Graduands Charged on Self-Discovery as Covenant Produces 238 with First Class
A parade of excellence, inspirational speeches, and unbridled joy on Friday July 20, 2018, combined to make the 13th Convocation Ceremony of Covenant University a riveting spectacle as 238 students emerged with First Class among the 1522 students graduated by the University.
Tagged “The Release of Eagles 2018”, the event, which was for the award of First and Higher Degrees and presentation of prizes, also saw the University churning out 365 graduands from her School of Postgraduate Studies.
The Keynote Speaker, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, had in her speech titled, ‘Influencing Change in Africa: Roles and Responsibilities of Emerging Leaders’, said that there was no better time to have a discussion on how the graduating students, as emerging leaders, could foster positive change in Nigeria and the African continent.
Mrs. Awosika, who is the Chairman, First Bank of Nigeria Plc, posited that a university education provides the graduands a way of thinking, it is an enabler meant to open their eyes to possibilities, and it should empower them, adding that the real value of education is how they apply their learning to provide solutions in the marketplace.
She admonished the graduands that whatever they see of Nigeria today was a function of how those before them had handled the affairs of the nation. “Don’t allow anybody to tell you how terrible this country is; don’t allow them to becloud your vision. Discover yourselves; be open and be flexible,” she stressed.
The convocation speaker, who bemoaned the unemployment situation in the country, said that many industries no longer placed premium on human beings due to the efficiency of Artificial Intelligence and Technology. She, however, advised that when the graduands apply their scientific knowledge and innovate, they should balance it with how it affects the human being.
Mrs. Awosika charged the graduating students to eschew arrogance, discrimination, and corruption as they venture into the world of work.
Earlier, the Chancellor and Chairman Board of Regents, Covenant University, Dr. David O. Oyedepo, had while delivering his address titled ‘Our Foundational Mandate: Raising a New Generation of Leaders’, said that convocation ceremonies afforded the University an opportunity to mark the validation of the institution’s total subscription to the realisation of her vision, mission, and strategic goals, culminating in the age-long substantiation and credence to the pursuit of learning and character worthiness as incorporated in the University’s motto, “Raising a New Generation of Leaders”.
He stated that the University’s strength as an institution was in her emphasis on personal discipline and character, which the University believed were fundamental requirements for all agents of change and credible leaders and character. “There is indeed a dearth of leadership in our country in our nation at all levels today; lack of integrity has become the norm rather than the exception among the vast majority of them.
Asserting that education had been the foundation for true and enduring development, the Chancellor said that a change of approach in providing the right kind of education was the number one and avowed commitment of Covenant University. He charged the graduating class of 2018, called “The Regal Set”, to have a vision, a coach, commit to the pursuit of their vision, remain committed to God, and give it all they’ve got to make maximum impact in their journey of life.
Dr. Oyedepo congratulated all parents and guardians of the graduands and prayed that all of them live long to enjoy the fruits of their labour.
In his welcome remarks at the occasion, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor AAA. Atayero, said that Covenant University had consistently stood head and shoulders above other Nigerian universities in teaching and many areas of academic research, and had also consistently enjoyed wide acclaim as the best private university in Nigeria and the number one in Nigeria in the Web Repository Ranking. A major reason for this success, he affirmed, was the equal focus Covenant University places on providing high quality teaching linked to high quality research.
He said that Covenant had since inception received numerous awards and recognitions, both locally and internationally, for the academic and research prowess of her faculty, staff and students, with 2018 not being an exception, a major highlight of which was the offer of collaboration extended to Covenant by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Cambridge University, two of the top 10 universities in the world.
While charging the graduands to get ready to make all the seemingly impossible possible, Professor Atayero urged them to create a new world, which no other generation could do, because Covenant University had imparted a powerful vision in them. “Our country is bedeviled by many challenges: leadership gap, unemployment, poverty, wanton killings, infrastructural deficit, and poor health services among others. You can change the narrative. That’s what this graduation ceremony is all about. It tells you that you are ready to get into action. Go ahead, and create a Nigeria, which will be different, which will be way much better,” he said.
In his message to the University, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, represented by the Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Professor Felix Salako, described the occasion as an important milestone in the education journey of Nigeria, adding that government would continue to create a conducive atmosphere for excellent education. He lauded Covenant University for her consistency in graduating students as at when due, while the graduands were implored not to rest on their oars.
Similarly, the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, Professor Abubakar Rasheed, represented by the NUC’s Director of Accreditation, Dr. Noel Saliu, said that government was not oblivious of the challenges facing tertiary education in the country and was determined to tackle the challenges by setting up a Strategic Advisory Committee, which had produced a blueprint on rapid development in university education in Nigeria. He said that he looked up to the graduating students to be solution providers.
The excitement at the University Chapel venue of the convocation ceremony assumed a dizzying height shortly after the Vice-Chancellor invited the Chancellor to admit the graduating students from the School of Postgraduate Studies and the different Colleges to Higher and First Degrees. The colleges were the College of Business and Social Sciences, College of Leadership Development Studies, College of Science and Technology, and College of Engineering. A breakdown of the1522 graduands with First Degrees, shows that 238 emerged with First Class Honours, 746 with Second Class Upper, 452 with Second Class Lower, and 86 with Third Class; while of the 365 graduands with Higher Degrees, 43 had PhD, 266 had Masters, 20 with MBA, and 36 with PGD.
One of the special guests at the convocation ceremony, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, while congratulating the graduands, said that Covenant University was not just releasing the Eagles but with a covenant with humanity. He said he was reassured that there was hope for Nigeria and urged the graduands to charge forward and conquer.
Miss Flourish Salami, who studied Industrial Chemistry, emerged the Best Graduating Student for 2018 with a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 4.99. She expressed gratitude to the Chancellor, Management and Faculty of Covenant University for guiding her all through the duration of her stay in Covenant and promised to make the University proud in her future endeavours.
Also present at the occasion were the Vice-President (Education), Living Faith Church Worldwide, Pastor (Mrs) Faith Oyedepo; 1st Vice-President, Living Faith Church Worldwide, Bishop David Abioye; Members of the Board of Regents; the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Shalom Chinedu; the Registrar, Dr. Olumuyiwa Oludayo and other members of Management; the University Senate; representative of the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Semasa Sutton; Faculty and staff; visiting Vice-Chancellors of Universities; and other distinguished guests, parents, and guardians.