The Chancellor, Dr. Vijoo Rattansi has conferred honorary degrees of the University of Nairobi on Prof. Julia Ojiambo, Chair of Council and Prof. Micere Mugo at the 64th Graduation Ceremony. The two have now joined the list of eminent persons who have received the prestigious award bringing the number of honorary degree holders of the University of Nairobi to 35. In addition, a record 5,709 have been conferred degrees and awarded diplomas at the graduation ceremony held on December 11, 2020 at the Great Court, Main Campus.
Prof. Ojiambo was awarded a Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) In Leadership in recognition of her distinguished and exemplary career in leadership which has helped shape the face of leadership and politics in Kenya. Prof. Mugo was awarded a Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa) In Literature, virtually, in recognition of her outstanding achievements and contribution to scholarship in literature and the arts, her relentless pursuit of a socially just world, and her broader service to humanity.
“I have the distinct honour to admit into honorary doctorate, two accomplished scholars, former members of our faculty and who over the course of time have been magnanimous enough to dedicate their lives towards the advancement of humanity, scholarship, women empowerment and politics,” said Dr. Rattansi. “They took the less travelled road that though diverged somewhere in the woods, earned each the pride of place as towering colossi within our borders and beyond. I am immensely proud to be associated with these two inspiring women of our time, women who continue to wear the virtue of humility with honour and personify modesty despite all their achievements.”
The Chancellor also had a special message for the graduating class of 2020.
“May good luck be with you wherever you go, May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow, May your days be many and your troubles be few, May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been the foresight to know where you’re going and the insight to know when you’re going too far. May all God’s blessings descend upon you and may peace be within you.”
On her part, Prof. Ojiambo accepted the honours saying that it was a great honour to have been invited to partake in this age-old tradition.
“Our founding father of the nation and inaugural Chancellor the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta likened a graduation to a passing out parade. Graduates leave the university fully trained and equipped in various disciplines,” said Prof. Ojiambo. “The real test of proving oneself in the battleground of nation building, however, is yet to come. If you are to make a mark in the world, then of necessity you need teamwork, self-discipline, respect for self and others, realism and in varying measures, the innocence of a dove and the proverbial shrewdness of a serpent. Only then will we play our rightful role in national development and contribute to the common struggle against poverty, ignorance and disease.”
The Vice-chancellor, Prof. Stephen Kiama congratulated all the graduands of class of 2020 for completing their studies on time despite the negative effects of Covid-19.
“In spite of the devastating effects of Covid-19, the University of Nairobi has managed to graduate about 8,000 graduands in the academic year 2019/2020,” said Prof. Kiama. “I salute the faculty for making frantic efforts to ensure that all students who have completed their studies are given the opportunity to graduate.”
Prof. Kiama noted that the 64th graduation ceremony is a historic one as it coincides with the golden jubilee celebrations occurring when celebrating fifty years of academic excellence. It marks the end of an era and the beginning of a newer chapter for the University.
“The march to relevance, vibrancy and sustainability has just begun. It is my vision that together with the stakeholders we shall join efforts in building a world-class institution that is well resourced and impacts on the community through research outputs and community service,” he added.
The Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Education, Zack Kinuthia, commended the University management for moving with speed to ensure minimal interruption of the academic calendar despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The setup of this graduation as a virtual event is a stark reminder that the use of technology is no longer an alternative, but an acceptable way of doing business, including education,” he noted.
At the ceremony, there were 66 doctor of philosophy degree awards, 2 fellowship awards, 1,206 master degree awards, 69 post graduate diploma awards, 4,018 bachelor degree awards and 348 diploma awards.
Congratulations to the graduating class of 2020!