BY DAYO ADESULU
Babcock University has graduated a total of 2, 079 graduates comprising 1, 660 undergraduate and 419 postgraduate. Of this number, 82 made First Class.
The Department of Mass Communication produced the overall best undergraduate in the person of Okunola Teslimat Temitayo with a CGPA of 4.91 on a scale of 5, and overall best postgraduate in the PhD programme in the person of Olomojobi Femi (PhD) with a CGPA of 4.81 on a scale of 5. Amarachukwu Peace of Public Health department was overall the best Master’s degree graduate with a CGPA of 4.77 on a scale of 5. Okunola Teslimat Temitayo also won the President’s award for the best performance in leadership, academic, community and spiritual services.
Speaking at the 19th undergraduate and 10th postgraduate 2nd Virtual Convocation ceremony, which took place on Sunday, President/Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ademola Tayo described the ceremony as a defining moment in the life of the university has adopted a phased resumption to push through the session despite the enormous disruption occasioned by Covid-19.
He congratulated the students and the teeming university community for their immense contribution to the achievements recorded by the institution.
Professor Tayo said the University would continue to pursue the path of excellence with passion and spirituality, urging the graduates not to keep their eyes on the things that were transient but on those wholesome values and virtues that they derived from the institution. He stated that Nigeria’s developmental challenges awaited their contributions in the form of solutions. “You are the solutions. Unleash your ingenuity and the knowledge you have acquired here on the world and make it a better place,”
The Vice-Chancellor added that the university’s academic programmes were fully accredited by the National Universities Commission, (NUC), the International Board of Education (IBE) and the Adventist Accrediting Association (AAA).
In addition, he said the fully equipped Babcock University Centre for Open and Distance eLearning Centre was ready to provide opportunities for many desiring to advance their academic career outside the walls of the university as soon as NUC gives the nod to the Centre to commence academic activities.
“Also, the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences Classroom, offices and workshops are being prepared for NUC’s Resource visit to enable the commencement of the programme in environmental sciences,” he said.
As no university would exist without research, Professor Tayo said the Office of Research, Innovation and International Cooperation which had been directly involved in the University’s research activities this year produced a team of researchers from Babcock and Loma Linda University, the USA which received the Loma Linda GRASP International research grant award to conduct a randomized clinical trial on an indigenous nut. The team comprised Dr Nwachukwu Ifeanyi of the Biochemistry Centre for Nutrition and Healthy Lifestyles, Loma Linda University, USA; Dr Godswill Anyasor of the Department of Biochemistry, Babcock University, Nigeria; and Dr Olutayo, S. Shokunbi of the Department of Biochemistry, Babcock University.
He said the alumni of the University was also making waves globally, pointing out that, while Kayode Adegbite was recently appointed by Facebook as a product manager, two other alumni, Shola Akinlade and Ezra Olubi’s Paystack was acquired by Stripe for $200M as partners to accelerate online commerce across Africa.
The vice-chancellor charged the graduates not to stop learning as their learning which has just started would continue throughout their lifetime. “You have a responsibility to use the knowledge acquired here in Babcock for creativity for yourself, your community, your country and Babcock University,” he added.
In his commencement speech, the Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) Mr Laoye Jaiyeola urged the graduates to go into the next phase of life with the mind to be independent, creative, thinking outside the box, learning to be resourceful and spending wisely.
He said they should understand that the world was an open space and those who must survive in it must think creatively, use the skills acquired, take charge of their lives and chart a path for themselves.
Mr Jaiyeola reminded the graduates that they were entering into a labour market where it was no longer business as usual and that with the pandemic, many companies have embraced digital technologies hence those with the acquisition of digital skills were the ones that would be in high demand across all sectors of the economy.
”What all these mean for you is that wherever you find yourself, you must constantly acquire digital skills to stay ahead of the game and make yourself productive. The future of the world is the digital economy and individuals that will make discoveries and contribute positively to the world are those that will embrace digital skills in whatever field they find themselves in,“ he said.