AN ADDRESS BY THE VICE-CHANCELLOR OF WELLSPRING UNIVERSITY, PROFESSOR ISAAC ROTIMI AJAYI, FNIP ON THE OCCASION OF THE 11th CONVOCATION CEREMONY FOR THE AWARD OF FIRST & HIGHER DEGREES AND PRESENTATION OF PRIZES OF THE UNIVERSITY, HELD ON SATURDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2023
It is a pleasure for me to have the honour and privilege to respectfully welcome you all to this great occasion of the 11th Convocation of Wellspring University in the name of the Lord. We are indeed privileged to have this distinguished audience made up of eminent personalities from all walks of life and from far and near, assembling here to honour our invitation.
I wish to specially acknowledge the presence of our Chancellor, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, the Senior Pastor of Trinity House in Lagos, a highly focused symbol of encouragement, whose faith and visionary leadership have been a great incentive to us We pray God to continue to increase you in wisdom and vitality of body and spirit to accomplish your desires for the University.
The gains and successes of the University largely derive from the immense support, guidance and quality leadership being provided by the Board of Trustees and the Governing Council for the University. It is therefore most pleasing for me to welcome our respected members of the Board of Trustees and the Chairman, Major General Ephraim Usiade (Rtd.) to this special event. In the same vein, we are proud of the dynamic leadership of our selfless and untiring Pro-Chancellor, Mr. Daniel Isimoya and the distinguished members of the Governing Council.
As you join me to welcome them, please permit me to acknowledge their unquantifiable sacrifices to the growth of this University.We are delighted to have in our midst, the Executive Governor of Edo State, His Excellency, Mr. Godwin Obaseki. We thank the Governor for providing a peaceful atmosphere in the State for our University to thrive and we wish him God’s guidance in the great task of leading our State. We are glad to welcome the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), as well as the Convocation Lecturer to this 2023 Convocation.
We wish to extend our warm greetings to all our Royal Fathers for their efforts in maintaining peace in our communities. Long may you live! We appreciate the presence of all other dignitaries at this ceremony, including our friends and well-wishers. To our graduands, their families and friends, we say welcome. I heartily congratulate the graduands for achieving this important milestone in your life, without which this Ceremony would not take place.
2. GRADUANDS’ PROFILE
Chancellor Sir, this 11th Convocation is particularly significant as it marks the beginning of yearly convocation in Wellspring University as opposed to the past practice of Combined Convocation. The graduands that are being celebrated today completed their studies in the just concluded 2022/2023 session and their certificates are ready for collection. This is an attestation to the progress the University is making in the fulfilment of the vision of the founding fathers to be a Centre of Excellence, providing well-rounded education that enables students to develop valuable intellectual knowledge and practical life skills with sound morals.At today’s Convocation, Senate is presenting a total of 88 graduates from two Colleges for the award of first degrees and 75 graduates from the Postgraduate School for the award of Postgraduate Diplomas and Master’s degrees.
We are confident that these graduands have worked diligently to earn their Certificates in good character and learning, and are deemed worthy to be granted the prestigious degrees of this University. We believe they can stand shoulder to shoulder with the best of their peers anywhere in the world.Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, these graduands are equipped intellectually, they are also equipped morally and spiritually through their exposure to the gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
The analysis of the results of the graduands shows that 10 (i.e., 11%) came out with First Class, 33 (38%) made Second Class Upper Division, while 39 (44%) are graduating with Second Class Lower Division. Then, 06 (7%) graduands fall into other categories. Of special recognition among the graduands, is the overall graduating student in the University, Ebenezer Stephanie, who graduated in the First Class, with a CGPA of 4.84 in the International Relations.One significant highlight of today’s ceremony is the conferment of the prestigious honorary degree of the University on an eminent and distinguished personality who has excelled in his chosen profession, and made great impact in the society, especially in area of education. The highly respected personality that will receive the honorary degree of the University is no other than Mr. John Momoh, the Chairman/CEO of Channels Television, Lagos.
3. PROGRESS OF DEVELOPMENT IN THE UNIVERSITY
Since Convocation is not only an event in which the Vice Chancellor presents graduates for the award of degrees and diplomas, but also an avenue to render an account of stewardship to stakeholders. It is therefore my privilege to use this platform to give a brief account of the activities of the University since the last Convocation. I am glad to testify that God has been exceedingly kind and gracious to us on all fronts, and request that you join us to praise Him. This is in spite of the fact that we still face myriad of problems, which is expected of a growing institution. I am therefore, pleased to highlight the following achievements:Academic AdvancementTeaching and research activities continue to be effectively carried out by our well-motivated and dedicated academic staff of the University with deliberate emphasis on promoting creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership initiatives; with our zero tolerance for examination malpractice fully enforced during all our undergraduate and postgraduate examinations.New courses were approved by NUC. They include: Biochemistry, Public health, Human Resource Management, Criminology and Security Studies, at the undergraduate level, and Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) and Ph.D in Business Administration, at the postgraduate level.NUC carried out accreditation inspection late 2022, and the following courses were accredited: BNSc Nursing Science, BMLS Medical Laboratory Science, BSc Computer Science, BSc Economics, BSc International Relations, BSc Mass Communication, BSc Accounting and BSc Business Administration, MSc Accounting and MSc Business Administration. All courses in the University are accredited.The Accounting programme received full accreditation by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of NigeriaBNSc Nursing Science received the full accreditation from the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria and a 100% increase in our admission quota. The Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria conducted resource verification on the BMLS Medical Laboratory Science degree in June 2023, and approval is expected. The University participated in the recent national review of course curricula for all degree programmes which has now been approved as CCMAS by the NUC. The university started implementing the CCMAS in the current 2023/2024 session.The University hosted the Library Association of Nigeria, Edo State chapter on May 23, 2023, as it celebrated the World Book Day with a lecture titled: Catch them young: cultivating good reading habit among teens, delivered by its Chairman, Dr. Obaseki Tony, to motivate students to use the library for reading.The university also hosted the 2023 Conference and Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Library Association, Edo State Chapter with the theme: Revitalizing Library Collaborations and Partnerships for National development on 20th September, 2023.The College of Social and Management Sciences organized a conference on “Leveraging on Technical Innovation for Sustainable Developments”, with the keynote address delivered by Professor Mrs. Mercy Ada Anyiwe, the Chairman National Economic Society, Edo State Chapter. The College also produced the latest editions of its journal, the Wellspring University Journal of Social and Management Sciences. The University Library collection has increased significantly with the procurement of more books and the several donations received from charitable donors. Our e-library was boosted with our subscription to the Research4life database and other relevant databases to guarantee wider access to e-books and journals to enhance teaching and research. Our academic staff are actively engaged in productive research. The University is building networks and maintaining beneficial relationship with other academic institutions. We signed MOUs with INTI International University in Malaysia and The University of Economics and Humanities in Poland. These will promote joint academic projects and exchange of information and materials among the institutions.The University has expanded its Wi-Fi network to cover the entire campus with increased internet bandwidth for improved access to internet by staff and students. A new and improved University website was launched in April, 2023. The new website is creating a stronger presence and increased visibility for the University while also promoting easy access to the University from any part of the world with the on-line payment platform that has been integrated to it.An Academic Staff Capacity Building Workshop on “Writing of Lecture Modules, Preparation of Examination questions, Preparation of Marking Guides and Marking of Answer Booklets” was recently organized for all academic staff. Renowned scholars, including Professor Peter Sede of University of Benin, as facilitators. The programme is designed to enhance productivity and work ethics among all the academic staff. Other in-house training and workshops were organized for the different categories of staff to update their knowledge and skills for their professional development.An intensive Graduate Finishing Programme designed to equip our graduating students with basic soft skills required for a successful job career was delivered to our graduating undergraduate students. Today’s graduands are beneficiaries of the programme. Staff Development and Students Welfare. The Management is committed to encouraging and supporting the training and development of staff to achieve the mission and vision of the University. Some staff who acquired their PhD degrees in the session include: Dr. Catherine Nwokoro, Ph.D. in Mass Communication. Dr Benjamin Uhuorenren, Ph.D in Medical Laboratory Science. The Dean of the Postgraduate School, Prof. Enyinna Okpara received an award from ICAN, Benin District, on August 8, 2023, for his outstanding service to the Accounting profession. Prof. Okpara was also honoured with a Fellowship by the US International Academy of Business and Behavioral Sciences based in the university. The awards attest to the quality of our academic staff.Wellspring Alumni and StudentsOur products, many of whom have distinguished themselves in the global and national market place, speak for us as a centre of academic excellence, moral integrity and godly virtues. In order to cultivate our alumni to promote the reputation of the University and contribute to its growth, an Office of Alumni Relations has been created to network with our alumni and keep track of their progress. It is heartwarming to inform you that Miss Awonuga Adesola, a 2011/2012 graduate of Accounting, recently obtained her PhD in Finance from Babcock University. While many ex-students are pursuing higher degrees in Nigeria and abroad, a good number are successful entrepreneurs and others employed in industry and commerce.The University interfaces with various professional bodies, and as a matter of policy students are required [encouraged] to sit for professional examinations. Recently, our Computing students recently passed the CISCO Certification examination, and received the CISCO non-expiring certification in Network Essentials.
4. PHYSICAL INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT AND CAMPUS BEAUTIFICATION.
The period witnessed an extensive upgrade of our classrooms and staff offices. New furniture was acquired, including the installation of electronic boards in lecture rooms. To increase the functionality of the laboratories, modern and hi-tech equipment were procured. It is noteworthy that the Council of Registered Nurses of Nigeria commended the Department of Nursing Science for the standard of its laboratories. The University is promoting the Town-Gown relationship as it is partnering with investors in the provision of hostel facilities for our students. The available models are:Owners of surrounding properties build and least hostels to the University.The Build-Operate-and-Transfer: Investors build on the University land and operate the hostels for an agreed period of time.This relationship has high and return and zero-uncertainty.The University procured additional generating sets to boost power supply on campus. It acquired additional vehicles, including buses and cars, to facilitate transportation, especially for the students of Nursing Science who need to go for clinical posting. Campus beautification and renewal were enhanced by the planting and replanting of more flowers and other initiatives designed to keep the campus clean. The Pro-Chancellor performed the ground breaking ceremony for the construction of the 1000-capacity multipurpose hall on August 15, 2023, and construction work is at advance stage. Its completion will bring relief to the university, as the existing hall has become inadequate.The University however, still suffers from infrastructural deficit, owing to the growth in student and staff population, for which we give God thanks. Our needs include hostels, lecture rooms and a student-centre building. We joyfully welcome the intervention of philanthropists, well-wishers and investors. 5. COMMUNITY SERVICE / CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITYThe University maintains good relationships with its host communities, as it visits and interacts with their leaders regularly. We salute the community leaders for the promoting peaceful co-existence between the University and their respective communities. The students from five (5) secondary schools in the State attended the World Book day hosted by the University, where they were exposed to the benefits of reading and encouraged to cultivate good reading habit. A quiz and spelling competition was organized for the schools and book gifts given to each school and participants.The University visited some orphanages and gave them material and financial supports. Our students during their “One Girl One Pad” programme, visited a neighbouring secondary school to educate female students on menstrual health and hygiene and donated several packs of sanitary pads to the students and management of the school. 6. TO OUR GRADUANDSI congratulate you all. Your toils in the University and the support rendered by your parents and guardians have not been in vain. As I rejoice with you however, I must remind you of what you already know, that the struggle for survival is full of challenges, especially in these days of harsh economic conditions. Your education is expected to equips you to be resourceful and moral in survival strategies. It is therefore, my strong hope that you will be devoted only to those things which are good and will bring honour to you, your family, your alma mater, and to your country and Christ, our Saviour. The University has through the grace of God delivered on its mandate to you by equipping you for the challenges of tomorrow. You must remember that, you cannot confront tomorrow successfully without God, for Jesus says:I am the vine, ye are the branches; He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing (John 15:5)I admonish you to keep your spiritual fire burning, and be good ambassadors of Christ, and of Wellspring University.Today, you will be inducted into the prestigious Wellspring University Alumni Association. I urge you to continue to fly the banner of Wellspring University. You should identify with the Association and through it, maintain a close relationship with your University of first choice, contributing your quota to its development.I commend you into the hands of Almighty God who is able to keep you from all evils. May His eye perpetually keep watch over you, and may His strong hands uphold you. May the light of His countenance shine on your path. May you find favour with God and with man, and may your lives bring glory to God and blessings to your families, in Jesus mighty name. Amen.6. CONCLUSIONTo God alone be all glory and honour for making the 2023 Convocation a reality and for continually granting the University peace and industrial harmony. “God, we are most grateful to you.”I will also like to thank all our guests, particularly, the Convocation Lecturer, a scholar and industry leader, for the very brilliant and scintillating lecture. I sincerely appreciate the presence of all the visiting Vice Chancellors and Heads of other institutions which added colour to this event.May I also thank our parents and guardians of our graduands for everything they have done to give their children/wards quality education that impacts on intellect and morals. In this regard, I thank our academic and supportive staff for their contributions to the success story of our graduands.I wish to thank all the graduands for contributing towards the physical development of the University through their legacy projects. I thank everyone for accepting our invitation to this Convocation Ceremony, and for your attention through the ceremony.I wish you safe journey back to your respective destinations. God bless you. Amen
.Prof. Isaac Rotimi AJAYI, FNIPVice Chancellor,21st October, 202