By Abasi Ita, Calabar
Calabar, the Capital City of Cross River is set to be agog this weekend as the University of Calabar plays host to high-profile Nigerians respected across the country who are billed to grace the various colourful events lined up for the 35th Convocation ceremony of the Institution billed for Friday and Saturday this week.
Prominent on the list of such top-notch personalities is the immediate past president of the country, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, Chief Executive of NorthWest Oil and Gas, Dame Winifred Akpani as well as a business mogul and gender advocate, Ms. Tola Johnson.
The trio have been designated for the conferment of honourary doctorate (honoris causa) on Saturday, May 6, as the climax of the Convocation having been selected by the Senate of the Ivory Tower given their sacrificial contributions to the advancement of the country and humanity.
Addressing journalists at the Senate Chamber of the school to herald the Convocation event, the Vice Chancellor of the school Prof Florence Obi disclosed that the event will also witness the investiture of the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero as the 6th Pro-Chancellor of Unical while the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Prof Ibrahim Gambari is billed to present the 35th Convocation Lecture themed: The Leadership and Fellowship Question in Nigeria; Imperative of Ethnical Reorientation”
Prof Obi revealed that ” for the 35th Convocation of our University, we are happy to announce that 11 students made first class, 899 students got second class upper, 3,396 secured second class lower while 721 finished with third class amounting to a total of 7,769 graduands.
According to Obi who is the first female VC of the institution, ” this 35th Convocation is unique in many perspectives, first, award of the first degree, diplomas, masters and post-graduate comes up on Friday, while the award of doctorate and honourary degrees to worthy students and distinguished Nigerians is slated for Saturday”
Other notable features of the event listed in the itinerary include alumni meetings, research exhibitions, staff merit award night, courtesy visits to Governor Ben Ayade and some royal fathers as well as an interdenominational Thanksgiving Service.
SUMMIT Post reports that the University of Calabar, is among the second generation Nigerian universities, established on 25th October, 1975. It grew out of the Calabar Campus of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka which began functioning as such in the 1973/74 academic session with 154 students and a small cadre of academic, administrative and technical staff.