It was a memorable event on Saturday, November 23, at Gregory University Uturu (GUU) as the fourth convocation ceremony was held in honour of the institution’s graduating class of 2019. Honorary degrees were also awarded to 13 eminent Nigerians who have remain outstanding in their various niches.
During his address, the Chancellor and Founder of Gregory University, Uturu, GUU, Prof. Gregory Ikechukwu Ibe expressed joy as he welcomed the guests who graced the special occasion. He however mentioned the resolve of the University to consolidate on the provision of alluring academic environment which aids in the production of high skilled manpower for the local and international labour market.
He further revealed that GUU which commenced its operation with just 18 scholars in 2012, presently boasts of over 1000 scholars, stating that the University has committed enormous resources to the development of massive infrastructure in many of its locations, including the Uturu campus, the temporary Teaching Hospital facilities in Umuahia and in the liaison offices in Abuja and Lagos.
Prof. Ibe also affirmed that to efficiently deliver quality education in the highly sought-after courses the universitys curriculum contains, the institution has prioritized the consistent engagement of high profile faculty members from around the globe.
The Chancellor appreciated the guardians for the trust they exhibited in supporting and sponsoring their children to become great scholars of GUU. He assured them of the continual happiness they will experience following the lofty decision they took in allowing their children to be trained in GUU.
On the other hand, Prof. Ibe charged the 2019 graduates to always reminisce the letters of the line in the University’s anthem that says, ‘In every quest, we still remain the best’. And as the graduates depart Uturu ‘where knowledge drops as dew’, the University proprietor admonished them not to forget they have been adequately equipped with the necessary skills and competencies that would enable them excel wherever they find themselves.
He further challenged the graduating class to tow the line of their predecessors by confidently going into the world and shine the light of GUU that people may acknowledge their good works and glorify God Almighty.
Finally, the Professor of Entrepreneurship thanked the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) for giving GUU the opportunity to train the multitude of Nigerian youths in different entrepreneurial skills.
Prof. Ibe also expressed his gratitude to the Awardees of honourary doctorate degrees for simultaneously accepting the invitation of the convocation and identifying with the University. The ‘Enyi Abia’ congratulated them, adding that GUU was proud to have them listed for awards because they merited it, considering the enviable profile each of the Awardees carry.
In a similar address, the Vice-Chancellor of GUU Prof. Augustine Uwakwe thanked everyone for coming to the convocation event as he utilized the medium to also welcome the newly inaugurated Board of Trustees and the Council members of GUU.
Going forward, the Vice-Chancellor unveiled that this time, the University has graduated 64 scholars (including dour in first class honours) out of the initial entrants of 149 as formidable set of global leaders who, after the required years of customized tutelage in the institution with erudite scholars who deployed state-of-the-art learning facilities, have become ready as transformation agents in the society. He however commended the graduates for satisfactorily and successfully overcoming the uphill task associated with undergraduate life to emerge victorious.
The Vice-Chancellor further charged the graduating scholars to make bold entrance into the larger society, and be inspired by the letters of the GUU mantra – ‘Knowledge for tomorrow’ which implies that all the knowledge they require for conquest and relevance in their tomorrow have been deposited in them. He also revealed that GUU absorbs her first class products as Graduate Assistants and it also offers them and all the best graduating scholars, postgraduate scholarships up to Ph.D. level.
Consequently, Prof. Uwakwe stressed that in pursuit of the University’s mission of producing efficiently trained medical doctors who will revolutionize the health sector, the prestigious citadel of learning commenced the training of clinical scholars last year, in her temporary Teaching Hospitals – Abia Specialist Hospital Amachara and the Federal Medical Centre Umuahia. He further emphasized that it was worthy of note to acknowledge that the ultra modern Pathology block built and equipped by the University Chancellor, Prof. Ibe (OFR) was commissioned by the then Minster of Health in company of the Governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu.
To the Awardees, the University’s Vice-Chancellor said, ‘We are proud to associate with you and it is our expectation that you would remain worthy ambassadors of the University, especially now that you have joined the league of GUU Alumni’. He however appealed to compassionate philanthropists to come to the aid of GUU in electricity supply where despite relying on diesel powered generators since its inception till date, has committed over N72m to get hooked up to the national grid, and that additional N50m is needed to complete the project.
Concerning water supply, Prof. Uwakwe narrated that the topography of Uturu is such that water supply is a great challenge, and that until last year when the University management was able to locate and sunk a water borehole 6km away from the Institution, they have for seven years relied on water tankers at a very huge cost to meet their water needs. He also stated that the water has been reticulated to the University but there is still need for another N85m to set up a water treatment plant.
Similarly, the Vice-Chancellor appealed to the Awardees to challenge the government by coming to the aid of GUU with access road to the University, adding that a projected N120m is required to make the road to the Institution easily accessible. ‘Our multi-billion naira Teaching Hospital project at Ezinnachi, in Imo State is over 60% completed’, the Prof. Uwakwe asserted. He also revealed that all necessary facilities for the Teaching Hospital have been procured, and about N200m is needed to get the structures to appreciable state.
Among the notable Nigerians who were awarded honorary degrees include;
* Governor Emeka Ihedioha of Imo State – Doctor of Political Science.
* Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State – Doctor of Public Administration.
* Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe – Doctor of Political Science.
* Dr. Linus Chinedu Okorie – Doctor of Leadership Studies.
* Barr. Allen Ifechukwu Onyema, Chief Executive Officer, Air Peace – Doctor of Business Administration.
* Sir. Emeka Offor, Business Executive and Philanthropist – Doctor of Business Administration.
* Prince Arthur Eze, Business Executive and Philanthropist – Doctor of Business Administration.
* Chief Vincent Obianodo Amaechi, Chief Executive Officer, Young Shall Grow Motors – Doctor of Business Administration.
* Dr. Sunny Akpoyibo, Chairman/CEO, Asteven Group of Companies – Doctor of Entrepreneurship.
* Prophet Chukwuemeka Cyril Ohanemere, General Overseer, Mountain of Holy Ghost Int’l Ministries – Doctor of Humanities.
* Apostle Chibuzo Gift Chinyere, General Overseer, Omega Power Ministries – Doctor of Humanities.
* Alhaji (Dr) Abdulmunaf Yunusa Sarina, Director, Azman Air Services – Doctor of Business Administration.
*The title, Grand Patron of Gregory University, Uturu was conferred on Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu.
In his vote of thanks, Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe pledged to donate N2m annually to Gregory University, Uturu.
During his speech, Dr. Sunny Akpoyibo promised to provide a 5 megawatts solar powered station to serve as alternative source of power supply for GUU.
Dr. Linus Chinedu Okorie in his capacity donated N1m to the University.
Prophet Chukwuemeka Cyril Ohanemere pledged N200, annually for five years to one student in Arts / Management Sciences. He equally pledged N100,000 each to five physically challenged students of GUU for five years.
In his own remark, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, commended Gregory University Uturu, noting that it is the only private university in the South East that is serious. He further promised that the Iwuanyanwu Foundation would henceforth include GUU in her budget as the block named after his late wife, Eudora will be completed by his Foundation. Iwuanyanwu also congratulated all the Awardees adjudging the degrees awarded them as the best hence the University gave it to them based on their positive antecedents.
As he went political, Chief Iwuanyanwu asserted that Ndigbo do not hate President Buhari as insinuated, rather the Igbo are not happy for not getting their due share in Buhari’s administration. He also affirmed that the Igbo are not found in the list of multi-billion corrupt Nigerians that abound nowadays, reiterating that after Late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe championed the Independence of Nigeria, he never mind who became the President and the Prime Minister, as all he wanted to achieve was for Nigeria to be free from British imperialists. And that after the independence, the Igbo lead on merit, many of the public institutions such as University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), University of Lagos (UNILAG) and many others.
The 2019 graduating scholars of GUU were from six colleges and they were in the following order;
The four best graduating scholars are Ufele Chinonso C., 1st Class Honors, Mech. Engr. (CGPA – 4.64) Ndueso V. Jackson, 1st Class Honors, Intl. Rel. (CGPA – 4.59) Nwokeji Chisom C., 1st Class Honors, Econs, (CGPA – 4.53), Nwankwo Daniel I., 1st Class Honors, Comp Sc., (CGPA – 4.50).