Vice-Chancellor while highlighting some of the archiements of the institution over the last sixty years, maintained that the University has lived up to its expectations, adding that it has been consistent in championing the advancement of the frontiers of knowledge and the promotion of  African culture and tradition with groundbreaking success records in various fields of human endeavours.

"Over the last sixty years, Obafemi Awolowo University has archived a lot and if you want to know this, just look around at any part of Nigerian System, you will find out that the major people there are products of Obafemi Awolowo University. The University over the years has been archieving the main purpose for which it was established and it is worth celebrating", the Vice-Chancellor said.

OAU, According to him, has over the years remained Nigeria's ICT leading University having its own V-SAT access to the internet and a very efficient intranet. The Institution's Law, Medical and Engineering programmes, he added, stand out as the best in the country.

"OAU as a first generation University in the country has no doubt contributed immensely to the provision of quality education  and overall national and international development. The research accomplishment  and the global positioning of our Alumni  has continued to serve as a veritable confirmation of the eminent placement of OAU as a leading University", he said.

A Professor of Dentistry and the 11th substantive Vice-Chancellor of the University, Ogunbodede attributed the successes of the University so far to a strict adherence to its core values of excellence, efficiency, integrity and honesty, stressing that the institution will however not rest on its oars to continually champion the pursuit of academic excellence and place premium on promoting African Cultural values.

"However, the major issue here is not just that we are celebrating, we are trying to reposition the University for greater exploits in the next sixty years. Yes, we are celebrating our archiements of the past but we are also repositioning the University for greater archiements in the future and that is the whole essence of this. OAU will continue to place priority on harnessing and adopting mordern technologies in the implementation of its objectives, the Vice-Chancellor said. 

The Vice-Chancellor however solicit for more improved funding of the Universities in the country as, according to him, the poor funding as been a major impediment to accelerated progress and development especially in the areas of research and infrastructure in the nation's educational system.

The epoch-making event had in attendance eminent personalities including the University Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council, Owelle Oscar Udoji, principal officers of the University headed by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Eyitope O. Ogunbodede, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic, Prof. A.S. Bamire, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Administrative, Prof. C.O. Ajila, the University Registrar Mrs Margaret Idowu Omosule, the  University Librarian,  Dr. F.Z. Oguntuase, the University Busar, Mr. S.O Ayansina, Provosts of Colleges, Deans of Faculties, Heads of Depertments, Other Staffs, representatives from Alumni bodies, and Great Ife students. 

The Pro-Chancellor Owelle, in his speech, gave an insight into how the University Governing Council which he currently heads has been working in the background to sustain the greatness of the institution and assured the students and by extension the entire University community to expect more drastic developmental changes in the shortest period of time.

"I wish to use this opportunity to welcome you all. As the new Pro-Chancellor and member of the Council, I wish assure you that we will do our best to move this great institution forward. Since our appointment, we have tried as much as possible to work behind the scene. Only the Vice-Chancellor knows about it. And I'm assuring you that within the next few months, if you come to this great institution, you will some changes", he said.

Delegates from the University of the Gambia comprising the Principal Officers of the institution led by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. (Dr) Faqir Muhammad Anjum who had coincidentally come to visit OAU in a bid to renew a memorandum of understanding between the two citadels if learning were also present at the occasion. 

His Imperial Majesty Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Babatunde Ogunwusi Ojaja II, the Ooni of Ife was represented by a High Chief at the occasion.

The anniversary with the theme "OAU/Great Ife: 60 Years Of Advancing The Frontiers Of Knowledge And Culture" is, according to the Vice-Chancellor, to climax in December, 2021 with the University's 45th Convocation ceremony.

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