Founder's Day Remarks by AUN President

Welcome Remarks by Dawn Dekle, PhD, President, American University of Nigeria at the 13th Annual Founder’s Day Ceremony on Saturday, November 24, 2018 at 4:00pm at the Lamido Aliyu Musdafa Commencement Hall.

His Excellency, Dr. Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR, former President of Nigeria

His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, GCFR, former President of Nigeria

The AUN Founder, His Excellency Atiku Abubakar, GCON, former Vice President of Nigeria

His Excellency, Namadi Sambo, former Vice President of Nigeria

His Excellency, Dr. Bukola Saraki, GCON, President of the Senate

Retired Honorable Yakubu Dogara, Speaker, Federal House of Representatives

His Excellency, Governor of Adamawa State Umaru Jibrilla Bindow, and other Visiting Governors

His Excellency, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu

His Royal Highness, Lamido Adamawa, and other Royal Fathers

His Excellency, Peter Obi, distinguished Economist, Banker, and Former Governor of Anambra State

Our Keynote Speaker, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce

Academic Leaders from Sister Institutions

Members of the AUN Board of Trustees

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen.


Good afternoon and welcome to our 13th Annual Founder’s Day Ceremony at American University of Nigeria.


The AUN Founder’s Day celebrates the founding, progress, and development of our beautiful university for the future of Nigeria, Africa, and the world. It is an annual tradition that we, as a learning community, are proud to celebrate and we always look forward to it. It also provides a moment for us to publicly thank and honor our Founder, His Excellency Atiku Abubakar, GCON for establishing this university and for his continued support.

We also use this occasion to recognize our Honor Society students, present awards to our outstanding staff, and appreciate our faculty for their dedication to the AUN dream.

I know this may be the first time many of you are visiting our campus, so please permit me a moment to introduce you to our university. Fourteen years ago, this university was established by this Nigerian icon, philanthropist and entrepreneur, His Excellency Atiku Abubakar, GCON, with the core philosophy of entrepreneurship and development. We provide world-class education following the American liberal arts curriculum in four schools:  Arts & Sciences, Business & Entrepreneurship, IT & Computing, and Law.

Our learning community is very diverse, with faculty, staff, and students representing nearly 40 different countries. Our faculty members are among the best scholars in the world and they are committed to teaching, research, service and most importantly, providing mentorship to our students. Our staff members are dedicated professionals, with expertise across a wide variety of sectors, providing the support for our learning community. Our students have the future of Nigeria in their imagination and dreams, a future powered by innovation, entrepreneurship, leadership and most importantly, engaged citizenship.


[turn to the Founder]


Your Excellency, you are a living example of closing the gap between dreaming and doing, as you had a dream to start American University of Nigeria, and had the boldness to make that dream a reality, as evidenced by our wonderful campus of marble, glass, and stone, set in the greenery of the Benue River Valley. It is my honor to be in a position to lead this university, to consolidate our learning community into an enduring enterprise that will be here for our children and grandchildren.

Your Excellency, United States Senator Cory Booker said recently, “A country that out-educates the world will out-earn the world, out-innovate the world, and out-lead the world.” Just to repeat, “A country that out-educates the world will out-earn the world, out-innovate the world, and out-lead the world.”

Your Excellency, your vision to found our university will help Nigeria realize this potential. Education is Nigeria’s most vital national resource.

Your Excellency, you are the PRIDE of AUN, you are the INSPIRATION of AUN, and today, on Founder’s Day, we say thank you with deep appreciation and gratitude.