Nnamdi Azikiwe University held its matriculation ceremony on Friday the 16th of July, 2021. Today, the matriculation ceremony in UNIZIK is very different. Now, the ceremony is held at each faculty, separately, with a few faculties occupying the library’s space.
The school had canopies set up at several faculties, coupled with church canopies set up at the digital library in a bid to get new members, picture stands set up by photographers and side attractions such as games prepared at strategic locations in the school in preparation for the event.
The event began at 11:00 am with the Master of Ceremony’s introduction of the academic staff members and appreciating the parents for their presence. Following the MC’S introduction, the new students marched in according to their departments, spearheaded by an academic staff member of the department after which the Deans and Heads of Departments marched in.
The event went further with the recitation of the National and school anthem which was followed by the reading of the Vice-Chancellor’s speech by the Dean of the faculty. In the VC’s address, he welcomed the students into the great citadel of knowledge, congratulating them on their admission. He continued by stating: “All belts must be tightened and all hands on deck,” because the staff and the students would go through a rigorous academic program this year to make up for the COVID year.
In continuation of the Vice-Chancellor’s speech, he disclosed his vision for the university tagged Project 200 which is aimed at projecting the university into the league of the first 200 universities in the world. “We can achieve this by discipline, commitment and strict compliance to the recommended standard of practices,” he said.
He continued by communicating the Do’s and Dont’s of the University, stating the obligations of the students to the school. He stated: “You must attend at least 75% of all lectures and practicals for you to be allowed to write examinations.”
He went further to declare that cultism is an anathema in the university and all proven cultists are expelled. He ended by asking the students to remember why they are in the university, praying that their stay will end with them being found worthy in character and learning to be conferred with a degree from the University.
As the event proceeded, the students pledged their oath of loyalty and signed the document stating that they will not be involved with cultism.
With the event coming to an end, the Dean gave his final speech beseeching the students to behave responsibly and focus on their academics afterwards the closing prayer was said and the National anthem with the school anthem was sung.
After the close of the events, the newly admitted students expressed their excitement at finally being matriculated into Nnamdi Azikiwe University. Egoti, a student of the Nursing Department said: ” I am very excited because it is something I have always looked forward to.”
“It is wonderful! It’s wow!” Deborah exclaimed when asked how she felt about the matriculation ceremony.
Parents were not left out of the celebration as a parent expressed her joy that the matriculation ceremony went better than expected. She said she thought the protesters who were protesting over the hike in school fees would hijack the event and she was glad it did not happen.
Despite the fact that many new students were overjoyed about their matriculation ceremony, there were others who expressed their frustration as they were not able to acquire the matriculation gown.
Chinedu Bruno narrated his ordeal, stating: “At first they told us to bring our acceptance fee, invoice and receipt and when I brought it the next day, I was told, again, to get my admission status and I was not with it that day. By the time I got the information, it was already late.”
He also expressed his unhappiness about not being able to get the matriculation gown as he had to borrow from people when he wanted to take pictures.
Princess, a newly admitted student bemoaned her fate as the lack of a gown prevented her from joining other students in the procession.
“It was frustrating because I could not march when everybody was marching in during the procession and my Dad was waiting, looking for somebody to give me gown because they said it had finished.”
In addition to the lack of gowns, another cause for concern was the massive traffic jam in the school on the matriculation day. As a result of the large number of cars parked within the school, at the end of the event, people struggled to leave the school’s compound causing huge traffic jams at both the entrances and exits of the school, which eventually eased out as they slowly made their way out.
In conclusion, regardless of the challenges encountered, it is without a doubt that the matriculation ceremony for the 2020/2021 session was successful.
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