Address by Prof Nosa Owens-Ibie, Vice-Chancellor, at the 13th Matriculation of Caleb University, Imota, Lagos State,
Friday, February 7, 2020
Glory be to God in the highest, Amen 2ce
For His mercies endureth for ever, Amen 2ce
On behalf of the Proprietor, Dr (Prince) Oladega Adebogun, Board of Trustees, Governing Council, and entire Caleb University community, I welcome you to this the 13th Matriculation ceremony which marks the beginning of a new dawn.
By 8.26 last night, I received the latest figure. Between 1.50pm on Monday, February 3, when the number of new undergraduate students was 1,142, there has been an increase, with the tally now 1,185. There is an additional 117 at the Joint Universities Preliminary Examination Board (JUPEB), 51 more at the Caleb Business School, and 151 more at the College of Postgraduate Studies.
For us, this is significant, and represents a progression, and an indication of rising confidence by stakeholders in the Caleb University Dream. Just last session, we were below a thousand at the undergraduate level. We are not there yet. By the grace of God, we look forward to a more rapid increase in enrolment.
When on December 4, 2019, we organised the first Caleb University Inter-Schools Debate in Lagos, and 15 elite secondary schools competed for the prizes on offer, I asked each contestant, what their impression was of our campus and its students and staff. They all attested to their fascination with the sheer beauty of our structures and landscape, and our well-behaved students, who are all under the guidance of some of the most committed staff you can find in any university environment.
I am certain that some of those at that event, made up their mind to become students here. Those of you in this matriculating set, also made that choice. I can assure you that the journey you are formally starting with today’s ceremony, will shape you and in future, you can be sure to look back and thank God that you are here today.
Caleb University has a magnetic pull for students who are passionate about their future, and we are in the business of daily investing in moulding those who own the future Nigeria, and start defining that future from today. As a University founded and operated on Christian principles, our day and night are spent in the pursuit of academic excellence and godly character moulding.
We have beautiful stories to tell about this. Our graduates are making their mark globally. Three of our flagship programmes – Mass Communication, Architecture, and Computer Science are branding, with plans that are already making them destination of first choice for parents and children who desire competitive quality. Caleb University has an Architecture programme with a dedicated building and faculty that puts them at the front of the league nationally. On your way to this hall, you passed by what would be a national and continental reference point in communication and media studies. Our mass communication programme which like others nationally, are morphing into communication and media studies, is set to define new vistas. Soonest, and by the grace of God, whenever communication and media studies is mentioned in Nigeria, the next name you are likely to hear would be Caleb University. Our Computer Science programme is unveiling plans to transform our offer to the place to be. Among other strides, the National Universities Commission just approved the commencement of five new MPhil and PhD programmes in Accounting, Computer Science, Economics, Finance, and Mass Communication in the University.
Caleb University is evolving, with niche activities with our students and graduates as showcase. Just on October 10 last year, pioneers of the Caleb Graduate Development Scheme were introduced during our convocation. We thereafter, launched our “Acting Vice Chancellor for One Day” programme where every month, a member of the team acts as vice chancellor for a day.
Today, we have one of them, as our special guest at this event. Solomon Adekunle Babamboni, a graduate of Caleb Nursery/Primary School, Caleb International College and Caleb University, is the 4th Acting Vice Chancellor for One Day. He was the Senior of the Year in Caleb University in 2012, Man of the Year, during his NYSC in Benue State in 2013, pioneer President, Architecture Students Association, 2011-2012. Like other members of the Scheme, his academic performance, passion for Caleb University, and subscription to the core values of the University, made him one of the few to be recalled to pioneer this scheme.
That he is acting VC today, is a message to you dear matriculating student. You have a choice to either be focused or distracted. When you choose to be focused, face your academic work squarely, while serving the Almighty God with all your heart, there is an assurance of that future of your dreams.
There are many examples in the Bible of what focus can do to guarantee your relevance:
- Noah did not allow the wickedness of all others in the entire world of his time, to make him miss the opportunity to be delivered from the flood that was to come
- Age did not deter Samuel from starting with God early in life, and remaining with Him throughout life
- The challenges of treacherous siblings did not stop Joseph from making the difference wherever he found himself, and becoming the Prime Minister of a foreign land
- Joshua was a loyal and dedicated servant whom God attested to his service, and was rewarded with the leadership of Israel, after Moses
- Elisha did not allow the idle sons of the prophets to separate him from receiving the mantle which changed his life and ministry
- Captivity did not stop Daniel from demonstrating character and the fear of God
We are all gathered to celebrate you and celebrate with you today. You will not bring shame to your family, in Jesus name. You are looking radiant now, you will never diminish in life, in Jesus name. Your parents are proud of you now, they will never become ashamed of you, in Jesus name. You will never become a spectator, when others are being celebrated, in Jesus name. You will never take any step you will regret, in Jesus name.
As we continue to strive for excellence and to know more of God as individuals and as an institution, I encourage you not to abuse the privileges God has given you, or to waste the resources being invested by your sponsors.
I congratulate all matriculating students, our other students, parents and guardians, all stakeholders in the Caleb University dream, and our many friends and admirers on this special occasion.
May we all continue to be part of joyful outings, in Jesus name.
God bless you all