TEXT OF THE ADDRESS BY THE VICE-CHANCELLOR OF AFE BABALOLA UNIVERSITY, PROF. E. SMARANDA OLARINDE FCI. Arb, FCAI, AT THE 15th MATRICULATION CEREMONY OF THE UNIVERSITY HOLDEN AT 10.00 AM, ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 21, 2024.
On behalf of the Founder, Chancellor and President, Aare Afe Emmanuel Babalola, OFR, CON, SAN, LL. D (London), LL. D (UNILAG), LL. D (UI), D. Lit (NDA), FNIALS, FCI. Arb, FNSE, his affable wife Yeye Aare Modupe Babalola, FSM, FNIMN, FFPA, the Board of Trustees, the Governing Council, the Senate, Members of Management, Staff and Students of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), I welcome you to the 15th Matriculation Ceremony of our beloved University, Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti.
To our dear matriculating students and their parents
I am sure you have several times heard about the word matriculation. For some of you that may not know exactly what it means, today is your lucky day, because I am going to start my address by defining it. Matriculation is
“the formal process of entering a university as a candidate for a degree programme.”
Matriculation ceremonies, like the one we are having today, are crucial because they are the very groundwork on which your academic and career journey will be founded. And why is that? Because you have an opportunity to pause from the rigors of adjusting to a new environment and to think about the magnitude of your decision to study your chosen course. In addition, you will also learn more about this University today, our foundation, our vision, our passion, our success stories, and definitely our unflinching belief in your ability to achieve greatness with the kind of training we will expose you to at Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti.
Permit me to say, and with all sense of modesty and gratitude to God, that we at ABUAD have achieved an enviable level of dexterity, expertise and knack for achieving excellence in the quality of the graduates we turn out. There is no doubt that you have come to the right place to receive quality, impactful education and training for your university degrees and character moulding in your individual pursuit of greatness.
The significance of Matriculation
This 15th matriculation ceremony signifies the beginning of a long race, and like a famous quote states,
“the journey of a thousand miles always begins with one step”
For our students matriculating today this ceremony is that first step, and what better time to take that step than on a Sunday, a day that symbolises new creation, and at ABUAD! From this first step a glorious future awaits you, and with hard work, I promise you it shall only get better from here!
ABUADs’ Institutional Uniqueness
At ABUAD we do not produce regular graduates. In a country where mediocrity, failure, corruption, poverty and excuse for backwardness is fast becoming the norm, it is a disservice for any higher educational institution, as endowed as we are, to produce the regular kind of graduates. Definitely not when the philosophical construct of our existence as a university was founded on the life and vision of a living legend, one of the greatest examples of humanity ever to grace this continent, our own Founder, Funder, President and Chancellor, Aare Afe Emmanuel Babalola, the Baamofin of Yoruba land!
Our role in the educational sector in the country and in Africa is to transform the entire educational system. You do not transform something by doing everything the usual and the common way. You transform something by doing things the excellent and the uncommon way. We commenced academic operations at ABUAD approximated 14 years ago. In those short 14 years we rose from as it were nothing, to being ranked by a global body, the Times Higher Education Impact Ranking as Number 1 in Nigeria for two consecutive years (2022 and 2023), and Number 221 in the world. We literally have hundreds of universities in Nigeria, and thousands in the world.
For parents and guardians whose children and wards are here matriculating today, I believe that you will agree that your sacrifice over them will all be worth it when you realize that here at ABUAD your sons and daughters are daily accessing premium quality education and training! I make bold to encourage you to take time to visit our educational facilities, our laboratories, our libraries and e-library facilities, our clinical simulation laboratory, our ABUAD Multisystem Hospital, the BOGORO Research Centre, the Post Graduate Study complex, the Open and Distance Learning Centre, the ICT multimillion US Dollar facilities, our Talent Discovery Centre, our Planetarium, our Agrobusiness farms, our Industrial Park, the ABUAD Independent Power Plant, the recently concluded Dam, just to mention a few. All of these and more are directly part of the comprehensive educational package we offer your wards. And I, again make bold to say that you will not find this kind of services anywhere in the country.
We have invested significantly into quality and functional education for our students to achieve greatness!
Why do we go to this extend to create the perfect environment for the education of our students? Definitely not because we want to be compared with existing universities in Nigeria. It is because we want our students, your children, to have the same quality of training and opportunities as their peers across the globe, in the United States of America, in United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, and so on. It will interest you to know that we are continuously building strong partnerships with the best universities around the world for added exposure for our students. Last year alone some of our students spent time at John Hopkins University, USA (the best medicine programme in the world), and at King’s College London, United Kingdom. Our Founder has spent, and is still spending to make sure that the quality of education and character molding we offer in ABUAD is at par with what you will get at top-notch universities in the world.
And is this working? Definitely. 100 percent! For instance, by being ranked Number 221 in world, out of over 7,000 qualified universities globally, ABUAD effective came ahead of several universities in Africa, in Asia, and even in Europe and in the United States!
And, we are just starting!
In few more years, and by the grace of God, we shall be talking of ABUAD being in the top 100 universities globally. We will not rest until we have achieved this goal!
To 2023/2024 academic session matriculating students
We unapologetically believe that every one of our students is a genius. Every one of you. And that with the right nurturing, the enabling environment, the passionate, expert faculty and staff, with your cooperation, discipline, focus and determination, you all could became genius before you graduate from ABUAD in few years from now.
As your Vice-Chancellor, my dear students, I am inviting you to walk with us, to collaborate with us in this journey towards fulfilling your destiny. All you need to achieve greatness is right here, here in ABUAD. So, remind yourself again of that greatness you are pursuing. The Chancellor, Aare Afe Babalola firmly believes that “the only lasting change that would change the world and would change the people is changing the mindset of the youths. My legacy is not in the buildings I have, not by the money in my account, but in these children, the students of my school.”
In conclusion, let me share with you some more words of wisdom from our Chancellor who wrote the lyrics and composed the music of ABUAD Anthem. This will help you on the journey towards greatness and fulfillment of your destiny, that you formally begin today here:
“…the launching pad to excellence, with determination, Faith in ABUAD philosophy of industry, service and character, a future for greatness and excellence is assured.” ABUAD Anthem
On behalf of the Founder/ Chancellor, having said this, it is my privilege to formally welcome you as bona fide students of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti and wish you the best as you navigate the ocean of learning, training and your character building.
To our dear parents, we thank you for trusting us and choosing our Institution for your most valuable assets, your children.
Finally, to our freshly matriculated students I urge you to reflect upon the words of ABUAD anthem every single day you spend here. The anthem is not just a song, it is much more than that: it is the very call to greatness and to excellence.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, our students, I thank you for listening.
God Bless you all.
Prof. E. Smaranda Olarinde, FCArb, FCAI
21st January 2024