The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Olusola Oyewole delivering his Welcome Address at the maiden edition of the Commencement Lecture held, recently.
The University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Bandele Oyewole on Wednesday dug beneath the surface of his Administration’s latest successful effort –“Commencement Lecture” by explaining the rationale behind it.
Professor Oyewole unveiled the idea behind the Lecture just as he declared that FUNAAB has commenced the “great journey” to become a World-Class University.
Delivering his Opening Speech at the maiden Commencement Lecture for the 2012/2013 Session, held at Professor Yakubu Mahmood Lecture Theatre, Professor Oyewole said it is typical of World-Class Universities to signal and sign-post the beginning of a new Academic Session by tapping, inspiration and insight from the wealth of knowledge and experience of a great leader as the Guest Lecturer.
According to him, “One of the traditions of World-Class Universities is that of commencing their academic year, by giving opportunities to their communities to be challenged by a great leader of their time and generation”.
“This is exactly the idea behind this first Commencement Lecture of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, which will be celebrating its Silver Jubilee next year, having been founded in 1988”, he added.
Justifying the choice of the immediate past Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Dimeji Sabur Bankole (CFR), as the Guest Lecturer of the first edition of Commencement Lecture, the Vice-Chancellor said “he has significantly contributed to the growth and success of this University”.
He pin-pointed Hon. Bankole’s immense contributions to include his endowment of the University with Female and Male Hostels, as well as one of the twin, imposing, magnificent building, otherwise known as Unity Building.
Narrowing down to his vision and mission for the University, Prof. Oyewole boldly declared, “I came with a commitment to lead the evolution of this Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), founded in 1988 into a leading World-Class University”.
He informed, “Our current focus is not to be a local champion, but to be a World-Class University, offering excellent courses, producing leaders of excellence and doing research that promotes development and positively impact our society and generation. This is one of my reasons for taking up the challenge”.
Fixing his gaze on eminent personalities on the “High Table”, which include the Chairman of the Lecture, the immediate past Head of Federal Civil Service, Prof. Oladapo Afolabi, the University’s Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council, Chief Lawrence Ayinde Olakunle Osayemi and of course, the Guest Speaker, Rt. Hon. Bankole, the Vice-Chancellor brazenly articulated his personal commitment to the University thus:
- Provide an honest, sincere, visionary, committed, transparent and discipline leadership;
- Direct the affairs of the University in such a way that it would be a research-leader in Africa and a national model in University Community engagement;
- Promote an aggressive international collaboration and partnership programmes;
- Make the students of this University to be equipped with knowledge, skills and experiences that will prepare them for life in an ever-changing world;
- Make FUNAAB to become a world leader in knowledge mobilization, founded on research excellent, inter-disciplinary and reciprocal community engagement;
- Lead FUNAAB to be a model to our nation on how a University can impact the society and the people for greatness;
- Promote a world-class environment and vicinity, offices and classrooms that will enhance excellence in the outputs of the human capacity.
Having set machineries in motion for the actualization of the set objectives aforementioned, Professor Oyewole expressed joy that “I am happy to note that we have commenced this great journey (to be a World-Class University)”.
He, however, solicited the support of members of the University Community, stakeholders and well meaning Nigerians, at large, in order to achieve the vision of making FUNAAB a model.