Twelve thousand, nine hundred and twenty graduands of the Delta State University, Abraka, were on Saturday, 30th April, offered academic certificates, diplomas and degrees at the institution’s 14th coronation ceremony for the 2018/2019, 2019/2020, 2020/2021 academic sessions.
A total of 179 graduated with First Class, 3,524 with Second Class Honours (Upper Division), 5,441 with Second Class Honours (Lower Division) and 1,608 with Third Class Honours.
152 had Doctorate, 207 Degree of Masters and 195 Postgraduate Diploma.
Miss Grace Kenechi Ishicheli, of the Department of Human Anatomy and Cell Biology, emerged the best overall graduating student of the 2018/2019 session with C.G.P.A. 4.91, Tobechukwu Smart Nwafor, of the Department of Accounting and Finance, the best overall graduating student of the 2019/2020 session with C.G.P.A. of 4.94, while Gloria Deborah Nnamdi, of the Department of Human Anatomy and Cell Biology, with C.G.P.A. of 4.90, emerged the overall best for the 2020/2021 session.
Addressing the graduands, the State Governor and Visitor to the University, Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa, congratulated them for the milestone, which he said was achieved through hard work, dedication, focus, drive and determination, urging the graduands to uphold the virtues of resourcefulness, courage and perseverance which the products of DELSU were known for.
Okowa, who was represented by the Chief of Staff, Government House, Hon. Festus Ovie Agas, commended the Governing Council, management and staff of the University for their dedication to duty, which had made it possible for the institution to remain focused on the pursuit of excellence in research and academic work over the past 30 years of its existence, making it a foremost State University in the country.
The Governor noted that DELSU had maintained a stable academic calendar due to government’s unwavering commitment to the funding of the institution and the provision of a conducive learning environment, pointing out that the state government had no issue with the staff unions in the University.
He said while government would continue to fund its tertiary institutions within the limits of available resources, it had become imperative that the institutions should seek and explore potential sources of funding to augment their monthly subvention, as government could hardly do it all alone due to other competing demands.
Earlier in his address, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof Andy Egwunyenga, said the convocation ceremony, the first under his watch as the 7th VC, which had to be shifted to this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, was unique as it coincided with the 30th anniversary as the institution, adding that it should have been the ninth unbroken convocation since 2012 that it became an annual event, but for the pandemic.
Prof Egwunyenga said the University had consistently kept faith in its mandate of producing quality graduates who would contribute to nation building and advance the cause of humanity in the global community, stressing that the quantity and quality of graduates produced over the years was an attestation of the institution’s capacity to live up to the vision of its founding fathers.
The VC thanked the Visitor to the University, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, for the commitment of his administration to the development of the University, just as he appreciated the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council, Prof. Sam Oyovbaire, members of Council, Principal Officers, members of Senate, staff and students of the University for their cooperation.
He said by virtue of their passing through the University, the graduands had been equipped with the knowledge, skills and capacity to take on the world, and charged them to be good ambassadors of the institution and to remain innovative and dynamic to be able to fit in the vanguard of the New World Order.
Prof Egwunyenga called on Deltans to support the state government in the funding of the University, urging the alumni and philanthropists to look in the direction of supporting through endowments, buildings, laboratories and other indices of a modern University.
The event, which was attended by former Governors James Ibori and Emmanuel Uduaghan, among other dignitaries, featured goodwill messages from sister Universities, awards of prizes, conferment of Honorary Doctorate degrees on retired Justice Francis Tabai and global business mogul, Mr. Jim Ovia, and the conferment of Professor Emeritus on the pioneer VC of the University, Prof Eric Arubayi and late Professor Samuel Ukala.