All protocols observed. I begin by saluting you all men and women who are defined by the common denominator which is academic persuasion. It is my great honour to speak to you for the first time as the Rector of St. Bonaventure University. Let me declare from the onset that I come in Peace and may that same peace disseminate upon each of you. In fulfilment of the mandate given to me by the proprietors of this institute, I hereby wish to share with you the direction which we need to walk together. Bonaventure remains a hive where integral formation takes place . Integral is emphasized because reality testifies that in most cases institutions of higher learning are imparting knowledge without character which is a timebomb to our future. In his response to the contemporary challenges, Mahatma Gandhi opined that, knowledge without character is one of those deadly sins which fuels social crisis in many societies. We are confronted with paradoxes when we realize how sophisticated the world has become whilst we are innocent of ideas to eradicate poverty , hunger and killer diseases that have ravaged the world like Covid-19. There is a visible disconnection between what we know to be good for us and our ability to act on that knowledge.” The world is still very far from living wisely even though its citizens are equipped with knowledge. Look how we always cut the branch onto which we are perching in the name of advancement. We pollute the environment wantonly. If philosophy is defined as the epistemic activity of seeking the ultimate principles of realities, it is therefore irrefutably true that philosophy has to offer an explanation to the current reality of the pandemic. Acknowledging the confusion that the world has been thrown into by the Covid-19 pandemic, every field of knowledge has turned into its inner depths in search of an answer to this global catastrophic situation which has claimed many lives worldwide. As a response to the same, the philosophers have also engaged their inner -most depth of knowledge to see if the ultimate causes of this reality can be ascertained.
“At the entrance of the University of South Africa stands an inscription which reads: “Destroying any nation does not require the use of atomic bombs or the use of long-range missiles. It only requires lowering the quality of education and allowing cheating in the examinations by the students." Patients die at the hands of such doctors. Buildings collapse at the hands of such engineers. Money is lost in the hands of such economists & accountants. Humanity dies at the hands of such religious scholars. Justice is lost at the hands of such judges... Reasoning is compromised in the hands of those philosophers and Rituals are profaned on the altars of such priests. "The collapse of education is the collapse of a nation." St Bonaventure University abhors such kind of graduates. We uphold quality assurance which reflects the rich Franciscan Intellectual tradition from which we hail. Our Life at the Campus The last academic year and the current one are best described as years with a difference. The years that are marred and laced with the deadly pandemic of Covid-19 which force marched everyone into hiding, isolation, excessive hand washing, obsessive sanitization and compulsory masking up. This is a worldwide phenomena whose effects and consequences have left a trail of fatalities and untold pain. Here at the campus we were not spared. Some of our brothers were infected and affected by the pandemic. It was an impregnable fortress of a moment. We thank God that so far they all pulled through. Not only were we affected physically but our social life was affected, our academic enterprise was challenged and above all our spiritual life was compromised. Academically, physical classes were suspended and online classes were resumed. It was not an easy shift from physical to virtual. Both merits and demerits were recorded. Our lifestyle was derailed thereby acquiring a new normal. Be that as it may the University has to move on and the following are the issues that we are looking at: On the Academics: 1. A system to enable faster data processing for your results and other academic information is being unrolled. We are therefore aware of the delays in receiving your results. 2. Oral Exams are an acceptable form of academic assessment; therefore, it remains as a tool for that. 3. The University will soon embark on the project of ensuring that E- learning is enhanced. University Facelifting: 1. In order to give the campus its deserving status, Work is in progress to facelift the outlook of the University beginning with Signage at the gate, an improved car park and entrance. Funds allowing the resurfacing of our roads. 2. Campus Grounds: Blessed with many vegetation which provides freshness to the environment, it has been noticed that some trees have matured and they need to be harvested. The University will harvest some tree and replace them immediately. 3. Our gardens form part of the University Aesthetics, it is therefore our concern that sometimes we are disregarding the dictates of Laudato Si. We need to brace- up on how we are disposing rubbish. 4. Water preservation is very crucial, we need to improve on our use of this precious commodity. Physical Fitness: 1. The University bleeds upon realizing that in the sports arena there are no ablutions? How is it like that? If that is not resolved, the University will close the use of the sports arena. 2. More facilities will be availed to ensure the full support of physical fitness. Information: 1. If the situation of the pandemic persists with this current rate, the graduation will take place but only for the University students and staff. No invitations will be made. Traditional guests will be notified but not invited. The date is May 28, Friday 2021. (This marks the Closure of the University) 2. The plenum will take place from the 25th May -27May 2021. Again, all depends on the degree of the pandemic. 3. Next Academic year: Conclusion: Bonaventure University wishes you the best of chance as you approach the end of the academic year, in your exams, your graduation and your departure to your respective entities. The Lord Give You Peace!