The involvement of Alumni in supporting and providing contributions to their Alma-Mater is important for maintaining and expanding the institution’s development by establishing channels that can facilitate closer ties between the Alumni and their institutions. They tend to provide support in various aspects that are beneficial to their schools. A strong and vibrant Alumni is an asset to their University, and their contributions and involvement can significantly increase the reputation of their University nationally and internationally. Views and positive statements that Alumni present in relation to their University through media or other physical or social means provide support for the University reputation.
Perhaps, based on the above premise, the OSU – OOU Alumni Association, North America Chapter adopted “Alumni As Brand Ambassadors Ready And Willing To Serve” as a theme for its 9th Annual Reunion Convention that took place at the Westin Hotel, Mount Laurel Township, New Jersey, USA from Friday, July 26 to Saturday, July 27, 2019.
In his goodwill message to the Chapter, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ganiyu Olatunji Olatunde commended the organizers for the choice of their theme for this year’s Annual Reunion Convention. The Vice-Chancellor stated that the theme “Alumni As Brand Ambassadors Ready And Willing To Serve” was very timely, considering the current plan of the University Management to further engage all stakeholders in repositioning Olabisi Onabanjo University. Professor Olatunde revealed that the efforts made by the University Management in recent times, especially in engaging the assistance of the Alumni have started manifesting positive results. He informed them that their University is held in high esteem by all and sundry, particularly, for the technology driven approach adopted by the Management.
According to the Vice-Chancellor, “If there is a time that the University needs your shoulders to lean on, in terms of branding and other support, it is now. I am optimistic that the initiatives encapsulated in this year’s theme, will spark interest of more alumni to identify with the noble idea of this forum”
Prof. Olatunde asserted that the pivot that drives development in a nation and, by extension, the overall advancement in the society was qualitative education. He extrapolated further that the technological innovations that formed the pedestal upon which great economies of the world were established actually evolved through advancement in teaching and research. He reiterated that Alumni Association was a major stakeholder, when it comes to sustainability and improvement of the standard of their Alma Mater. He advised them to continue to be good ambassadors of OOU in their chosen fields and give necessary support in the University’s quest for excellence.
In her own address at the event, the President, OSU-OOU North America Alumni Association Chapter, Mrs. Wuraola Ajayi was excited to inform her colleagues and the guests present that the North America Alumni Chapter was a strong and unified community with a purposeful and commendable mission. She stated that many Alumni have risen from been passive members to been very active in the activities of the Chapter.
“Many Alumni have risen from being on the sideline and have become a voice, financial pillars and change agents”.
The President asserted that the Chapter has gone from building a stronger Alumni Community to being a brand ambassador, willing and ready to serve. She disclosed that two executive members of the Chapter were mandated to visit OOU last year and during their visit, they met the University Management and discussed the areas their Chapter could assist the University.
Based on this, Mrs. Ajayi disclosed that the Chapter “sent computers-desktops and laptops, servers, printers, UPS, projectors, advanced communication equipment, computer hard discs, connection cables and books to our University”.
She revealed that the Chapter was partnering with some law publishing companies and medical equipment charity organizations to get some items to the University as soon as possible. “We have received items for shipment to Nigeria through this project,” said, Mrs. Ajayi.
Thereafter, the President emphasized that the Chapter is a brand and she pleaded with her fellow members to “represent it with honour, integrity, dignity, dedication and commitment. According to her, committed Alumni tend to identify with the brand’s value, thus fostering brand loyalty within the Chapter.
Delivering the keynote Address at the reunion, the Registrar, Olabisi Onabanjo University, who is also an alumnus of the institution, Mr. Femi Ogunwomoju expressed his happiness to be present at the 9th edition of the Annual Reunion Convention. He gave kudos to the Chapter’s members for their thoughtfulness in coming up with the theme “Alumni As Brand Ambassadors, Ready and Willing to Serve” for this year’s edition of the Reunion. According to the Registrar, the theme chosen was totally in conformity with the current drive by the University Management to ensure that its image was fully revamped and its operations were realigned with what obtains in a 21st Century citadel of higher learning.
Mr. Ogunwomoju stated that, a platform like this reunion is defined by its unity of purpose, great commitment and selflessness.
According to him, the gathering of the Chapter was to brainstorm on how their conducts in their chosen careers would impact positively on the image of their University and also on the support that could be given to OOU and ensure that it continues to live up to its vision.
“This is what is expected of every stakeholder of our dear University, to always think ahead about what new things should be done or where should we do certain things differently, so that it can keep pace with the trends in the education sector, thereby remaining at the forefront of human capital development”.
The Registrar informed the gathering that the University Management, led by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ganiyu Olatunji Olatunde was poised to turn OOU to one of the best within and outside the country. He, thereafter, mentioned some of the innovations that have been introduced to improve the administration of the University by the current Management. Apart from having 94% of its academic programmes fully accredited, Mr. Ogunwomoju said that e-resources have been deliberately employed for activities like payments, registration, conduct of examination, results and transcripts processing, library and conduct of meetings. He added that the University was in discussion with a number of foreign institutions for research collaborations and linkages, notwithstanding its partnership with existing ones.
While acknowledging the previous support given to the University by its Alumni, the Registrar sought for their assistance in the area of funding to enable the University implement its blue print programme.
“We have a robust blue print of what the University should be in the next five years. But you will agree with me that without adequately funding a good plan, little or nothing would be achieved. This is where the support of everyone here, as major stakeholders and partners in progress, is highly needed”.
In concluding his keynote address, Mr. Ogunwomoju enjoined the OSU-OOU North America Alumni Association Chapter to continue to rub minds with the University Management in order to project the image of the University both locally and internationally. By so doing, the Registrar affirmed that, OOU would in no distant future attain the status of a 21st Century citadel of higher learning.