AMECEA Report by Sr. Jecinter Antoinette Okoth, FSSA
At its first-ever virtual graduation ceremony in a 36-year-old Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) on Friday, November 27, management of the Institution of higher learning has emphasized the need for ethical leadership to over one thousand students who were graduating, reminding them to embrace the values they have acquired from the university.
“I wish to challenge you to go out there and use the knowledge and skills you have acquired in CUEA to make the world a better place, one day at a time. Embrace the values of CUEA, which will make you ethical leaders,” the Chairman of the CUEA Council, Bishop Maurice Muhatia Makumba said in his address during the 39th graduation ceremony.
Bishop Muhatia of Kenya’s Nakuru diocese asked the students to “fight the temptations of get-rich-quick schemes and practices” that is in society.
Instead, he said, “Become your brother’s and sister’s keeper. When you find yourself in a difficult or self-compromising situation ask yourself what Jesus would have done if He was in your shoes.”
Reiterating the University Council Chair’s message, CUEA Vice-Chancellor Very Rev. Prof. Stephen Mbugua Ngari told the students, “In your years of study in CUEA, you have been prepared to be ethical leaders. The world today is full of poverty and disease, corruption and deceit, nepotism, and socio-economic inequalities. The world is in dire need of ethical leaders. Be ready to be ethical leaders in your respective fields of specialization.”
Addressing the 1,884 students from various parts of Africa who were attending the graduation online via social media sites, the Vice-Chancellor told students to realize that as a Catholic institution the University takes care of cultivating sciences and training true professionals.
“With a spirit of service, once you have graduated, work hard to contribute to humanity’s true progress, enhancing the human person in all its dimensions, without forgetting the spiritual and religious dimension, thus promoting peace, solidarity, and the good of the human family,” Fr. Mbugua stated.
Giving reference to Pope Francis’ message when he launched the Global Compact on Education last month the Vice-Chancellor said, ‘Education bears within itself a seed of hope: the hope of peace and justice; the hope of beauty and goodness; the hope of social harmony.”
The 39th graduation ceremony was themed “strong in the storm, breaking new frontiers in the delivery of value-based higher education.”
On his part, the Pro-Chancellor of the University His Eminence John Cardinal Njue who presided over the graduation ceremony on behalf of the Chancellor Bishop Charles Kasonde of Zambia’s Solwezi diocese who couldn’t travel due to Covid-19 challenges told the students that learning in CUEA instills in them a Catholic ethos which should help them live righteous lives.
“The Church in Eastern Africa believed that through education, we can evangelize, and produce ethical leaders for church and society. This evangelization is carried out by inculcating in CUEA students the Catholic Identity,” Cardinal Njue of Kenya’s Nairobi Archdiocese said adding, “Through the actions and everyday life of CUEA graduates, it can be attested to society that continuously and consistently aspiring to live a righteous life as our Lord Jesus taught us is how one ought to live their daily lives.”
He added, “Do not bury the values you have absorbed while at CUEA. Rather, show-case these values to the world, become ethical leaders in your respective professions and when doing so, I believe that many will learn from you and aspire to be ethical leaders just like you.”