AUN: A Homecoming swag

Posted: November 7, 2012 in general

the winners and the glamour

From all walks of life they converged on the ancient city of Yola, just as in one of those rarities, as all roads and even flights into the Adamawa State capital city packed to its peak; Such was the traffic and the mood, it was a contagious excitement.

The event ruled the airwaves as the electronic media in the city beamed their spotlight on the various event  centres featuring one programme or the other of the much-hyped American University of Nigeria (AUN) Homecoming that annually gathers the alumni of the prestigious varsity to a week-long repertoire of activities geared towards endearing the university to its immediate community by way of improving the lives of the school’s community, and by extension boosting morale of the students, as well as cementing the bond between alumni and students.

You could also posit that the Homecoming brings out the swag and colour in the AUN although a cursory look at life on the two campuses of the varsity would readily show that AUN truly mixes the brains with the swag; a rarity with Nigerian academic communities these days.

Now in its second year, the Homecoming event had steadily grown in content as it has in headliners; with the likes of Lynxx and Syndk8 headlining this year’s programme after top act Tiwa Savage’s performance of last year.

the natural-born MCs

In addition, the quality of the acts as well as the contests may well have improved going by the performance and deliveries, response and applause of the students who massively thronged the various venues including that of the Mr.& Miss AUN Pageant and the Grand Ball; which were events that went into the wee hours of the night.

Mr. Dorsey Spencer puts it this way: “Our goal is to make it such that each year, the alumni would be anticipating the Homecoming with excitement while the students would also long for it in excitement because it is like no other in this country.”

And he could not have been more to the point being the university’s Director of Student Activities and Involvement, whose office oversees the Homecoming programme.

From Monday, October 22 to Sunday, October 28, AUN campuses became the entertainment Olympic, of sorts, as football, basketball matches between the alumni and students and co-educational volleyball matches; career counselling and skills guidance session; a Spirit Day where students and community wore the AUN colours and paraphernalia; Dormitory decorating contest; alumni dinner and inauguration; Mr. & Miss AUN pageant; Homecoming Ball/Gala Night &Concert; Community Service and Awards, laid siege to the varsity community.

In addition, a Special durbar by the traditional monarch of Adamawa, the Lamido of Adamawa, Dr. Aliyi Musdafa, in his palace and in commemoration of the sallah celebrations, tended to complement the already packed activities of the Homecoming, as Yola itself bubbled in fanfare leaving behind the rest of the country.

the entertainers

Essentially themed around the varsity alumni culture, the Homecoming is the tradition in American schools of welcoming back alumni to campus. It is common in many universities, colleges and high schools in North America and AUN starts this culture this year. It usually includes sports, culture events, a parade and other activities for students, parents, alumni and the college or university community.

The AUN Alumni Association (AUNAA) itself was formally inaugurated on November 20, 2010 at the 5th Founder’s day and President’s Inauguration to basically communicate with, and bring value to the graduates of AUN, and to support actively and financially the goals of the university as detailed in its mission statement.

While opting to remain non-political and non-profit organization with chapters as provided in the Bylaws of The Association, electing a new executive committee headed by Mr. Mansour Mahman as president, was one of the highpoints of this year’s socio-cultural gathering.

According to AUN spokesman and Assistant Vice President (PR & Communications), Abba Tahir, life within AUN campuses greatly affects that in the immediate community in the same way as the university itself breathes on air generated by the community.

“AUN does not exist in isolation. That is how we want it and that is how the founder planned it to be. Most universities exist in isolation but not us. Everything we do here is tailored to positively affect the people outside, including virtually all aspects of life, including the Homecoming programme, which had nearly 60 per cent of its events having to do directly or indirectly with the community,” Tahir explained.

the colours

Within the campuses, the various residence halls wore new looks, events centres within and outside became a beehive of activities with impressive stage decorations, contestants cleaned their wardrobes and rehearsed their presentations, the upcoming rap and street dance acts polished their acts; this is the tale of the 2012 AUN’s Homecoming.

Beyond the Homecoming, however, lies an academic community that had a unique identity apart from the largely pronounced American-styled mien, which strangely was not even the case with the students on the campuses.

Like in all academic environments in the country with their pronounced penchant for that fashion for the occasion culture; the parties, blending with the academic work, however, the rub of the green-white-green on AUN has produced a distinctive swag about it that makes the students not want to be anywhere else other than here at AUN, even when presented with other opportunities considering their wealthy background most of students come from.

It goes beyond the rather extensive emphasis on community service which takes a pride of place as part of academic work by the students even well before their eligibility for the National Youth Service scheme of the government.

This much the likes of Anambra State-born, Houston, Texas-raised Sydney Peters, Kogi State-born Omoniyi Oluwaseyi, Anambra State-born Claire Maduka, and quite a sizeable league of students revealed during an interactive session with M2A, where also the AUN succinctly earned the tag of home-for-all-talents.

the vibes and steps

Maduka is a 300-level (senior) Economic Major who won the hotly contested Miss AUN competition and who it turned out was adept at spoken lyrics and furthermore whose poetry presentation stunned students and teachers alike to a standing ovation during the talent contest of the beauty pageant.

Omoniyi and Peters are fantastic rap music artistes with their numerous mixtapes and who could well branch out into the recording studios, despite their Business Administration leaning at the AUN; and from their countenances at the session, it would be a matter of time before they stun the Nigerian rap music market with the names Sesmo (Omoniyi) and Syd or Lil’ Syd (Peters).

These students all believe the environment provides the right mixture of cultures, traditions and style for the academic development of the student and even further express their strong desire to venture into the larger society with a dream and hope to experiment at honing those artistic skills discovered or experimented with while at the AUN.

the spoken lyrics talent

Such is the climate at AUN that highly skilled street dance acts like 4:18, Frequency, and Asa-like singing sensation-El, entertainers like Uduakabasi Jacobs, daring students like the Miss Congeniality, Kano State-born Yasmin Ahmed, are bred and given the platform to blossom largely on the strength of the rather freer academic structure and study environment. Add to that, all-rounders like Enugu-born Accounting Major, Francis Ahanonu, the newly-crowned Mr. AUN, and you have a class-full of swag.

However, try mixing that with the likes of Tosin Komolafe, a graduating senior in Computer Science, who developed innovative software that enables online administration of the university’s Math Placement Test (MPT).

This very promising student had already developed, along with Emeka Osigwe, the AUN e-ballot software that is used in the school for election into Student Government Association positions.

MPT with its English Language equivalent is the initial exams that AUN undergraduates must take to determine their relative strengths or levels in Math, or English, as the case may be.

The new system developed by Komolafe under two weeks of intensive work has a question bank and a

the rocker emeritus in tune with the occasion!

web-based application capable of randomly generating ready-made standard questions with multiple-choice answers. The question bank application also enables storing, editing, and search for questions.

The remarkable thing about this system is that no two students have the same questions. Even if both participants are on the same row or get one same question, the order of their multiple answers is different. So this reduces the chance of cooperation or communication with intent to cheat among exam candidates.

It is no wonder therefore where the school’s slogan of ‘Ýou have to see it for yourself’, gets its meaning from.

Established in 2003 by Nigeria’s former Vice President, Dr. Atiku Abubakar, along with other local and international statesmen and academic leaders, AUN offers an American-style education modelled after the curriculum of American universities with corresponding approaches to teaching and students assessment. The first entering class of 124 students and 20 professors was enrolled in September 2005. In May 2009, AUN had its first graduating class.

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Comments
  1. Linda Devillierl says:

    Very impressive. What a wonderful series of Homecoming events.

  2. Francis says:

    Good morning, hope you are having a nice Sunday. It great to see the wonderful work you put down and well articulately written. Please i have an observation here. it’s Francis Ahanonu who won the Mr AUN not Francis Obasi. Nice piece of work once more. Thanks and have a nice day

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