19th Matriculation Speech
19th Matriculation Welcome Address by Dr. Osei Darkwa, President of GTUC on October 1, 2016
GTUC Faculty and Staff present,
Proud Family Members, Guardians, and Friends of our Matriculants,
Members of the Press,
and most of all
Our Proud Matriculants, Class of 2017 and 2019
I am excited to welcome you all, on behalf of the University Council, the Academic Board, faculty, staff and current students of this university college to our nineteenth matriculation ceremony.
It is a special day for you, your families, guardians, and friends and we share in your joy and glory. I take this opportunity to congratulate you for gaining admission to our university college. This is the day you have all been waiting for. For most of you, one long journey has ended, and another even more interesting journey is about to begin.
We welcome you with open arms into the GTUC family and formally admit you as junior members of this university in full standing and as the legal luminaries will say, in statu pupillari, a phrase in Latin that means “of the status of a student.”
In welcoming you to GTUC, I invite you to take up the stewardship and the challenge of a rich legacy of excellence. The university provides a fulcrum around which you can achieve much your highest aspirations. Over the past ten years, we have built here at this university an institution that is ambitious and entrepreneurial, an institution that organizes itself to help you get your work done, an institution that strives to provide the finest faculty, staff and facilities to support your academic work. And, you will encounter an institution that, in its soul, prizes excellence above all else.
Matriculation as you know by now is your stepping forward to announce your readiness to accept the challenges that comes with the pursuit of knowledge, and to take upon yourself the responsibility, to uphold the name of the University College in everything you do, both on and off campus, and through your own varied achievements, to bring your school further honour and fame.
The matriculation oath which will be administered to you today will confer on you the rights, privileges and responsibilities of studentship in this university. It also commits you to abide by the rules and regulations governing studentship on this campus.
At this 19th matriculation ceremony, we formally welcome you into the GTUC community of scholars 996 new students, who have been admitted to pursue various diploma, and degree level programmes.
Among the newly admitted students are 45 foreign nationals. And to you, I say a special welcome to GTUC and to our beautiful country. Whilst you are here, do not limit your scope to just GTUC, I encourage you to enjoy the sights and sounds of this culturally rich and diverse country.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, this ceremony provides an occasion for us as leaders of this institution, to reflect with you on the purpose and promise of your education here at GTUC.
Our proud matriculants, you are about to begin a new chapter in your life, one marked by independence, and a critical engagement of the mind. What will you make of this experience and opportunity? How will you grow intellectually and socially? What will you contribute to this academic community? What will you take from it?
You are entering college at a truly remarkable moment in the history of this institution, our country, the sub-region, and the world at large. You’ve entered college at
- a time when the university is ten years old and is currently the number 1 private university in Ghana
- a time when the university has embarked on a major physical and technological infrastructural upgrade to provide learning space and cutting-edge resources to enhance your studies;
- a time when the university has decentralized and established campuses in multiple cities within the country
- a time when the university has forged new partnerships and collaboration with foreign universities and industrial giants to enable us bring the best of both worlds to you;
- a time when new higher level programmes of quality and substance have been introduced at the post-graduate and doctoral level;
- a time when our country is poised to go through perhaps the most keenly contested election in the history of the fourth republic.
- a time when the sub-region is still confronted with serious political crisis, and
- a time when globalization now defines the market for capital, labour, and many goods and services.
The question is, what is the meaning of all these for your education? What will the future bring? And how will the university and the country be shaped by all these developments? Even though it is difficult to predict what the future will bring, I can say with a fair degree of certainty that your education at GTUC will help to define this future. Like some of us who preceded you, you will go to the world with your GTUC education to make a difference. Each of you will grow intellectually during the next two or four years of your journey here.
You are here to make something of yourselves and add value to your life. To become an engineer, an ICT guru, a business administrator, a professional, deserving of respect, and the good life that comes with good work and its rewards.
GTUC will give you the tools to reason, to make judgments, to ask tough questions and to become a critical thinker. If you apply yourself, GTUC will enable you to be the entrepreneur or the ICT guru you desire to become
GTUC will become the place where your hidden talents will be discovered, and your known talents fine tuned, so that you will become the person who will go out to make GTUC and the country proud, uplift the African continent and positively impact the entire world.
There will be many new things to learn and lots of challenges as you adjust to university life and study. We on our part will do all we can to make sure you are prepared to excel academically, socially, and spiritually during your stay with us.
We know you have been prepared well by your parents, family, guardians, and friends. Many of your loved ones have literally sacrificed to enable you enjoy the privilege of a GTUC education. Honour their sacrifice by behaving responsibly, and making the most of this extraordinary opportunity.
Our country and continent are at a point where we need transformational thinkers and doers. Hopefully, the kind of education you will receive in the next few years should set you on the course of this journey of transformation. Only when we have been able to raise leaders, thinkers and most importantly doers who are committed not just to self but to humanity as well will we consider our job done. Today I challenge you to open up yourself and your mind to this wonderful experience.
Each generation is a product of its own time, confronted with different sets of challenges. We need people who are ready to move this country to the next stage of development. We need people who can step forward and carry the flag of this country high. We need a collective vision that describes the kind of future we want to create for this country. We need people who are bold and confident and are ready to lead this country and the sub-region to the future.
We want the next Mark Zuckerberg to come from this cohort; we want the next Thomas Evans Spiegel to come from this cohort; we want the next big thing to come from this cohort.
The Latin phrase “Tuum Est” means It Is Up To You. This is the Latin motto of the University of British Columbia in Canada. It is up to you to earn the honour of being an outstanding student of this university.
It is up to you to decide how hard you want to work, when you will relax and when you will study. It is up to you to take charge of your education and to shape your future and destiny here at GTUC.
Two or four years from now, you will look back at GTUC and call yourself an Alumnus of the University.
Efforts of the faculty and staff will be in vain unless you complement them through hard work and dedication.
Matriculants, the first group of students who were admitted to this university entered their names in a registry of students. Today, you join this company of scholars as you, too, enter your names into the university’s register. It is a register of those who have come here to plumb the depths of knowledge and to add whatever they could to the ever-expanding understanding of our world and our lives.
Members of the Class of 2017 and 2019, your time has come. The next time you assemble together here, it will be for your graduation or commencement. On that day, we’ll send you out to make a difference in the world.
I wish you the very best as you embark on your path to earn your degree at GTUC. As you walk the campus, feel proud that you are part of this wonderful University.
Together, we will make your stay at the university fruitful and memorable so that, at the end of your sojourn here, you shall go into the world as worthy and proud ambassadors of GTUC, a place of educational excellence.
Always remember, it is up to you to earn it.