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OOU Celebrates Ex-VC Olatunde with Twin Send-Forth Ceremonies

In recognition of his exemplary leadership and excellent achievements, Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye has honoured Prof. Ganiyu Olatunji Olatunde, who recently completed his five-year tenure as Vice-Chancellor of the University. The immediate past Vice-Chancellor endeared himself to the teeming members of the University Community while in service and ultimately bequeathed a laudable legacy to the institution which, in turn, organised send-forth ceremonies in his honour.

The celebratory events spanned two days under the distinguished chairmanship of the current Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ayodeji Agboola. The twin send-forth ceremonies included a University-wide Event held on Wednesday, 23rd November, 2022 at the OGD Hall and an Extra-Ordinary Senate Session which took place on Thursday, 24th November, 2022 at the Senate Chamber, Main Campus, Ago-Iwoye.

At the first event, staff and other members of the University Community converged on the OGD Hall to celebrate the former University administrator, pay glowing tributes and bid him farewell. It was such an exhilarating experience. The occasion featured the presentation and screening of a special documentary on the tenure of Prof. Olatunde titled, “The Legacy of An Amazing Administrator” as well as special performance by the Performing Arts Department of the University.

The immediate past Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ganiyu Olatunji Olatunde (third right),
in a group photograph with Principal Officers of the University

In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor commended his predecessor for giving a good account of himself while in the saddle, noting that his tenure brought remarkable growth and development to the University. According to him, OOU has become globally relevant and competitive with improved webometric ratings and now ranks among the best Nigerian Universities.

He emphasised that before the expiration of Olatunde-led administration, all the programmes of the University had accreditation from the National Universities Commission (NUC). Prof. Agboola said, “I want to specially welcome you all to this important ceremony that we are holding in celebrating the man that has performed excellently well in the last five years. We have the scorecard, so it’s not that we are making noise that he has done beautifully well. He has taken the University to 13th position in the Nigerian Universities. He has also done excellently well by making sure that as at the time he was leaving the office, all our programmes had accreditation.”

“Looking around you today, we all can see that the University is actually in a serene environment. The beautiful landscaping is all over the campus. We have to give kudos to him that this University is where we are today,” he added.

Prof. Agboola advised members of the University Community to learn from the immediate past Vice-Chancellor and emulate his work ethics and commitment to the overall development of the institution.

“My prayer is that all of us will be celebrated like this some day. We will now make it a point of duty that whoever is retiring, we must celebrate such person so that at the end of the day, we’ll know that the University recognised what we are doing and this would inspire those coming behind to also perform better,” the Vice-Chancellor stated. Some members of staff, who also made brief comments at the event, extolled the virtues of the former Vice-Chancellor and wished him success in his future endeavours.

Responding, Prof. Olatunde expressed appreciation for the great honour done him by the University Management, staff and other stakeholders. He pointed out that he would never forget his experience in OOU, adding that he would continue to be part of the University Community.

His words: “When I arrived this University precisely 5th of May, 2017, I came into a campus that was new to me and I came with a lot of apprehensions. But I want to thank God that at the end of it all, the achievements that have been reeled out in a number of fora were actually due to the dedication and support of the staff. I want to appreciate every member of staff of this University – those who supported us during the tenure and those who were critical.”

Prof. Olatunde also solicited the support and prayers of the University staff for his successor to successfully pilot the affairs of the varsity. He further said, “I am praying and assuring you, this University will never go back. It will continue to experience progress upon progress. By the grace of the Almighty God that made me to succeed, the present Vice-Chancellor will succeed. This University will never reverse and it will continue to move forward till eternity.” The immediate past Vice-Chancellor was later presented with various gifts amid  applause and standing ovation.

Similarly, at the Extra-Ordinary Senate Session held to celebrate Prof. Olatunde, members of Senate paid tributes to the former Vice-Chancellor, saying he was a rare gift to the University. They added that his records remain unbeaten, especially in terms of payment of staff salaries and allowances. They also noted that OOU ranked among the very few Universities that paid their academic staff during the 2020 and 2022 industrial actions.

In their separate comments, the Senate members saluted the administrative style of Prof. Olatunde and submitted that his administration impacted positively on the entire University, adding that no negative or adverse report was heard about OOU during his tenure. They thereafter prayed and wished him well in his future endeavours.

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