UEAB alumni have renewed their spirit of unity and concern to support their alma mater.
In their banquet held at the Weston Hotel in Nairobi on 29th of November 2014, the alumni spoke with enthusiasm and spirit of revival and action to reclaim the glory that UEAB has held for over three decades now. Concerns and resolutions that were raised all spelt the new goodwill of the Alumni to start a focused workforce for the betterment of the great UEAB. It was clearly evident that they are ready to tackle the challenges facing the university in whose name they hold the professional credentials, scholarly experience and stretch more on the spiritual muscles that they are using to conquer the world out there, going by the long stay and share from 6pm to 1am at the hotel.
Many were retentive and reminiscent, to recall the Baraton lifestyle ranging from classwork, social life, church life with memorable hymnal music tunes not forgetting the challenges they faced while at UEAB. The talk of the unforgettable moments took the lion’s share of expression by every member who stood to remind others on his or her time at UEAB. The mood that engulfed different graduating class members of since 1983 up to the latest class of 2014 spoke it all joy and love they remember while at Baraton. Testimonies revealed that those who dated responsibly and seriously in Baraton years ago are now a happy family-with some having mature children and grandchildren, the happiness they attribute to the fruit of moral teachings they received while studying at Baraton. It was equally evident that UEAB is represented in a big way out there going by the speaking of the attending alumni drawn from different walks of professions and the value they are adding to their various work areas and their achievements at large.
Impeccable speaker, Iron lady Loice Genye of the class of 1985 authoritatively challenged the Alumni to wake up and remember their former University and how they can be participants in seeing UEAB grow even bigger. “ Where is that spirit that we had while at Baraton? Have you contributed to killing the spirit? The alumni is the strongest arm of a university and we need the spirit of unity and concern to contribute to our alma mata.” She challenged. Loice who narrated how she was a tough speaking lady on what she called reasonable issues in her time in Baraton and as a former student leader, she said it’s time to ensure that UEAB remains top and nothing less. “ In 1977, three young men, Pr Jackson Maiyo, Ambassador Sospeter Mageto and my father went to the site that was proposed to have an Adventist University which they supported and today we have UEAB. It was their desire and wish to not only promote education, but a Christian Education and we must do the same.” she advised. She dramatically declared herself the “Prayer band queen” a term that has been revised in two UEAB generations. It is currently referred to us “Mgallo” and in early 2000 up to 2008, this Baraton lovers vocabulary had phonologically developed producing a new one called gallivanting, a way of life that can only be explained well by those who have ever been in love within the Baraton corridors.
Other speakers raised issues to do with valuing UEAB on grounds of what they are today and in support of academic, social and spiritual content that they acquired from UEAB. The latest Doctor in the house of academicians Dr Catherine Amimo said that Baraton is slightly ahead compared to many public and private universities in Kenya. Dr Catherine Amimo made a call for the alumni to continue giving the very best support to the University. Catherine Mpisi, class of 1991 said that it’s the alumni who should give something to their university reminding them that they can do better than other universities because in their line of action, they act in the name of God. Mr Boniface Mutinga Makini, class of 2002 and who is currently working in the government of Makueni County alerted other members that UEAB is not doing badly because even Israelites took 40 years in their journey in the wilderness. “some of us claim the highest accolade of education today because of that first paper we received from UEAB.” Mr Mutinga added. Pr Macharia of the 1994 class challenged members to identify what they can do to make a difference in Baraton. The current Director of the UEAB-Nairobi Campus Dr Tabby Muchee whose class is the 1996 class assured her fellow alumni that UEAB is going far than where it is today. She cited her sentiments from the way the Nairobi campus has grown with a population of more than 400 students in the short while it has existed.
PROF PHILIP MAIYO CALLS FOR FRESH UNITY FOR BARATON PROSPERITY.
Prof Philip Maiyo, the current UEAB Vice Chancellor who had attended the function accompanied by the Director of Development and Alumni affairs Mr Wilfred Orenge Oirere, thanked the alumni for expressing their willingness to support their University. “You are here because you have the passion for the University. You actually should own the University and I appreciate that you are genuinely valuing the quality of education you received. I want you to know that I have even been to the US and for a long time in Ghana, and other places outside Kenya on academic missions and the reality is that you have a unique University in the name of Baraton. Let us not concentrate on the past but work on how to make the future together.” He requested.
He said that the alumni have started at a good will and it is always good to contribute to their home countries and the bond they have created should be thumped up. Prof Maiyo who is now three months old as the CEO of UEAB promised to tirelessly work with the alumni to bring the needed change in UEAB.
7 PRONOUNCEMENTS FOR UEAB.
Professor Fred Amimo while giving his key note speech under the title ‘Baratonians on Course again’ said that as the local name Baraton denotes, UEAB is a blessed place. “By now you probably know that the name BARATON is actually a local name and not exotic one like Egerton, which means – A broad place in terms of reception. It receives a lot of rain from time immemorial up to date, It receives a lot of visitors from all walks of life, It receives a lot of cultures commencing with the Maasai – it is actually a melting pot for diverse cultures, religions, and creed, It receives a lot of praises, the list is endless” he pronounced. He continued to pronounce that one can never never go through Baraton once saying that if you do not come back in some capacity, you will indeed matriculate through someone else around you who could be a sibling, a direct descendant, a parent, a friend or a deserving neighbor for that matter. He continued by defining a Baratonian by saying that a Baratonian is a construct of two sides of a Gateway – A gateway from the past that stays with you and into a future that is now and yet not delinked to the past because at some stage you find yourself on the inside of this gateway. He moved the audience by declaring that if Baraton falls, you fall with it and so called for a concern from the alumni to stand with Baraton at all times. Prof Amimo declared that wherever Baratonians are abound, there exists a mark of a difference. Prof Amimo advised his fellow alumni that it is not the numbers but the spirit of being a Baratonian that will count. He summarized his pronouncements by reminding them of a solemn pledge they took while graduating which included a pledge to contribute to the UEAB.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, Brothers and Sisters, you may or may not vividly recall a component of your graduation about a Solemn pledge ‘ TO GIVE GENEROUSLY AND SELF SACRIFICIALLY OF BOTH YOUR MIND AND MEANS’ a hearty pronouncement that was accompanied by objectives such as to contribute tangibly to the growth of UEAB in always possible including physically, financially and otherwise and to encourage UEAB in its continuous gravitation towards an educational program that soars above all, to participate actively and proactively as deemed possible and permissible, in the discussion of Council, Faculty, Department and other meetings in the interest of the Alumni Association. And the list goes on…and ends with SO HELP ME GOD.” He reminded them
HISTORY OF UEAB ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
Having made the seven pronouncements Professor Amimo gave a recap about the genesis of the UEAB Alumni Association. He said that in December of the year 1986 after getting a ‘critical mass’ of graduates from 1983 to 1986 they gathered at Hilton Hotel for dinner. That occasion produced the first president of the association, Abdi Osman who served for almost 4 years and in 1990 they had pieced together an initial constitution but could not formally launch the association until the Charter of UEAB in 1991. The Charter gave them an impetus to operate legally, proactively and in accordance to the then objectives of the constitution.
In 1994, they were led by the class of 94’ officials including the Late Mutegi Njiru, Fred Maingi, Freddah Kaaria and Jennifer Ngure into the first venture of an Endowment Fund for UEAB. At a function in Milimani Hotel, they raised Ksh. 100, 000 and handed it to UEAB during the graduation weekend of 1994 through the then bank called Trade Bank which does not exist today. The class of 85 in which Prof Amimo belongs was next, and he was elected president for a two year term. Their project was christened ‘Steps out of the Mud’ project in which they pegged Ksh 3500 to each slab and their names were inscribed in the upper corner of each partition of the pavement. This is still evident to date at UEAB. It is during this time that they voted to have Alumni membership registration automated during graduation and oath administered on the same occasion. Other presidents after Professor Amimo included David Mbungu, Peterson Sentenga, Loice Wangai, Millicent Ojwang’ and more recently to when the Associations seemed to be dormant. He then urged Mr Evans Mosomi who is the Current interim Alumni Association Chair and an alumni Representative at the University council to put Baratonians on course again.
Professor Amimo finalized his key note speech by saying, “Ladies and Gentlemen, Brothers and Sisters, this is where we find ourselves today. We are on course again and I specially thank each one of you for turning up to be part of this ship. Let us sail together as BARATONIANS ON COURSE AGAIN.”