He who opens a school door closes a prison: UoN Foundation Pre-launch Dinner
It was pomp and colour at the University of Nairobi Foundation pre-launch dinner hosted at the Great Court on Thursday 24th June, 2022 evening.
The dinner was hosted ahead of the official launch of the University of Nairobi Foundation slated for 30th June, 2022. The event was aimed at raising awareness of the existence of the Foundation as well as mobilizing resources for its seed fund.
It brought together distinguished guests as well as key stakeholders to raise the seed capital for the University of Nairobi Foundation.
Speaking during the event, the University of Nairobi Chancellor, Dr. Vijoo Rattansi said the establishment of the Foundation will play an inspirational role in unlocking a resource avalanche that will amply resource the university to fulfill its mandate for global impact now and into the future.
“We are here today because we believe in the infinite promises of education. Where no door exists, education will open doors.
While quoting Victor Hugo’s famous quote; He who opens a school door closes a prison, Dr. Rattansi called on all well-wishers to walk the journey with the Foundation and empower the future generation.
“As the cost of education escalates across the globe we must guard against embracing ignorance as an alternative, we must deploy all ammunition at our disposal to ensure that universities doors remain open for the benefit of humanity.
We are here today on a sacred mission, a mission to save the academy. The crown of the academy shall be saved and transformed if we and all like minded people loosen up our strings in the Foundation’s favour and inject a little elbow grease to do what must be done,” Dr. Rattansi said.
On his part, UoN Vice Chancellor Prof. Stephen Kiama said it was his conviction that the establishment of the Foundation will see many aspiring students, researchers and faculty get scholarship, fellowships, and research grants.
The VC said it often painful when the media highlight cases of brilliant students who have qualified but cannot get admitted to universities due to lack of fees.
“As a society with moral conscience, we cannot sit and watch. A homegrown solution to this challenge will help us to bring and retain the best talents at the University of Nairobi.
“Over the years UoN leadership has always looked into challenges and found ways of solving them. The University always embraces change and the Foundation is the special purpose vehicle that will create an endowment fund to propel research and innovation among students,” Prof. Kiama said.
He expressed heartfelt appreciation to all who had responded to the call and generously contributed to the Foundation’s seed fund.
“We can all make a difference with little and big contributions. Let’s speak to our hearts and donate generously. Together, we can identify where change is required to make our university more sustainable and serve as a scalable example that other universities can adopt,” Prof. Kiama said.
Information and Communication Technology Cabinet Secretary Hon. Joe Mucheru, who is also the Foundation trustee, said the foundation will help the University grow to great heights.
“I am confident that this foundation is going to move and transform the country in that it will support many businesses. Many innovations are looking for funds and I can see through this Foundation we are going to be able to invest in quite a few of those businesses and hopefully with the returns that they will bring we will see big businesses coming up,” the CS said.
UoN Alumni Association Chairman Mr. Isaac Awuondo said the foundation will provide necessary support in furtherance of the institution's vision and mission
“We are gathered here to ensure that future generations get a chance to learn, research and innovate,” Mr. Awuondo said.
The Chief Operations Officer, Mr. Brian Ouma explained how the University of Nairobi Foundation came to birth.
According to Mr. Ouma, UoN identified dwindling resources in 2008 and public universities were competing for scarce government resources owing to the diminished capacity of the exchequer to continue meeting the financial needs of the university.
That led to the establishment of the Directorate of Advancement and Institutional Development.
“The Directorate was established to continue being a think-tank for the university and to support new initiatives. This was a strategic vehicle that was deemed necessary by the university with a latitude to engage government and other partners towards harnessing of greater resources for the university for the attainment of our mission and vision.
“The Directorate was tasked with delivering the University of Nairobi Foundation, an achievement that we celebrate today,” Mr. Ouma said.
If you missed the pre-launch dinner , watch it here