AN ADDRESS BY THE VICE-CHANCELLOR, PROF. O. C. ONWUDIKE AT THE 6TH MATRICULATION CEREMONY OF RHEMA UNIVERSITY HELD ON SATURDAY, 27TH FEBRUARY, 2016.
It is indeed with great delight and pleasure that I welcome you all to the 6th Matriculation Ceremony of Rhema University. I felicitate with families and friends of our dear matriculating students and heartily congratulate the Matriculating Students themselves especially for the opportunity of being admitted into Rhema University which is a Christian University.
When the University took off in 2010, not many people were optimistic about its future. Indeed not many people believed in the project considering the capital-intensive nature of a University but to-day Rhema University is not only a reality but indeed continues to wax stronger every day.
I commend the courage, faith and visionary leadership of Bro. Emma Okorie – President of Living World Ministries and the Chancellor of the University and indeed the entire membership of the Ministry for the dogged commitment that has made this project a huge success.
The University has continued to receive tremendous financial, moral and prayerful support of our Chancellor, the leadership and entire membership of the Living World Ministries. They continue to make sacrifices to ensure that the facilities of the University are up-to-date for academic work and the welfare of staff and students. These sacrifices have contributed greatly to our successes.
The University currently offers 9 degree programmes and as at this date, all the 9 programmes are accredited by the National Universities Commission (NUC) with 8 of them having full accreditation status and one having interim accreditation status. We are working hard to mount many more programmes including our Pre-Medical courses. Again it is important to mention that while the University started with a Provisional Licence given to it by the NUC in 2009, it was on 26th day of August, 2015 fully licensed by the NUC to operate as a Private University in Nigeria.
This is our 6th year of operation as a Private University and within the first 5 years we have produced two sets of graduates who are now in the outside world impacting positively on society.
In our educational system, it is our solemn resolve to train and produce men and women equipped with good education, strong character and integrity; men and women who with the fear of God, can stand the test of time and be role models. We know and understand what parents want for their children and we want to mould these children into individuals who will make you proud and not bring you shame.
As a Christian University we are therefore committed to high moral and academic standards in line with our motto – “Equipping Humanity for Excellence”. We therefore emphasize discipline and spiritual development since spiritual emptiness and indiscipline will lead to lawlessness, lack of integrity and hopelessness in life. We implore you our students to obey the rules which are in place for your own good. I urge you to work hard at your studies, ensuring that you attend all your classes and dutifully carry out your assignments. If you do these, you will not succumb to the temptation of being involved in examination malpractices. The class of degree you will make will be determined by your performance from this very beginning.
You have come from different backgrounds. Do not allow yourself to be under any bad influence. Watch the company you keep since the Bible in 1 Cor. 15:33 tells us – “Be not deceived, evil communication corrupts good manners”.
To-day we are matriculating some 54 students. We are matriculating our Number 6 batch of students and I again congratulate you. The Number 6 to which you belong is significant in several ways. I will just mention a few of them. The Number 6, according to mathematicians is a perfect number and is indeed the first perfect number. In looking at the Number 6 as a perfect number, Saint Augustine said that the number 6 is perfect in itself not because God created all things in 6 days but rather that God decided to create all things in 6 days because the number 6 is perfect. Saint Augustine is saying that God saw the Number 6 (to which you belong) as perfect and therefore decided to create all things in 6 days. As members of our Number 6 batch, you are called to reflect this perfection in your lives in this University and indeed in all you do. That is why Mathew 5:48 says – “Be ye perfect even as your father in heaven is perfect”. That is the charge for you as members of our Number 6 batch.
The Braille system created by the Frenchman, Louis Braille in 1821, is used by the blind to read and write. Every Braille cell is made up of 6 dots. The Number 6 is associated with Braille system and is important in giving sight to the blind. Giving sight to the blind is God’s nature. Psalm 146:8 says- “The Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down”. As members of our Number 6 batch of students may you be God’s instruments in bringing sight to the blind and not leading people astray so that many who come your way may be able to glorify God and say – “I was blind, now I can see”
In the Bible, according to the Gospel of John 2:6-9; Jesus performed His first miracle at Cana in Galilee. At the wedding ceremony, they ran out of wine. In verse 5, the mother of Jesus told the servants – “Do whatever He tells you”.
In this first miracle of turning water into wine verse 6 tells us that 6 stone water jars were filled with water and Jesus turned them to wine. The Number 6 is here associated with miracles from Jesus Christ, miracle of meeting your needs, miracle of turning bad and ugly situation into good, miracle of changing the sour wine of your life into sweet wine. As a member of the Number 6 batch may you experience the miraculous hand of God in every aspect of your life as you do what he says you should do. You will then be able to testify of the signs and wonders of God in your life as shown by Isaiah 8:18.
In Numbers 35:6 we read of 6 cities of refuge given to the Levites. These were cities for peace, for safety, for protection. As members of the No. 6 batch may your lives promote peace and security in this University, your homes and your relationships.
Related to this is the 6th Commandment which calls our attention to the value of human life created in the image of God and on the 6th day. Exodus 20:13 says: – ‘Do not kill’. – That is the 6th Commandment. You can kill in different ways – by directly using a weapon; through your tongue; through causing heart break to your parents by not doing well or by causing them disgrace. The 6th Commandment says do not kill. As members of the Number 6 batch God expects you not to kill. May He grant you the Grace not to kill in any way but to promote harmony, love, cooperation and joy.
The Number 6 is the number when God created man. It is a number that symbolizes the unity between a physical man and the spiritual realm. Genesis 2:7 ‘On the 6th day, God breathed the spiritual breath into the physical body of man and man became a living being’.
Your Number 6 signifies a close relationship with God so that you will truly be a living soul – in your work, in your relationship, in your future.
As members of the No. 6 batch you cannot achieve anything without a proper relationship with God. Your being of the Number 6 batch should propel you to have a closer relationship with God who made the move for that relationship on day Number 6 of creation so that you will have good success. May you as members of our Number 6 batch constantly have that spiritual breath of God so that your works will be living and not dead.
The Number 6 also deals with the application of work in the world. God often uses the number 6 in relation to work. God worked for 6 days. 6 therefore illustrates work. Ex. 20:9-11 – (9) Six days you shall labour and do all your work. (11) for in 6 days the Lord made the heavens and the earth.
Ex.23:10 – for 6 years you are to sow your fields and harvest the crops.
Six implies work and as members of the 6th batch of students, you are to work hard and come up with excellent results. If you do so you will be honoured by God and man.
In this regard, I want to use this occasion to recognize some of our students who have worked hard and shown academic excellence.
At Convocation, we usually honour the best graduating students. In this occasion, I want to recognize those who have done well and who for the 2014/2015 Academic Year merited to be placed in the Vice-Chancellor’s Honours list.
COLLEGE OF BASIC AND APPLIED SCIENCES
1. Don Igwe Victory ————————- M
2. Usman Abdulsamad ———————- M
3. Erondu Ngozi Silver ———————- F
4. Usman Musadiq Oladimeji —————M
1. Dasimeokuma Princewill —————- M
2. Ihemefor Chidinma ———————– F
3. Ininuma Helen —————————–F
4. Okorie Peace E. ————————— F
5. Wosu Nneoma —————————– F
1. Ekperedike Nwakwasi ——————– F
2. Chukwudi Obumnenye C. —————- F
COLLEGE OF MANAGEMENT AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
1. Ononye Ivan Bosah ———————— M
2. Ezenwoko Ijeoma Chinecherem ——— F
1. David Evelyn Dasimeokuma ————- F
2. Nwachukwu Ijeoma Onyedikachi ——- F
3. Ekewuba Olive Ihuoma—————— – F
1. Njoku Precious Adaeze——————– F
1. Agbarakwe Chinenye Cherie ————- F
These recognitions, I believe should spur the students to greater heights and also challenge those of you matriculating to-day to work hard from the very beginning. I am expecting that when we have a similar recognition for the 2015/2016 academic year, many of you our matriculating students will be honoured.
In the next few minutes you will take the Matriculation Oath to signify that you accept to abide by all the Rules and Regulations governing the conduct of students in Rhema University. You are already aware of these rules and regulations. At this point, if any student knows that he/she is not in a position to subject himself/herself to the rules, regulations and culture of Rhema University, I will pause and let the individual rise to be escorted out before we continue.
I take your silence to mean that you are all ready to take the Matriculation Oath and abide by it.
I congratulate you once again and hereby assure you that you have made a very wise decision by choosing Rhema University.
I specially thank parents and other family members here present for supporting your children/wards this far. I want to assure you parents that Rhema University is a home away from home and we will act in loco parentis and do our best under God to take care of your children as children given to our custody by God.
I wish our new students – our batch Number 6 students a very successful stay and God’s blessings in Rhema University.
PROF. O. C. ONWUDIKE