Welcome Remarks by Dawn Dekle Ph.d, President, American University of Nigeria, at the 12th Founder’s Day Ceremony on Saturday, November 25, 2017
Good Afternoon and welcome to the American University of Nigeria’s 12th Annual Founder’s Day Ceremony.
Let me begin this welcoming remark by thanking the Founder and the Board of Trustees for finding me suitable to be so appointed as the 4th Substantive President of this young but dynamic university. Today marks my 145 days in office and from my experiences, and interaction with our students and alumni, AUN offers a world-class university education that is transforming the lives of these students to be problems solvers.
The AUN Founder’s Day celebrates the founding of our university for the future of Nigeria, Africa and the World. We honor and thank our Founder, His Excellency Atiku Abubakar, GCON for establishing this university and for his continued support.
We also use this occasion to recognize the accomplishments of some of our students, present awards to our outstanding staff and recognize our faculty for their dedication to the AUN dream. Today, we will begin a new tradition—the AUN Parent Recognition Award. This award recognizes our very supportive parents for their exemplary dedication and commitment to the growth and progress of this University.
Our 12th Annual Founder’s Day is special and unique to the AUN Community: We celebrate with our Founder on his 71st Birthday today and the commissioning of our new Residence Hall dedicated to our female students and named in memory of a very special quintessential woman of excellence.
Before joining this university, news of what was happening here in the northeast Nigeria—news of the quality of education AUN offers the youth of Nigeria and Africa, the quality of faculty and their researches and most impressive of all, the amazing students of the university and their various achievements, came to our attention. On arrival as the President, I am even more astonished at the accomplishments of our many alumni in business, public service and at the various graduate schools—among the finest in the world. AUN, in its thirteenth academic session, was established with the core philosophy of entrepreneurship and development. And a typical AUN student and alumnus are living out this dream—an accomplishment, I am proud to associate with.
At AUN, the core values that guide our lives and operations are Excellence, Integrity, and Service. We use “Excellence” to describe our facilities including the one we are commissioning today. AUN boast of having one of the finest facilities on its campus to support our learning community as we continue to expand on our rigorous course offerings. Our emphasis on honesty in our academic lives, personal lives, business and professional lives underscore our commitment to “Integrity.” And also, AUN is committed to the prosperity and well-being of its community and this is what defines the “Service” component of our core values.
As a university, committed to providing world-class education and experience to our students, we will continue our little role of transforming the lives of our students into responsible citizens, encouraging them to assume leadership positions as they provide solutions to the many developmental problems in the community they find themselves.
As I conclude this welcoming remark, permit me to say a little about our faculty and staff. AUN is a diverse learning community. As witness earlier in the countries flags procession, AUN attract faculty and staff from over 35 different countries. They are among the best and are committed to teaching, research and student mentoring.
Finally, we are here at this annual event to celebrate our faculty, staff and students as well as our Board of Trustees led by Mr. Akin Kekere-Ekun. We are also here to celebrate all of you, our friends and partners, for your support of the American University of Nigeria. We celebrate our very supportive parents for their faith in us.
To our very dear Founder, His Excellency Atiku Abubakar, GCON, we congratulate you on your 71st birthday today. The AUN community celebrates this day with you and we pray for many more healthy days ahead. Happy Birthday, Your Excellency!
On behalf of the AUN Community, I express our deepest appreciation to all of you for attending our 12th Annual Founder’s Day. This is an event we are proud to celebrate and we thank you for coming.
Welcome to the American University of Nigeria—where students’ dreams become Africa’s Future.