National ABU Alumni Association Holds Sensitization Workshop To Revive Faculty-Base Alumni Association

Alumni associations, world-over, are the medium through which the graduates of most institutions interact, with the aim of forming a mutually beneficial relationship that would profit their Alma Mater. The intention of forming such associations is to bring together graduates of an institution, under a unified umbrella, for the purpose of bringing about positive development to the mother institution.

In Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, a Premier Institution with over Five Hundred Thousand Alumni that spread across all walks of lives, both in Nigeria and abroad, the National Alumni Association is a vibrant one. The Association conducted elections in August 2015 that brought onboard Dr. Ahmed Mora, former Deputy National President of the Association, as the President.

Among the mandate of the new Leadership of the Alumni was the revival of the States Branches as well as the Faculty-based Alumni Associations, which would translate to harnessing students at the various departmental levels into becoming active Alumni Members upon graduation. The Executive of the National Alumni Association recently organised a workshop with the theme, "Establishment and Revival of Faculty-based Chapters as Instrument for a Dynamic ABU Alumni Association". In his remark at the event, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Ibrahim Garba, reiterated the importance of Alumni Association to the University System which he described as the key-driver of the Institution. According to him, apart from being the pillars of growth to their Alma Mater, the University places high expectations on her Alumni in terms of giving back, thereby, bringing development that would be of added-value to the present and future generations.

Professor Ibrahim Garba acknowledged the contributions of the ABU Pharmacy Association as a clear indication of commitment exhibited by the Pharmacy graduates of the University, which he said had set a pace for other faculties to follow. He mentioned that the plan by the Faculty of Agriculture to organise its Homecoming for graduates of the Faculty, was a laudable initiative. The VC urged other faculties in the University to follow suit in forming the Faculty Alumni Chapters to salvage the Institution in the areas of scarce resources and dwindling government subvention in the educational sector.

Professor Garba further expressed confidence in the efforts put in place by the Directorate of University Advancement, in its drive of reviving the Student-Today-Alumni-Tomorrow scheme, which he said would give the students a feeling that the University identified with them, and in turn after graduation, make them to have a sense of giving back to their Alma Mater.

Speaking on the theme of the Workshop: "Establishment and Revival of Faculty-based Chapters as Instrument for a Dynamic ABU Alumni Association", the National President of ABU Alumni Association, Dr. Ahmed Mora, stated that the motive for the workshop was to sensitise all faculties in Ahmadu Bello University, towards establishing their various Faculty Chapters in order for them to benefit in the areas of advancing research and community development.

He expressed hope that a roadmap toward the establishment of the Faculty-based Chapters would emerge from the concurrence of the resolution of the participants at the conclusion of the workshop.

Dr. Mora stated further that formation of Faculty-based Alumni Association had many advantages for the faculties and indeed the graduates of such faculties. These, he said, included serving as a forum for advancing greater understanding between teaching and non-teaching staff of the Faculty, on the one hand and graduates of the Faculty on the other hand, towards a speedy attainment of the objectives of the Faculty.

According to him, Faculty-based Alumni Association would provide an avenue for graduates and friends to contribute towards the promotion of teaching, learning, research and community services in the faculties, while offering a medium for members to form fellowship to brainstorm on advancing ethics for professions and continuing professional development among others.

Dr. Mora said that Faculty-based Alumni Association would offer an avenue for Deans, Heads of Departments, Professors and other Lecturers, Laboratory Staff and Administrative Staff to interface with the graduates of the faculties in the development of the society generally.

He enumerated the likely areas of intervention by graduates of faculties under the proposed Faculty-based Alumni Association which he said could augment the efforts of the University to promote learning, teaching and community development services. He stated that faculties needed assistance due to the large number of staff and students in their staff and admission lists, respectively. He stressed the urgent need of intervention in the areas of part-time lecturing, provision of teaching aids, textbooks, journals, reagents and equipment among others.

Dr. Mora recommended that all Deans should set-up machinery towards the establishment of Faculty-based Alumni Association, while advising the University Management to make budgetary provision to enable Deans and Heads of Departments to attend the annual or periodic conferences of their professional, scientific associations.

Earlier, in a welcome address, the Chairperson, Local Organising Committee, Dr. Maryam Aminu Mukhtar, welcomed all the guest to the event, stating that the Workshop was timely conceived in view of the fact that the newly elected Alumni NEC earnestly desired to reposition the Association in order to address peculiar problems of the University.

She expressed hope that the Workshop would help the Association to reach out to all stakeholders and various chapters of the Alumni at various levels to gather fresh ideas and newer perspectives towards overcoming the many challenges of their Alma Mater.

She mentioned that it was expected at the end of the workshop that, a roadmap towards establishment and revival of the dormant Faculty-based Chapters would emerge from the consensus of the resolution of the participant.