The Senator representing Bayelsa East constituency and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Privatization, Ben Murray-Bruce, will, on Saturday, November 24, deliver the keynote speech at the 13th Founder’s Day ceremony of the American University of Nigeria, AUN.
This was made known in a press release signed by the University’s Executive Director, Communication and Publications, David Okereke and made available to The Next Edition.
According to him, the event will take place at the Lamido Aliyu Musdafa Commencement Hall on the main campus of the university in Yola, the Adamawa State capital.
Okereke explained that the annual Founder’s Day, an American tradition, is held yearly to celebrate the vision, progress and development strides of the American University of Nigeria, which graduated its first set of students in 2009.
“The AUN learning community, including its growing student members who come from all the 36 states of Nigeria, South Africa, Cameroun, and around the world, will join the university’s global faculty and staff to reflect on the impact of the University’s Development and Entrepreneurship mantra on the Nigerian and African societies.
“They will also share experience on the unparalleled commitment to education, entrepreneurship, and community development motivation of the Founder and former Nigerian Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar,” the statement read in part.
It recalled that in conferring on the AUN Founder the first Global Citizenship Award on its 50th anniversary in 2011, the United States Peace Corps spoke glowingly of his (Atiku’s) generosity to the cause of education.
He posited that “No private businessman in Africa has worked harder for democracy or contributed more to the progress of higher education than Atiku Abubakar.”
Okereke in the statement stated that from their various locations around the world, AUN’s emergent alumni have connected and kicked-started the celebrations with series of colourful week-long Homecoming events underlining the strong bond they proudly share with their alma mater.
“AUN alumni, having received quality education with strong emphasis on entrepreneurship and ethical leadership, are presently managing successful enterprises in major Nigerian cities, attending top Graduate Schools around the world or imparting their skills in top local and multinational corporations.” he said
The AUN President, Dawn Dekle, expressed excitement about the choice of Murray-Bruce as speaker saying: “As a learning community, AUN is honoured to have a statesman, media mogul, and the distinguished Senator Ben Murray-Bruce, as Keynote Speaker.”
President Dekle said Sen. Murray-Bruce was the ideal speaker for this year’s occasion given his remarkable background in entrepreneurship, corporate governance, and resource management and also against the university management’s policy push toward greater sustainability.
He further described him as elegant, charismatic and cerebral adding that Sen. Murray-Bruce was the generational voice of progressive politics in Nigeria and a lightning rod for critical discourses on and off the floor of the Red Chambers.
“A much-decorated corporate achiever and change agent, business mogul and chief executive per excellence, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce will join an elite company of distinguished keynote speakers who have delivered speeches since the inaugural Founder’s Day ceremony in 2006.
“They include the late Dr. Hamidu Alkali, Professor Charles Soludo, Tulane University’s Professor, William Bertrand, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, former US Ambassador to Nigeria Robin Sanders, former EU ambassador to Nigeria Dr. David McRae, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, Colombian educationist, Vicky Colbert and former Ugandan Vice President, HE Dr. Gilbert Bukenya”, he said.