THE AWARD OF FIRST AND HIGHER DEGREES OF COVENANT UNIVERSITY ON

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1 An Address by the Vice-Chancellor, Covenant University Professor Aize. O. I. Obayan, on the occasion of the 6th Convocation Ceremony FOR THE AWARD OF FIRST AND HIGHER DEGREES OF COVENANT UNIVERSITY ON 20 th, JULY 2011 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. Isaiah 9:2 (KJV) It was Peter Ducker, the great Management philosopher of the 20 th Century who said, the best way to predict the future is to create it. In Covenant University, we have continued to work on creative approaches to grow and maintain our consistent drive for relevance and global status and in this academic session, we are pleased to celebrate continuity and advancements as this becomes more evident. The academic session 2010/2011 has been an exciting year as we continued to drive the actualization of the Vision of Covenant University as received by the Chancellor of Covenant University. As a University, we have continued to build on our existing foundations and platform. This academic session has been most validating in the results that abound. Today the 22 nd of July 2011, we release our 6 th batch of EAGLES the Class of 2011 in a ceremony aptly tagged The release of Eagles 2011 We are grateful to God for all He continues to put in place in Covenant University as we celebrate the 1275 Students in various Undergraduate Programmes who are convocating today. This is indeed not just a convocation but a celebration of the continued fulfillment of the Vision that established the University as received by the Chancellor, Dr David Oyedepo of Raising a New Generation of Leaders, a vision that is daily being realized as Eagles are released to soar and also join earlier sets of eagles, who are leading their generation to affect their world. Page 1 of 7

2 About 9 years ago on the 21 st of October 2002 Covenant University opened its doors to her charter students, and today as we release our 6 th batch of Eagles, we are amazed by the extraordinary unfolding of events that we have been privileged to partake in; we continue to be inspired by the Vision given to the Chancellor, a vision of such awesome dimensions that it continues to challenge us to greater aspirations as Robert Browning said Our aspirations are our possibilities At the same time, we are humbled by the rapidity with which things have happened around us, not just in physical development but the way in which the academic and intellectual world have not only accepted our drive for world class contributions, but have actively supported us in our quest to become a citadel of excellence and an oasis of Knowledge and Learning. Our commitment has remained to drive learning and development at the cutting edge and ensure we address developmental challenges facing Africa which are enormous and cut across poverty, poor governance and conflicts. Covenant University by the grace of God continues to validate its founding vision with multiple exciting evidences attesting to it. These include 1. The number of international and cutting edge workshops, seminars and conferences that the University has hosted and continues to host is a strong confirmation of the emerging status of the university as a globally established brand. One such Conference was the 2011 Association of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities Conference which held at the African Leadership Development Center in Canaan Land, the first time such a meeting was hosted by a private University. 2. Covenant University Signed an MoU with UN-Habitat only on the 19 th of July 2011 and this will open up the University to a network of opportunities on the United Nations Platform providing access for research, internship, Page 2 of 7

3 etc. for Covenant University Faculty and students. Covenant University is the very first in the whole of Africa to have this linkage opportunity with UN-Habitat. 3. Our Staff continue to excel in their performance with numerous awards and fellowships including numerous Fulbright opportunities, international collaborations and only yesterday 18 of them were recognized for having publications in High Impact Journals, a 50% increase from last year, thus fulfilling a key requirement for world class ranking of Universities. 4. This year our postgraduate programmes continue to move from strength to strength reflected in the award of 22 Masters and 32 Ph.D degrees. In the process we continue to strengthen our internal capacity while increasing the number of research personal for our nation and indeed our world. 5. The acceptance and celebration of our graduates in the labour market has also been validating. Indeed several renowned and celebrated international organizations have acknowledged this openly. As put by one of the key persons in one such organization Every interaction with a CU graduate is a profitable engagement in intellectual discourse. They always seek to know why things are the way they are and why they should not be different. I think they always seek to influence the patterns of things to ensure speed of delivery and quality in implementation. I will hire them again and again The world to which we live today continues to provide both challenges and opportunities which require a new kind of graduate in the mould of the eagles that we are set to release. Not only is the global landscape and skill demand continuing to change on a rapid basis but the competencies required for survival not just of the person but of the human race continue to demand in keeping with our vision a new generation of leaders, generating creative solutions and engaging the ever Page 3 of 7

4 emerging challenges facing humanity from all angles. In a setting in which one of the world s most developed economies, Japan came close to an economic collapse which threatened life, limb and economic survival, in a time in which seemingly indestructible national leaders collapsed like a pack of cards turning accepted wisdom on its head and a new nation of South Sudan was born resolving many years of hostilities that have impoverished a whole generation and killed millions. It is therefore only fitting that in this week of our release of Eagles 2011 Nelson Mandela turned 93 to remind us of how much each of us can contribute to change our world however dark the times become. This is why this set of Eagles is aptly called the Beacon Set. For we send them forth as Eagles with a light designed and developed not only to change their world but to provide direction for the world and a light to lighten the darkness that so threatens to engulf us. By releasing today s graduates as Eagles we affirm that the products being sent out today in the two Colleges of Development Studies and Science and Technology, are not only being sent out as students well schooled in the various disciplines, but also prepared like Eagles to rise to the heights demanded by the world we live in. They have been brought up to understand in addition to their core programmes of studies dimensions of personal responsibilities and core values, which are designed to produce world changers and persons who generate credible change that positively affects our world. We celebrate the fact that the past sets of eagles are making tremendous impact in the external world, thereby giving credence to the tag of Eagles. Their impact across the various sectors of the Nigerian economy is a proof of the validity of the Covenant University brand and we expect the Beacon Set, the class of 2011 as they arise and shine, to do no less. Page 4 of 7

5 May I at this point recognize the contributions of all stakeholders in achieving these milestones. It has been a partnership of Parents, Faculty and Staff, the Management team, who continue to show deep commitment and missionary zeal. To all Covenant University parents here with us today, may I let you know that you give us your children as eaglet and we return them to you and to their world as Eagles set to soar. Your investments in them on Covenant Grounds will yield rich dividends in Jesus Name. To the Members of Senate, Distinguished Professors, our Dear Faculty and Staff: May I appreciate your continuous hard work and dedication to driving quality and making Covenant University the University of reference. To the entire membership of the Living Faith Church World-Wide, whose support has remained unwavering, the Board of Regents whose contributions continue to provide direction Today as we release these Eagles we therefore look forward to the future with great hope and confidence knowing that these are the generations that will build up the waste places and be called the restorers of the breach bringing light to the darkness bringing a world we can look forward to with hope. At this point in time, let me acknowledge all our guests who have come to grace this occasion, Vice-Chancellors, Registrars and especially our Distinguished Convocation Lecturer Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, Vice-Chancellor, University of Cape-Coast, Ghana and Chairman, Association of West Africa Universities and the Special Keynote Speaker, Professor O. Jegede, Secretary General, Association of African University. To our Dear Mother, Pastor Mrs Faith Page 5 of 7

6 Oyedepo, we thank you for your life that challenges and inspires us daily, the beauty we see radiate and the hope that that instills To the Chancellor Sir, this season validates the vision that God gave We have indeed been continually inspired by the Visionary Leadership which God had provide this vision in the person of the Chancellor of Covenant University, Dr David Oyedepo whose leadership continues to serve as the major human driving force behind the results and activities of the University. In many ways this University has been privileged above others. We have had the divine mandate and support and one way this has manifested is the ever present inspiration and drive of the man to whom this vision was delivered. The graduating set can testify to the hours he personally put into impacting them directly in addition to his role in providing inspiration and direction to the University and Faculty, Staff and Management wholeheartedly acknowledge this. Finally to the graduands, we are releasing you as eagles and if ever the world needed you it is now, for everybody will admit that never has humanity faced the kinds of challenges and opportunities it faces today. We release you to a world awaiting your arrival by dint of the times with bated breath. We are confident you will make us proud as your predecessors are doing. You are called the Beacon set so let your light shine and release great light and grandeur to you world. To the Most High God who works all things according to his divine Will, who has been our help in ages past and certainly our hope for years to come, it is unto you we to celebrate what only your wisdom can bring, the acts that only your Power can produce and the results that only the Almighty can guarantee. To you and to you alone be all the glory. Amen. Page 6 of 7

7 Professor Aize Obayan Vice-Chancellor, Covenant University 22 nd July 2011 Page 7 of 7

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