On Thursday, 21st November, 2013 the Golden Jubilee train moved on to the commissioning ceremony of the commemorative obelisk and the recognition of icons, legends and distinguished alumni of the College, some of who had buildings and edifices named after them.
The Obelisk, a 32 feet high edifice (designed and built by the department of Fine and Applied Arts) was erected as an enduring tribute to the 50 years anniversary of the College. An imposing and remarkable sight to behold, the obelisk has several segments; the hand, the arm, the palm, the books and the figure ‘50’ at the very top.
According to the obelisk commissioning brochure, the Hand is the fulcrum on which other parts rest. It has four sides and each opposite side bears the Alvan logo and Alvan Golden Jubilee logo respectively.
The Arm bears the bangles that depict age and mark of achievements over the years.
The palm, which projects the Thumb, shows that Alvan has given credence to knowledge and wisdom to humanity. It is obvious; Alvan is one of the foremost institutions per excellence in Africa.
The Thumb bears the five books each representing a decade of Alvan’s 50 years. The figure ‘50’ on top of the books is indicative of Alvan at 50 in 2013.
The Provost, Dr. (Mrs.) Blessing Ijioma commissioned the obelisk alongside the naming of three buildings after Nathan Ejiogu (formerly New Science Building), Bennet Ukeje (ERC building) and Nicholas Nwagwu (800 seater lecture theatre in Shell Camp). These gentlemen, a Chief Inspector of Education (Ejiogu) and two former Provosts (Prof. Ukeje and Prof. Nwagwu) played a pivotal role in establishing Alvan and in nurturing her growth and development.
Other awardees included icons of AIFCE: Prof. Ernest Emenyonu (Provost 1992-1996); Dr. Daniel Onwukwe (Provost 2000-2004); Bishop Enyinnaya Okoroafor (Ex-student), Prof. (Lady) Victoria Nwigwe (first female student, 1963) and Arch-Bishop Anthony Obinna (former staff).
Another category of awardees were legends: Elder Azu Irondi (founding staff of the College); Dr. (Mrs.) Regina Nwokedi (staff, three times Dean of Science).
Distinguished Alumni; Prof. Chigozie Asiabaka (FUTO VC); Prof. (Mrs.) Adaobi Obasi (former Imo State Commissioner for Education); Dr. Vitalis Ajumbe (eminent musicologist, politician); and Mrs. Ihedirimadu-Abudu Uzoma (UN staff).
Families of the awardees, two of who are Late (Ejiogu and Ukeje), trooped out en-mass to the College to show their appreciation and reminisce on the good old days. Late Pa Nathan Ejiogu, who worked in the Education Ministry of the defunct Eastern Region in the 1960’s is the father of Her Excellency, Dr. (Mrs.) Kema Chikwe, Nigeria’s ambassador to Ireland and an alumna of the College.
The winners of the Mr. and Miss Golden Jubilee were crowned this week as the Golden Jubilee celebrations continue. The Provost, Dr. (Mrs.) Blessing Ijioma was on hand to do the honours and present the certificates and prizes to the golden students.
The ceremony also saw the conclusion of the quiz competitions with the finals and award of certificates and cash prizes to the winning students.
Our Golden Jubilee Celebrations went into top gear last week as several activities were concluded. The week saw the Golden Jubilee Walk which took staff and students on a tour of many roads in Owerri covering many kilometers. The Walk spiraled from Orlu Road into Bank Road, Wethedral and back to the College via the Government House Road.
The highlight of last week’s engagements was the Golden Jubilee Lecture Forum No.2 titled National and Local Security of the Nigerian School Space. Participants included Mr. Evans Ewurum, Deputy Commandant-General, NCDC, Abuja and Mr. Frank Nneji, Chairman/CEO ABC Transport. ∞
The College Blog had a chat with members of the group D’exchekas who dropped a hit single titled Alvan @50 that celebrates Alvan’s golden anniversary. The group members are all students of the College and their song, produced as their contribution to the golden jubilee, has gone viral.
College Blog: What inspired you guys to cut this single?
The love we have for our School Alvan and all the achievements we enjoy in the School.
College Blog: What is the name of the group and group members?
D’exchekas from Corkshell Records. Our names are First Son (Prince Okere), Don Williams (Williams Opara) and Dezzy G (Daisy Madugba).
College Blog: Who is your inspiration in music?
Actually, Tuface and Celine Dion.
College Blog:Do you intend to graduate or drop out from school to pursue your career?
Education remains the best legacy any student can acquire. Se we are bent on completing our schooling; then continue with our talents.
College Blog: How do you see the developments in Alvan as it relates to academics and infrastructure?
Absolutely, it was part of what inspired the song and we anticipate more of it because we have got the best Management in Nigeria. We cannot thank the Management enough for what they are doing.
College Blog: Many students are rocking to your song, using it as ringtones etc. How are you marketing it and is it on radio stations?
We did our best to share and promote the song in and outside of Alvan. But we hope our lovely Management can financially support us for this laudable music project.
College Blog: What next after this single?
We look forward to performing this song live on stage during the golden jubilee celebrations and embark on our first album.
History was made in the College when the student friendly Provost, Dr (Mrs.) Blessing Ijioma in an unprecedented gesture sponsored eleven student leaders to an educational tour in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. The students who departed Nigeria on Friday, 25th October aboard an Emirates plane visited and interacted with students and faculty from the University of Dubai and the American University in Dubai and have since returned home.
While making a report to the Provost on their return, the Student Union Government President, Comrade Nwadike Orient thanked Management for the international exposure the trip afforded them and confessed that the world class infrastructure and mode of life in Dubai has motivated them to seriously work hard to help develop Nigeria.
Other student leaders who spoke were full of joy and excitement and concurred that the trip was a life-changing event they will never forget. They acknowledged the efforts of Management to make students’ life on campus more comfortable and to foster proper academic culture in the College. But they confessed that the trip was one of a kind and a big investment in their lives, one that will bear positive fruits.
The students who enjoyed a one week, all expense paid trip to Dubai also visited the iconic Burj Khalifa (tallest building in the world) named after the President of the United Arab Emirates and Emir of Abu Dhabi, Sheik Khalifa, the world famous Dubai Mall and were given a guided tour of the city by a tour agency.
Dr. (Mrs.) Blessing Ijioma who the students dubbed ‘pinging mummy’ in students speak – pinging signifying anything or anybody that is excellent – has since becoming Provost of the College invested significantly in the life of students. As a thoroughbred academic, she understands that a student’s education must encompass good morals and spirituality, proper information and knowledge and exposure to international best practices. To achieve this, the academic calendar now runs smoothly with classes taught by highly motivated staff, the religious centres are organised properly and student leaders routinely undertake leadership courses, now topped off with a morale boosting trip overseas.
For our students, this Golden Jubilee year has touched their lives in a special way. Many of them connected and made new friends from the universities in Dubai, some of who expressed a desire to visit Nigeria too. While it was an eye opener and amazing experience for our students who have vowed to turn Nigeria into a beautiful place like Dubai, kudos must be given to the College Management led by the ‘pinging mummy’ Dr. (Mrs.) Blessing C. Ijioma for finding in her heart a means to give a golden gift to the students of Alvan. That is the spirit of Jubilee.