Higher institutions should involve alumni associations in their operations, says FUTA VC

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The need to encourage and involve Alumni Associations in the quest to enhance development and growth of higher institutions in the country has again been reiterated.

Giving his address at the 30th Anniversary and first Alumni Reunion of the Department of Estate Management, School of Environmental Technology, of the Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA), the Vice-Chancellor Professor Joseph Fuwape said with the dwindling resources for the funding of Education in Nigeria, the contributions and involvement of Alumni can boost the Universities core mandates of teaching, research and community development.

The vice-chancellor who was represented by the deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic, Professor Deji Ogunsemi, implored the Alumni to use their good offices, influence and connections in the society for the benefit of their Alma Mater.

Fuwape said lasting legacies can be built when the Alumni partner with the university in areas of endowment of prizes, funding research, donations of physical facilities, equipment as well as giving material support. “I commend the contributions, commitment, dedication and sacrifices of the Alumni of the Department of Estate management to the feat that has been achieved by the department and by extension the overall development of the university” he added.

The Dean of the School of Environmental Technology, Professor Bolaji Kashim, said the school which was established in 1989 started off with 27 students, eight Academic staff with Professor Adeyinka Adeyemi as the pioneer Dean. He said the school can now boast of a population of 2400 Students, 143 staff with 26 Professors.

He lauded the Head of the Department of Estate Management Dr (Mrs.) Mary Ajayi for the initiative of bringing the Alumni of the Department together for the good of the department and the university. He said the gathering was significant as it would allow the graduates to be kept abreast on the progress of the department and the school as a whole since their graduation. This in turn would have a multiplier effect at bringing many benefits to university.

In her welcome address, the head of Department of Estate management Dr Mary Ajayi, described the occasion as a homecoming for the Alumni, a time to build connections between staff and the alumni, to network for the new opportunities in the field and practice of estate management. She added that the reunion and the thirty years anniversary would allow the undergraduates to have a broader vision of the prospect of the profession and also interact with the Alumni from different placement of life. She also gave thanks to God for the gift of life to witness the premier reunion of the Alumni the department has produced in its thirty (30) years of existence.

Giving his good will message, the honourable commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Ondo State, Pastor Femi Agagu said the event was well thought out and relevant to the growth of the university as a whole and the department in particular.

The commissioner who was represented by his Special Assistant said with constant transition and development in the built environment, the coming together of Alumni will help to proffer solution to some current environmental issues including flooding. He added that the coming together of Alumni will enable them take up responsibility to ensure the development of their Alma Mater, and be able to review the past, see where the institution is presently and plan for the future of their university.

In His lecture Titled ‘ Estate Management- Past, Present And the future, Abayomi Fawehinmi, said the practice of estate Management in the past was very narrow with manual process, and so many small one man companies where most owners rely on personal networks to grow the business. Fawehinmi, one of the five pioneer students of the department in 1989, relished some of his experience as a student then saying they were made to read everything and anything, building their intellectual capabilities to know something about everything.

He encouraged the undergraduates to be more hardworking as this pays even in all fields of human endeavour. To prepare for the future, he said people in the built environment needs leadership skills, ethics and values with great ability to want to learn the new trends in the profession, adding that learning makes it easy to adapt to change and eventually enhances the ability to becoming a leader. He said the estate management professionals must give room to excellence, while not relenting in the area of innovations.

The highpoint of the occasion was the presentation of awards to the pioneer Dean of the School, Professor Adeyinka Adeyemi, and other past Heads of department, Professor Victoria Bello, Dr Bamidele Ogunleye, Professor Adebayo, Professor Simeon Asaju, Professor Oyewole Bello, ESV/TPL Yakubu Adisa and ESV Omoniyi. Awards of academic excellence were given to best students with scholarships going to some indigent students.

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