Pomp and Colour as Egerton University Vice Chancellor Prof. Isaac Kibwage Constitutes 46th Graduation Congregation.
It was a day of excitement and celebration on Friday, February 10, 2023, as Egerton University held its 46th Graduation ceremony at the main campus in Njoro, Nakuru City County. The ceremony marked the first physical graduation since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Vice Chancellor Professor Isaac Kibwage Constituted the 46th Graduation Congregation amid cheers and delight and took back his seat. This was preceded by an invitation by Dr Paul Udoto who mastered the ceremony asking the Registrar Academic Affairs Prof. Mwanarusi Saidi who read the graduation Citation.
The graduating class could not conceal happiness as the atmosphere was electric with students, faculty, and staff cheering and clapping, expressing their excitement to see the Chancellor Dr Narendra Raval (GURU) in person.
Dr Guru said: ' I encourage you to use your talents and skills to impact the world positively. We live in an ever-changing and increasingly interconnected world, and you have the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of others.” He went on to encourage the graduating lot to join the Alumni Association.
“I urge you to become active members of the association and to give back to the University in any way.” Said Dr Guru.
The Chancellor addressed the graduating class and all those in attendance. He spoke about the importance of education and the role it plays in shaping the future. He narrated on how he began his first job as an assistant in the Church and later a kiosk in Gikomba Market, Nairobi.
“You need to be focused and don’t dream while closing your eyes, dream with your eyes open,” said Dr Guru amid laughter among participants.
Representative of Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Ombaki Machogu, Principal Secretary for Higher Education and Research Dr Beatrice Inyangala, took the stage to discuss the priority of assisting Egerton University to overcome its financial difficulties. She acknowledged the important role the University plays in producing sought-after graduates locally and internationally and its efforts in environmental conservation.
“Congratulations to the graduands and encourage you to come out and give solutions to the country’s needs,” she said and, “I know that I will be hearing your success stories, for to succeed, you must! Dr Inyangala stated.
Dr Inyangala reiterated that she is aware of the issues in the University, noting that Egerton is not an isolated case. “I would like to draw our attention to ongoing work of the Presidential Working Party on Education reforms. We are eagerly awaiting this report, it is a melting pot for great ideas and practical solutions,” she explained the expected reforms in Higher Education.
Njoro Member of Parliament Charity Kathambi stated that she had spoken about the issues affecting the University and its financial challenges with President William Ruto. She emphasized that Egerton University is a premier institution in the region and plays a significant role in shaping the lives of the students and the community.
Vice Chancellor of Egerton University, Prof Isaac Ongubo Kibwage, expressed his happiness about the hybrid graduation ceremony. He announced that the 46th graduation ceremony was a milestone, conferring 8 PhDs, 26 Masters Degrees, and 1,203 Bachelor's degrees and awarding 50 Diplomas.
The Vice Chancellor also addressed the pressing issue of climate change, speaking about the University's participation in the Kenya Innovation Week, where they showcased various projects aimed at reducing the carbon footprint and promoting sustainability. He stressed the importance of educating and preparing the next generation to tackle this global challenge, emphasizing the role of universities in equipping students with the skills and knowledge necessary to create a better future for all.
Also, the Vice Chancellor's speech was inspiring, reminding the graduands of the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. He encouraged them to use their newfound knowledge and skills to make a positive impact in their communities, and to always strive for excellence and progress. With 1,287 new alumni now joining the ranks of Egerton University, the future looks bright indeed, and Prof. Kibwage acknowledged the significance of alumni involvement in shaping the success of the University and recognized the vital role they play in supporting and promoting their alma mater.
The Chairman of Council, Amb. Dr. Hukka Wario, spoke about the graduation being a turning point and a watershed in the lives of the students. He urged the graduates to be proactive and offer solutions to the challenges in society.
The Chairman of Egerton University Alumni Association Dr Richard Kipsang Rop stressed the need for the University and staff to amicably settle down financial challenges affecting the University and also promised Alumni support in Endowment fund to support needy students. He also informed the management of need by Christian Union Alumni to support the University in the construction of Multi-purpose hall for use by Christian union as place of worship as well as renovating the swimming pool for use by students
Director Marketing and Resource Mobilization Prof. Paul Kimurto lauded the management for the support it gives to the University. He noted that the recent favorable ranking the University got in the January 2023 edition of Webometrics Ranking of World Universities, by being ranked the third best University in Kenya was a testament of the efforts the University is doing a pillar and beacon of knowledge and research.
Prof. Morara Ogendi expressed his and encouraged the graduates to use their knowledge and skills to help the community. The Director of Postgraduate Studies expressed optimism about the future of the University and looked forward to having the undergraduates return for their masters and the masters to return for their PhDs. He explained that the University has national and international collaborations that will enable students to be more competitive in the global arena and provide scholarship opportunities to students.
The Director of Academics for the Egerton University Students Association, Josiah Kisaghi, spoke about the transition from being raw products to finished products. He said that the graduates had completed the journey of their academic tour and were ready to face new challenges.
The Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Eng. Prof Japheth Onyando, highlighted the significance of the fact that this year's graduation had a PhD graduate who received a scholarship from AfDB. He acknowledged the difficulty of the course and its many fieldwork components.
The hybrid graduation ceremony brought joy and hope to the Egerton University community, signaling a new beginning after a challenging year. The University continues to play a significant role in shaping the lives of its students and the community, and its alumni play a key role in supporting and advancing the institution
The Chancellor would later enjoy a luncheon with the guests at the Egerton ARC Hotel together with Chief Guest PS Higher Education Dr Beatrice Inyangala, who received a gift of a pencil drawing by one of the graduate student from department of crops Horticulture and Soils (CHS) who has diversified his skills from Agronomy to art as income generating skill in this challenging times of lack of formal employment for University graduands. Prof Kibwage thanked guests for honoring the invite to attend the graduation Ceremony.
In attendance were Vice chancellors and deputy Vice Chancellors from other Universities included Prof Wilson Kipngeno VC Kabianga University, Prof Prisca Tuitoek the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic and Student’s Affairs Murang’a University of Technology, Prof. Jacinta Ndabuki from Laikipia University and a Member of Parliament who was a parent with son graduating.