Class of 2016 valedictorian Titilayo Precious Asekun-Shittu has urged graduates to think of their degree as a ticket to change the world. The overall best graduating student charged fellow students not to only aspire to a good life.
Speaking on behalf of graduands, Titilayo, who was also the best graduating BSc Management and Computer Studies student, said being at Wisconsin had taught them to be active citizens and given them the courage to dare, the knowledge to excel, and the belief that they could succeed.
She added: “In the words of Tom Brokaw, ‘You are educated, your certification is in your degree. You may think of it as a ticket to a good life. But let me ask you to think of an alternative. Think of it as your ticket to change the world’.”
Titilayo echoed the words of Wisconsin’s Chancellor Dr Paul K. Fynn who, before constituting Wisconsin’s 9th Congregation, urged graduating students to create their own opportunities instead of looking to government to provide employment.
Dr. Fynn charged over 760 graduands to be prepared to take up humble occupations wherever an opportunity could be found.
He said: “Government doesn’t give jobs. Government only creates the right environment for people to work.”
Dr Fynn told graduands that one of his first jobs was as a taxi driver and that he had done other types of work that would have been considered beneath his educational background.
For his part, guest speaker Rev. Dr. Robert M. Roegner encouraged the students to aspire to servant leadership.
Rev. Dr. Roegner said: “The key to becoming an effective leader is not to focus on making other people follow, but on making yourself the kind of person (people) want to follow.”
The guest speaker, who is Board Director of Apple of His Eye Mission Society of the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, gave graduands 12 tips on becoming a better leader, including having a positive attitude, letting go of ego, empowering others, commitment and working with excellence.
Wisconsin graduated 762 graduands made up of 142 postgraduate, 611 undergraduate and 9 diploma students.
Ten students were presented awards of excellence in Chinese language from the Chinese Ambassador H.E. Sun Baohong.
Three faculty and staff members received various awards, including Best Worker, Best Lecturer and Best Dean. Fourteen were recognised for serving the institution for 10 years and above.
The awards and the ceremony was supported by Access Bank, Unibank, Blue Skies, CIMA, ICAG and White Temple Agencies Ltd.