- …..Amazing Story of Crescent University Overall Best Graduating Student
Her hope of completing her university degree was almost truncated save for the timely intervention of the Founder of Crescent University in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Judge Bola Ajibola, SAN. At the recently held 10th convocation ceremony of the school, Funke Olaode, writes that Latifat Ayokunnumi Tiamiyu, who emerged the best overall student and valedictorian of the university, recounted her academic grass to grace story
That historic Saturday morning of October 20, 2018 was like other days, but it was different in the lives of 424 newly graduating students of Crescent University, Abeokuta in Ogun State as parents and well-wishers had thronged the expansive auditorium of the institution. Among the graduands, a young lady, Latifat Ayokunnumi Tiamiyu,
stood out. From a seemingly hopeless situation, to suddenly become a source of inspiration to strong-willed people everywhere who keep their dream in view, Tiamiyu sprang out of obscurity to register a string of firsts.
She went home with laurels like the Vice-Chancellor’s prize for the best graduating student of the year, College Prize for the best graduating student in each college, Prize for the Overall best graduating student and 2018 Valedictorian with a Cumulative Grade Point Average of 4.91 from the department of Microbiology, College of Natural and Applied Sciences. With her CGPA of 4.91, she emerged the best of the best of all first-class products of Crescent University, Abeokuta among 10 sets ever graduated from citadel of academic and moral excellence.
Hers is a rare case of triumph beyond expectation, beating every hurdle of suppression and poverty. Given the circumstance of her poor parentage, Tiamiyu could have been subsumed by the overwhelming surge of penury. However, she was determined, not only to swim against the tide, but to float comfortably. With no role model or anyone to emulate, she trusted her guts and envisioned herself as an accomplished scholar.
Her road to academic excellence began in 2014 when she gained admission to Crescent University to study Microbiology.
Tiamiyu’s academic prowess manifested early as she was maintaining a Cummulative Grade Point Average of 4.95. But her joy of attaining higher education was almost truncated if not for the timely intervention of eminent jurist and founder of the institution, Judge Bola Ajibola, SAN who waded into her situation.
On the management’s effort to encourage indigent but brilliant students whose education may be truncated due to lack of finance, the institution has instituted a scholarship scheme that comes to their aid after establishing the merit of such cases. Tiamiyu was a beneficiary.
According to the scholar, she had already lost hope of continuing her studies at Crescent University and was almost requesting for transcript to be able to seek admission into a public university when her attention was drawn to Bola Ajibola Scholarship for Academic and Moral Excellence. That was in her 200 level in 2016, when she was on a grade point of 4.95, the highest any student could have had.
She recalled that ‘few months later, she got a call from the deputy registrar , Alhaji. M.A. Lawal to come and apply for scholarship that he had spoken to the Vice-Chancellor about it. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ibraheem Gbajabiamila, who was highly impressed with her first class grade assured her later that she would get the scholarship with a caveat that she must maintain her class of grade throughout her studies.
Few weeks later, Tiamiyu’s dream which was gradually going into comatose was revived when she got another call from the university that her scholarship had been granted and that she should come for acknowledgement of same.
Accolades for Benefactor
The elated scholar who acknowledged that although she had not met Ajibola in person, described the former judge of the International Court of Justice as a generous man whose generosity continues to amaze her. She commended Ajibola’s selfless investment as part of which she had benefitted.
‘The proprietor’s scholarship did it for me’ as she showered accolades on her benefactor for reviving her university education through scholarship when she was on the verge of dropping out, owing to her parent’s in ability to continue to pay her school fees.
Tiamiyu said in the face of poverty and hardship one thing kept her going “My mum has been an inspiration and my staying power. I said I must not let her down seeing what she and my siblings were going through put me on my toes to be the best and vow that I must achieve this particular goal. “
Priority to Academics
The Crescent University she said has impacted so much in her because of its sound, moral and academic values and religious aspect. “I have always learnt that the school is like a family. I got a lot of support from my friends, lecturers, academic and non-academic staff, who were all good to me.”
Does she have any magic wand that helped to attain the best academic excellence? “It was my commitment to studies and being diligent. I believe there is no time one can’t catch up with one’s social life. I had a few outings with a few friends but I have always placed priority on my studies. Although I didn’t have the impression of becoming the valedictorian of my set or overall student. The grace of God and the benevolent act of Judge Bola Ajibola has brought me here.”
Asked under which condition she preferred to study, Tiamiyu said “I find it convenient to study in the morning immediately I wake up and my reading can last for like seven hours. I can’t read if my brain is not relaxed…If I haven’t slept, I don’t stress myself.”
She revealed that she preferred secluding herself in empty classrooms and after each day’s lectures, “have a little fun in the hostel, sleep, wake up and start reading again.”
Asked why she pitched her tent with Microbiology she said “I love courses that have to do with Biology or Microbiology but along the line, I had issues with Chemistry courses, she recounted adding that she particularly fell in love with aspects of food Microbiology and Virology because of her interest, as well as the interesting approaches employed by lecturers in charge.” She admitted that she was able to have good grades in her courses because she devoted more time to reading courses she didn’t like more than her favourite ones.
The vision of academic and moral excellence of Crescent University, according to her, has made her to avoid distractions and has taught her to dress modestly. She also praised the university for its religious tolerance, adding that although she is a Christian, she had freedom to practice her religion without hindrance.
Appeal for Funds for Further Studies
Appealing to governments both at the state and federal levels to offer opportunities to the youth who she emphasised are the leaders tomorrow, she said she plans of going for her Master’s degree immediately after graduation , but her mother whom she described as her ‘world couldn’t afford it. She called on well-meaning Nigerians, philanthropists and the government to invest in her higher degree.
With this academic attainment, the founder publicly offered her an automatic employment. Brilliant, intelligent with a desire to conquer the world, the young scholar has her eyes fixed on the future of working in multinationals or academic environment where she will continue to keep the flag of the institution flying