Statement by Amb. Dr Hukka Wario, Chair of Council, at the 44th Graduation and Installation of the Sixth Vice Chancellor, Egerton University, on Friday 17th December 2021
The Chancellor, Egerton University, Dr Narendra Raval,
Our Chief Guest, the Honourable Cabinet Secretary for Education, Science and Technology, Professor George Magoha
Principal Secretary, State Department for University Education and Research, Ambassador Simon Nabukwesi
Members of the Egerton University Council
The Vice Chancellor, Egerton University, Prof. Isaac Kibwage
Deputy Vice Chancellors of Egerton University, Members of the University Management Board
Members of the Egerton University Senate, Deans of Faculties and Directors of Institutes, Chairs and Heads of Departments
All members of the teaching and non-teaching staff, Members of the Egerton Alumni
Graduands, continuing students
Parents and guardians of our students
Invited guests who have honoured Egerton University by coming and being with us today,
Friends of Egerton University
On behalf of the University Council, I would like to welcome you all to the 44th Graduation and the installation of the 6th Vice Chancellor of Egerton University, Professor Isaac Kibwage.
Mr. Chancellor Sir,
May I take this opportunity to thank the Cabinet Secretary Professor George Magoha for re-appointing me to serve for the second term as Chair of Council. I am humbled by the confidence and trust you have had in me, sir and pledge to give dedicated service working as a team with Council, the Vice Chancellor and the Management Board.
Mr Chancellor Sir
This 44th Graduation Ceremony is yet again, like all the 43 graduations before it, a day of celebration for all gathered here and watching us from afar. All graduating
students, we join you in celebrating a journey’s end. I would like to congratulate you and to thank all those who have walked with you throughout this journey. These
include your parents, guardians, teachers at various levels and your lecturers at this University.
Mr Chancellor Sir
Today my statement will be brief, given that there are a number of statements to be made after mine. However, I would like to share a few ideas with those graduating today.
You are graduating at a time when human existence is facing serious challenges. There is the Covid 19 pandemic that, according to some estimates, has claimed over 5 million lives and continues unabated, causing untold suffering across the world. There is climate change due to global warming leaving devasting droughts and fierce floods in its wake. Migration fueled by war, have moved large populations across the world, from the war-torn South to the more stable countries of the North. Food insecurity has left hundreds of thousands hungry and on the verge of starvation. Unemployment, not just among the youth but across the population is a growing and ever-present problem.
These are the challenges of your times and you have to face them head on. It’s time to ask yourselves, what contribution you can make as an individual to ameliorate climate change, to reduce the effects of Covid 19, its mutations such as Delta and Omicron and future pandemics, to reduce migration, to resolve conflicts that lead to displacement of populations, to feed the hungry and increase food security. These are the questions you should ask yourselves as you go into the world. If you think and use the knowledge you have gained from Egerton, you are well equipped to solve these problems.
In your generation, attitudes must change to be better prepared for the challenges ahead. You must shift gears and change your thinking and attitudes radically. There
must be change from the self to the other, from egocentricism or self-centeredness to other-centeredness. This means you must put service to others and to the country first. It’s the same age-old idea from biblical times, of being a Good Samaritan, or being your brother’s keeper.
The country is waiting for you to come and make your contribution to its development. The economy is waiting for your input to make it grow and become more robust. All the sectors of government- agriculture, public health, education, social welfare, water services, energy, transport- you name it- are waiting for your contribution. Go out there and make an impact.
Mr Chancellor Sir
I would like to quote from a famous American writer and journalist, Ernest Hemingway who travelled in Africa for about a year in the 1950s including Kenya.
“When you leave Africa, as the plane lifts, you feel that more than leaving a continent you're leaving a state of mind. Whatever awaits you at the other end of your journey will be of a different order of existence.”
I would like to paraphrase this and say that when you leave Egerton, you are leaving a state of mind. Whatever awaits you at the other end of your journey will be of a different order of existence.
While on Hemingway, you may want to consider some pieces of his advice, as a take away, as a conclusion to my statement today:
Before you act, listen
Before you react, think
Before you spend, earn
Before you criticize, wait
Before you quit, try.
Thank you all