By Kurian Musa
The vibrant atmosphere of Egerton University's Kilimo Hall was charged with excitement and anticipation as Vice Chancellor Prof. Isaac Kibwage delivered his annual address to the university's newest cohort of first-year students. The event, which took place on Tuesday afternoon, marked the culmination of a weeklong orientation program aimed at preparing these young scholars for their academic journey ahead.
In his opening remarks, Vice Chancellor Kibwage congratulated the incoming first-year students on their academic achievements and successful admission to Egerton University. "Your arrival here marks the continuation of excellence at the best institution of higher learning. Egerton University, founded in 1939, holds a rich heritage," Prof. Kibwage stated proudly.
He then extended an inviting hand to the eager faces before him, encouraging them to embrace the opportunities and challenges that lay ahead. The Vice Chancellor emphasized the importance of understanding the university's structure and the channels available for addressing issues that students may encounter during their studies. Prof. Kibwage specifically pointed students toward the Office of the Registrar of Academic Affairs, led by Prof. Mwanarusi Saidi, as a crucial resource for academic matters.
Turning his attention to matters of ethics and professionalism, Vice Chancellor Kibwage stressed the importance of integrity in academics. "Avoid unnecessary discontinuation from studies due to failure, cheating in exams, or missing classes and continuous assessment of learners," he urged.
Drugs and alcoholism on campus were also addressed, echoing the sentiments of Deputy Vice Chancellor for Administration Planning and Development, Prof. Richard Mulwa. Prof. Mulwa had earlier stated unequivocally that drugs and alcoholism are strictly prohibited within the university premises. Prof. Kibwage warned the students, "We don't want to send you home, which would condemn you out of your studies," while challenging them to avoid illicit behaviors that could lead to health issues and unwanted pregnancies.
The Vice Chancellor didn't stop there; he delved into the realm of technology and social media, cautioning against excessive use of the internet. "Internet has become a serious problem to young people because it's corrupting morals," he noted. Prof. Kibwage encouraged students to utilize the internet for academic research and to consume content that aligns with the university's values.
Explaining the university's funding model, the Vice Chancellor reassured students who may not have paid fees upon admission, stating, "The information you provided during your application will determine your funding category." However, he pointed out that the funding model does not cater to those who need to repeat academic years.
Prof. Kibwage concluded his address by urging students to take university notices seriously, particularly those found on the university website. "Ignorance will not be an excuse for not following university programs and activities," he emphasized. He encouraged students to remain resilient in their pursuit of excellence and to seek guidance from their lecturers.
In a stirring finale, Prof. Kibwage reminded the students that every opportunity at Egerton University is a chance to learn and contribute to society. He called upon them to be exemplary ambassadors of the institution and its values, especially for those who hail from rural areas and may serve as role models.
The Vice Chancellor's address was followed by an inspiring speech from Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Prof. Benard Aduda. Prof. Aduda emphasized the value of talent and opportunity, urging students to nurture their talents to achieve success. He highlighted the importance of combining quality, quantity, and a positive mental attitude as the key to achieving excellence.
The event concluded with a heartfelt vote of thanks from Dr. Justine Omwoyo, the Deputy Dean of Students. Dr. Omwoyo expressed gratitude for the Vice Chancellor's reminder that academic achievement is the primary goal for students at Egerton University. He also extended thanks to Prof. Richard Mulwa for ensuring that all necessary resources for learning have been provided. The Principal of Town Campus, Prof. Joshua Ogendo, received praise for his role in maintaining the high standards of the town campus and ensuring that students there are settling in comfortably.
In closing, Dr. Omwoyo expressed gratitude to all the staff, both teaching and non-teaching, for their timely presence at the event, underscoring the importance of the Vice Chancellor's keynote speech as the capstone of the student orientation program. With these words of wisdom and encouragement, Egerton University's newest cohort of students embarked on their academic journey, ready to make the most of their opportunities and contribute to society as exemplary scholars.