After two false starts, a long-awaited reunion with some members of the 1984 set finally took place in the deans office on Thursday, June 26 2014. The drama of the meeting was immediate: The present dean was a graduate assistant when they were first year students in 1979. At that time I assisted Dr Guillien Preckler to instruct in their Engineering Mathematics in the old room 106 – now renamed LG Design Laboratory. Naturally, we went to visit the site to see what changes have taken place since our last meeting in that room.
We also visited the new Engineering extension with the Julius Berger Engineering Lecture theatre. These old graduates are so keen on giving back that they kept asking “What can we do immediately” for our faculty?
These old men are well placed people these days in Nigerian Oil Industry and some of their members are retired to their own private businesses and doing quite well. They made it clear that they were only a small number representing their classmates who want a feedback on how they can best serve their alma mater. We looked at a project that may be executed on the short run and another that will be more elaborate for the future.
While the short run project may be limited to something that a few of the members can do privately, the larger project could be anything we can dare to imagine as they are willing to facilitate a connection to larger industry funders that may help us.
Our initial thoughts was for them to help address the acute shortage of the toilet facilities in the faculty. We agreed that once the Surveying and Geoinformatics department moves to its new department office next month, its present location could be the proposed site of a major toilet gift to the faculty fully funded by our generous alumni.
We also noted the fact that the New Engineering extension, Julius Berger Lecture theatre and the newly awarded Third engineering lecture theatre could constitute a group of buildings to be named after the legendary Professor Ayodele Awojobi. As these buildings themselves are already designed and are soon to be fully completed, those of us inside were charged to propose the additional facilities that the funders may need to provide to greatly increase the functionality of these buildings as we rebrand the entire system as the Ayodele Awojobi Engineering Learning Centre.
We finally agreed to put all of this on the web as I am presently doing so as to facilitate more discussion on it and involve more members of the alumni and faculty members. It is my hope that this medium will go a long way to facilitate such a discussion.
Faculty members, please share your thoughts with Alumni members by commenting on this post below. Give them ideas as to how they can use their enormous clout and reach to help improve the environment and facilities here. Beyond “hardware” as we have already described, alumni is also interested in making contacts with the present crop of students. We have suggested their participation in the distinguished lecture series presently being facilitated by the ’72 set. A synergy of several alumni sets may greatly invigorate this interaction and help us to move it to the next level.
Ball in your court now: Shoot!