5th AUA Graduation Weekend

 

 

Commencement Service

 

The main graduation service on Sunday officially opened by a declaration from the Vice Chancellor, Dr. Delbert Baker. He began by giving a statement on the height, depth, length, and breadth of AUA:

 

  • The heights of AUA: AUA is experimenting eternal things through gaining in the knowledge of God and passing on to others values that will make a difference wherever students, staff, and faculty are.
  • The depths of AUA: AUA was contributing to making the greatest contribution to the church through education. There were plans to launch the Ph.D. in Leadership program in the coming year and that AUA was looking for ways to develop relevant programs including online programs and increasing extension campuses.
  • The length of AUA: AUA students, faculty, and staff intend to influence the community surrounding AUA.
  • The breadth of AUA: Strengthening the base of the Institution’s infrastructure. He spoke of the construction of the students’ tower that will offer modern accommodation and of the apartments for faculty and adjuncts who come from around the world. There were also plans to build a sanctuary, in collaboration with ECD, Maxwell, and other divisions. 

 He thanked the Strategic Development Partners (SDP) for their continued support and called upon more donors and willing supporters to support the Institution for the expansion and growth of AUA.

 Guest Speaker’s Remarks

 The main speaker of the commencement service, Prof. Shellemiah O. Keya (Ph.D.) is a man of wide experience, an author, a researcher with a calling for agriculture.

Using the theme of the graduating class: commitment, perseverance, and excellence, he pointed out that they should be understood in a biblical perspective. That means that a good leader should be committed and be persevering while pursuing excellence. He urged all graduates to be preoccupied with the Lord’s work and “in everything you do, commit it to the Lord, whether in work or relationships.”

 He referred to Philippians 4:8 where the apostle Paul talks about excellence. He challenged the students to live in the world, better the society with an eye on heaven.

 He expounded on perseverance, saying it means “to hold on, to have staying power, and to be committed to a goal in spite of disappointments and adversity. This would make the difference for the world.” He urged the students to not be weary in well-doing for in due season they shall reap good results. “You cannot defeat a man who refuses to quit.” He asked the students to take ownership of the goal they set for themselves and that it would be the key to success, it will reward, it will develop and amplify one’s motivation; lead to attaining breakthroughs and therefore, make it your profession, calling, and commitment.

 Prof. Keya explained the significance of education in the world in general and in Africa in particular. He stated that in as much as there has been real progress made in the domain of education, namely the establishment of more schools, there was still need for more—more educators, more experts, more Ph.D. holders at private and public institutions. He underscored the fact that Africa is at a cross-road to finance education and there is a need to make it self-sustainable. There is also a need for more African philanthropists who will support African education in terms of fellowships and scholarships.

 The guest speaker stated that AUA is strategically placed for the times since it offers holistic education at a postgraduate level (the first private chartered university in Kenya that focuses strictly on postgraduate studies). He further noted that education infused with the knowledge of God brings true success. He, therefore, encouraged holistic education, cohesion, inclusion, and celebration of diversity. He related how even those who are not Seventh-day Adventists seem to have high expectations towards Adventists in general. He challenged the graduates to prepare, develop, and innovate practical solutions to help Africa.

 In order for AUA to respond to these expectations, he encouraged AUA to:

  • Offer more Ph.D. programs
  • Increase the University’s infrastructural development
  • Open up to the community by offering programs that would cater for their needs
  • Periodically review the AUA programs to meet the market needs in a systematic way

Finally, Prof. Keya called the graduates to an unswerving loyalty to God and to the service of God, with a keen eye on long-term results. According to him, this is central to high achievement.

 

 The Charge

 The VC reminded the graduates that the privilege of earning a degree from AUA comes with a great responsibility. Having been given “the most powerful weapon to change the world” (Nelson Mandela), he urged the graduates to impact any corner they are placed in, to represent integrity, respect and love to humanity as they grow in excellence.

 Finally, the VC in his charge ended with two simple words, “GO ON!” He repeated it severally, in a crescendo and the students got the message.

Student Response to the Charge

“We are honoured to be counted among those who have gone through AUA. It was a long journey, and sometimes we thought we would never see the end. We were often tired and discouraged, but here we are. AUA has impacted our lives greatly. We pledge to carry the name of our Alma Mater with the respect it deserves. We will not disappoint. We will not settle for mediocrity. We will strive for excellence in all our endeavours. We shall deny ourselves and follow Jesus, the Author, and Finisher of our faith. We accept the challenge.”

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