RU’s 13th Matriculation Ceremony
On 6th October 2017, Riara University held its 13th Matriculation ceremony to introduce diploma and degree students to the Riara University fraternity.
Below are the VC’s remarks of the day:
Welcome and congratulations
Matriculation marks your formal admission into the University, a ceremony where you pledge to submit yourself to the authority of the University and to uphold, observe and defend the values and philosophy of the University.
At high school and other levels, you were admitted collectively as a national cohort of students that were to be examined under the KNEC. Admission to university on the other hand is very different. Universities are independent institutions that are run by a University Senate in each institution and the Senate makes determinations that are independent of any influence whatsoever from outside the University and those freedoms of a University are protected by law, specifically the Universities Act (2012) and any amendments, regulations and guidelines arising therefrom. Riara University Senate, represented here by the Senators is therefore the authority under which you operate as an RU student and it is this authority of Senate that you ascribe to today by pledging the Honour Code. Anyone having a problem with submitting to that authority is at liberty to declare today to the Registrar’s office and the University Senate will be very glad to review your admission.
Your admission therefore should not be taken as a right that cannot be taken away, but as a recognition by the University Senate that you are capable of undertaking and successfully completing our programmes. The Riara University Senate is glad to note that you all met the requirements of the Senate for admission into the University and I congratulate you most sincerely on your admission and officially becoming an RU student today. Congratulations and you can applaud yourselves.
Started in 2012, RU continues to observe its university calendar and assures students of completion on time, unlike in many other institutions. The Riara Brand has been built for over 40 years and continues to be a very strong brand in the market rated very highly by employers and partners. Glad to note that our student population has been growing at an average rate of 30-40% every year and continues to rise to the current population of close to 1400 students drawn from close to 20 nationalities. This cosmopolitan nature of the University is your chance to learn from each other, network, build each other, grow together, inspire one another and build long-lasting relationships that will continue to thrive even after Campus. You never know where the person sitted next to you will be 20 years from now.
We envision an RU that shall be the first point of call for any employer or organization seeking to tap the best talent that is carved out of a continuous pain-staking process of refining every graduate to bring out the diamond in them. We envision that RU will be highly respected for its contribution to the transformation of the story of Africa and the world, through the innovations and accomplishments of those sitted in front of me and others.
I know some of you may be thinking that you have arrived now that you are in Campus. Let me burst your bubble a little bit and state that you are only just beginning. You will be at Campus for 2, 3 or 4 years depending on your programme. However, real life as it is called begins immediately after. And that is what you need to have in mind. You need to have the end in mind as you undertake your studies here. In high school, someone could afford to waste time in the first three years and try to make up in the fourth year with some degree of success. At the University, everything you do from Year 1 Semester 1 will determine whether your graduate with a 1st Class Honours degree or a mere Pass. Every CAT, every assignment, every exam, counts. So place your academics at the forefront of your time at RU. Remember you were admitted as an individual and you will graduate as an individual.
You will see that our attention to class work and social life is very rigorous. RU has zero tolerance on drugs and illicit substance abuse, academic dishonesty, hooliganism, academic idlers or freeloaders, among over vices. These are not meant in any way to make your life difficult. Academic life and social life first of all cannot be separated. You cannot aim for academic success and have your social and spiritual lives vanquished by alcoholism, drugs, bad attitude, and bad morals. The rigorous requirements at RU are the fire designed to refine the diamond in you, the gold in you, the precious jewels that lie within the rough edges created around you by the sediments of youthfulness, procrastination, self-doubt, self-pride, complacency, among others. These are all vices that blanket the true jewels that you all are. We therefore require students that are hungry for learning, students that engage mentally with the learning process and not just physical presence on campus, students that are hungry for personal elevation and success and students that are hungry to play at the global stage of the successful.
Talking about success, do you know what success looks like? We all want to be successful but do you as an individual know how success looks like to you? Is success about having countless amounts of money, or big houses, or big cars or many women / men around you? Is success about what you own or feel or do? I challenge you to rethink that. If success to you is all about the good life that you can have, then it would have been better for God to simply take you to heaven directly where there is more abundance than you can ever dream of here on earth. However, there is a reason that God put us in this world and gave us approximately 30,000 days to live on earth. That is all we have. 30,000 days. To me, the reason God put us all together in this small crucible called Earth is so that we can sharpen one another, steward his creation, lift the lives of those less privileged than we are, and embody the messages of love, human dignity and equity across humanity. So ask yourself, will the world be a better place after your 30,000 days on earth or more specifically, after you’re 1,000 or so days at RU?
While at RU, I challenge you to build the following 5 areas of your life:
- Build your physical presence – appearance, mannerisms, and brand.
- Build your inner presence – values, resolve, and confidence.
Be cool, not by engaging in all manner of vices, but be cool because of the confidence you have in your abilities, the humility you have in serving others, your ability to give a hand to a friend in need rather than seeking to destroy them, among others. This is what makes you cool.
- Build your spiritual presence – spiritual beings, innate inherent connection to the spiritual world that makes us human. Never think you’re at the apex of the universe because you are not. Isaiah 57 and Isaiah 66 say: For this is what the high and exalted One says— he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit. For these are the ones I look upon with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.
- Build your networks and relationships.
- Build your attitude for it is your attitude that will determine your altitude of success.
Above all, be a good human being, for soon, your 30,000 days will lapse and all that will be left will be your eulogy. How will that read?
In Conclusion, I urge you to embody the RU Values of Excellence, Integrity, Innovation, Leadership by Example and Teamwork. Be excellent in class and out of class, participate in all university activities including those from other Schools / Departments as that is where you learn timeless truths, be a man or woman of integrity and high values, take every opportunity to show leadership, beginning with leadership of your own life daily, and be ready to innovate and adapt yourself as the world is uncompromising to the mediocre. Above all, take it upon yourself to be the man or woman that God truly intended you to be. Let civility and discipline reflect in all that you do not just at RU but wherever you will find yourself, for the investments of personal discipline and sacrifices that you invest in yourself during your time at RU are the fuel that will propel you to a truly rewarding life that is not defined merely by material possessions, but by the lives that will truly be different, because you got a chance to study at Riara University.
I wish you every success and God’s blessings now and always.
Prof. Robert Gateru, PhD