OAU Alumni Hold "Mother of All Retreats"

By Seyi Babaeko

The Obafemi Awolo Alumni Association under the able and visionary leadership of Eng. Wale Olaleye, the global president and his executive team just concluded Its three days power packed and impactful retreat for the commemoration of the sixtieth year anniversary of Obafemi Awolowo University Advancement of frontiers of Knowledge.

 The retreat which has in attendance, the ever conscious Great Ife Students, Alumnus across the globe, The Vice Chancellor of the University Prof. Eyitayo Ogunbodede, The pro- chancellor Chief. Owelle Oscar Udoji, who was the chairman of the occasion, other dignitaries included the Principal Officers of the University, Mr. Oluwadare Aragbaye the former Ondo state Head of Service Who represented Governor Akerodolu SAN., and the Keynote Speaker, Prof. Babatunde Ayeleru, D.G, French Village.   

The eloquent and vocal P.R.O of the University, Mr. Olanrewaju kick started the program with an opening prayer, followed by the 1st & 2nd Stanza of the National anthem and the singing of the Great Ife Anthem was rendered. The three days program highlights included; arrival of guests and Gyration Night on the 28th of October at the Alumni Center, followed by the carnival in the morning of the second day, with a jumat prayer in the OAU central mosque and a Novelty Match between two teams in the evening and A medical outreach for the donation of medical equipments to the health centres. The third day of the program was for a public lecture, Gala and Award Night. 

Prof Ayeluru the speaker who spoke on the theme: Repositioning Nigerian Universities Towards Achieving Sustainable National Growth and Development, in his speech, lamented on the level of mediocrity and lack of adequate funding for research he alluded this to the fact that Africans are yet to research and produce vaccines to tackle the covid-19 pandemic as evident in the importation of the drugs from other country.

The vice Chancellor while speaking welcomed everyone to the historic moment in history, The Erudite Scholar par excellence, welcomed all Alumni, their spouse and friends of the Alumni, he thanked the Alumni of various sets for their generous donations and contributions towards the growth and development of Obafemi Awolowo University, he took the opportunity to speak about the Journey So far and the Journey ahead, especially the need for a robust savings in the endowment funds modeled after Harvard, Oxford and other great institutions of the world who have all saved substantial amount in their endowment funds. He thanked the Chairman of the Occasion for coming despite his busy schedules and the Alumni executives for organizing the retreat.

The Gala Night was held at the CICI hall with an Award to the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Eyitayo Ogunmodede, who was awarded the Grand Commander of Great Ife (GCGI), the former Chairman of the Governing Council, Dr. Yemi Ogunbiyi, was awarded the Excellence in Leadership Award. Also Awarded, was Alhaji Rafiu Ebiti as ‘Grand commander of Great Ife And Barrister Olasupo Ojo The composer of the Great Ife Anthem.

The OAU pro-chancellor, on his part as the chairman of the occasion commended the Alumni, for this events Owing to the fact that Alumni plays a vital role towards the development of University, he promised to be a partner in progress and will be willing to welcome you back in six months to see the developmental projects that will come to OAU, “this is no doubt the Mother of all retreat” he posited. 

Engineer Wale Olaleye , the Global President in his closing remark on behalf of his executive team worldwide thanked all that came from far and wide to the Great Ife Alumni retreat. For Great Ife to remain Great, we must all be involved. He urged those yet to register as alumni to do so and pay their yearly dues via the alumni portal.

The Association also launched a world class Web portal where members will be able to register to connect with other members and also be able to pay annual levie.

The Alumni Association further used the occasion to showcase the History of the University with a well articulated Documentary.

There was a technical session after the lecture where various challenges facing the University were also discussed.


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