AUN President, Dr. Dawn Dekle, presents an induction sash to a student(1)

Solomon Elusoji

The American University of Nigeria (AUN) has sworn-in more than 200 new students in a convocation ceremony, the 25th of its kind, held at the Lamido Aliyu Musdafa Commencement Hall, on the school premises in Yola.

The AUN President, Dr. Dawn Dekle, challenged the students to take advantage of the university’s excellent resources and unleash their imaginative powers.

“Your greatest limitation isn’t where you are from or your gender, or your ethnicity,” she told them. “You are smarter than your JAMB scores says you are. You are more disciplined than your parents think you are. You are more imaginative than you dare express. I am confident that each of you can do more than you think you can and more accomplished and credible things.
“So today, as you join our learning community, I encourage you to stretch yourself, work hard and imagine the future that lies ahead of you. Your only limitation is your comfort zone.”

The University’s Vice President of Campus Life and Dean of Student Affairs, Byron Bullock, also had some words of advice for the new students. “New students, you have come to AUN where there is a standard of excellence without excuse,” he said. “Your destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice.

“There is a need for some critical updates in your life starting today. It’s time to update your contact list and make room for new friends and associates. Remember that there are great people around you. You will never understand how great and powerful they are if you don’t take the opportunity to enlarge your territory. Step out of your comfort zones and get to know people who think differently or who come from different environment than you.”

The President of the University’s Student Government Association (SGA), Idris Mamman, also urged the students to transform into rabid learners. “You are about to embark to what has for me been a fantastic journey of growth and maturity, responsibility, friendship, and of course academics. If I could offer you one piece of advice, it would be this: Take every opportunity to learn,” he said.

Among the new students was the son of screen legends, Olu Jacobs and Joke Silva, who were both present at the convocation ceremony. Their son, Olugbenga Jacobs, is majoring in English Language at the university. “This University is absolutely beautiful,” Mr. Jacobs told THISDAY. “My son didn’t want to go to a foreign university and by coming here, I am confident he will not lose anything in terms of the quality of instruction and environment.”