The Osun State University has made history by appointing the richest Africa woman, Mrs Folorunso Alakija, as its Chancellor just as she was awarded an honorary doctorate degree in Business Administration.
The appointment and award, made at fourth and fifth convocation of the institution, made Alakija the first woman ever to occupy such position
Speaking at the occasion, Gov. Rauf Aregbesola, described the illustrious daughter of Nigeria as a trailblazer.
“Though, not the first to start fashion designing, she took the profession to a height unprecedented in the history of the profession, she is not the first oil magnate but she is fore among the first real players in the oil industry.
“Dr (Mrs) Alakija, the founder of the Rose of Sharon Foundation, remains one of the most successful human beings touching the lives of people.”
Aregbesola remarked that the challenge before every black man lies in harnessing and adopting nature to conquering the nature for the benefit of mankind with a view to assisting humanity in our quest for development.
He tasked the university to rise to the challenge of sourcing fund from outside conventional government source, saying the idea of ambushing students with exorbitant fees in the name of generating fund must stop.
The governor highlighted alternative sources of generating fund to include Alumni endowment from deserving individuals, projects,
businesses, reducing waste, avoiding ghost or redundant personnel and partnering with the larger society in solving problems.
The Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof. Oguntola Jelil Alamu, extolled the virtues of Alakija, who he described, as more than worthy of the award.
Alamu remarked that First Class products of the institution have been competing favourably with their colleagues
in postgraduate programmes with distinction grades in local and foreign Universities.
“In 2015, Olojido Oluwatoyin Esther bagged distinction in M.Sc. Accounting and Finance from University of Leeds, while Odesanmi Oluwatosin Racheal also came back with distinction in M.Sc. Analytical Chemistry from Loughborough University,” he remarked.
He stressed that the testimony was a fulfillment of the global competitiveness of their graduates, enshrined in the vision of the University.
The VC narrated the academics feat attained the teaching staff within the last session.
“Within the last of year, 29 academic staff bagged PhD degree from Nigeria, South Africa, Malaysia and United Kingdom.
“This University has another set of 29 academic staff currently at advance stage of their Ph.D programmes in New Zealand, Australia,
Germany among others.”
Alamu said UNIOSUN has also made inroads within local and international communities and organisations.
“UNIOSUN has become a member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) over the years and has made prominent progress in
teaching, research, community service, physical and infrastructures development among others.
“The University also signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with research institutes, professional bodies, corporate organizations and
other Universities in Nigeria, USA, Republic of Korea, Germany, UK, Canada, Benin Republic, as well as Mexico.”
Responding, the new Chancellor harped on the central role of academic empowerment to guarantee economic growth among the people of the
Alakija called on all stakeholders involved in policies and programmes design for education to be committed to education, saying the nation will be the better for it.
“I feel extremely humbled, proud and excited to be receiving this conferment as Chancellor. I also appreciate the Honorary Doctorate Degree in Business Administration (DBA) (Honoris Causa), which came in as a surprise.
“We all have a role to play to articulate our own agenda for change; to change the world. If we can make a commitment to do something
differently from now on, our world will be a better place to live in.
“Nigeria will flourish with the input from all of you gathered here as you embark on this exciting journey called life.”
The Chancellor also admonished the graduating students to always be conscious that they form part of the threads with which the story of the
university is woven together, urging them to be good ambassadors of UNIOSUN wherever they find themselves.
In his valedictory speech, the overall best student with CGPA of 4.81 from Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department for 2014/2015
session, Peter Oluwatobiloba Daniel said he achieved the feat by steady and dedicated commitment to his academics.
He encouraged other students to plan well and follow their plans with dogged determination, saying,”whatever you conceive, you can achieve.
Just keep on trying and the sky will be the beginning.”
Meanwhile the state government has renamed the university after the first Civilian Governor of the old Oyo State and Minister of Justice, late Chief Bola Ige.
The governor announced this at the combined fourth and fifth convocation and installation of a new Chancellor, Dr. Folorunsho Alakija
Other state owned higher institutions of learning were also renamed after notable personalities.
The Osun State College of Technology, Esa-Oke becomes Bisi Akande College of Technology; Osun State Polytechnic Iree is now renamed as Sunday
Afolabi Polytechnic; while the College Of Education, Ila Orangun is now to be known as Adeyemi Oyeduntan College of Education and the College of
Education, Ilesa will now be known as Lawrence Omole College of Education.
By Adeyinka Salaam, Osogbo