Time to tassle: Celebrating the Class of 2023


Suits pressed, hair made, gowns on and tassels at the ready. It’s the day that every university student dreams of from the moment they step foot within these academic halls. It’s graduation day!

True to the Kenyan Winter weather characteristic of July, the day started off cold and cloudy. While the rest of Nairobi snuggled deeper under their covers, our graduands, their parents and friends, faculty and staff of Strathmore University gathered on campus to witness the 19th graduation ceremony. Hearts were warm beneath the graduation gowns, and spirits were high enough to ward off the chill.

We started as we do each year, with the academic procession making its way to the podium to the Graduation song playing over the speakers. After the national anthem was sung, the University Chaplain blessed the congregation and the Vice Chancellor, Dr. Vincent Ogutu, constituted the assembly for the 19th congregation of Strathmore University.

This year’s Valedictorian, Simon Bakibinga moved his fellow graduands, looking back over their four years together and forward into the next chapter of their lives, “From diverse individuals with dreams to a tight-knit community pursuing excellence, we’ve journeyed together on this campus growing stronger with resilience and an unwavering drive for success.”

A proud graduate of the Bachelor of Business Science in Actuarial Science degree, Simon recalls his university experience as a roller-coaster ride, with both high and low moments. “We must also not forget the support we have received throughout  this  journey. We are  thankful to our  families and friends who’ve been  our pillars, cheerleaders, celebrated our victories & comforted us in defeat”.

Our time at Strathmore may have come to a temporary halt but our impact on the world is just beginning. Let’s make it extraordinary together ~Simon Bakibinga

The chair of the University Council, Mrs. Bernadette Musundi emphasized heavily in her remarks on the value of family in shaping society and urged the students to move into the next phase of their lives embracing life long learning.

“Do not stop your quest for the next level of education and professional accreditations in your chosen area of study and, wherever the next chapters in your life story may take you, ensure it is a journey of love.”

Echoing the sentiment of caring for people, the Vice Chancellor spoke of finding the intersection between passion and service to society. Quoting Frederick Buechner, Dr. Ogutu said, “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

This year’s theme of Sustainability calls us all to care for people and the planet in all that we do. Sustainability is not so much something you do as it is a way of life. Choosing to be truly human is choosing to be sustainable! “Do something for a friend or stranger and you will discover that you and your happiness are inseparably linked to the wider community.”

Rev. Dr. Eng. Silvano Ochuodho (yes, he really does have all those titles, not to mention that of Pro Chancellor!) closed off the round of speeches in the way he does each year – with a profound address that causes the congregation to reflect. This year’s speech touched on the theme of togetherness and care, perfectly encapsulated in the University’s motto;  Ut omnes unum sint, latin for, may they all be one.

“Let’s unite our knowledge, passion, and commitment to creating a world that’s socially just and environmentally conscious. As you embark  on  this  new  chapter,  try to be the change you wish to see in the world. Go forth, armed with the values you have learned in Strathmore, let your actions speak louder than your words and may your journey be illuminated by the light of your dreams.”

With these sentiments to propel them forward into the world, the students were ready to receive their degrees. The conferment of a degree is a process that stands on ceremony. The Deputy Vice Chancellor of Academic and Student affairs, Dr. Elizabeth Gachenga, calls on the Dean of each school, who then reads out the names of awardees of their respective degrees. The Pro Chancellor then stands and confers the degrees, imbuing the students with the power to go forth and acquire more knowledge. And then, it is finally time. Bowing or curtsying, the graduates turn the tassel on their caps from the left to the right – the universal sign of a graduate!

This year, we saw 1,327 students receive undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral degrees.

A special mention to the three newest Doctors.

They had their moment in the sun as they were invited on stage one by one and conferred upon their PhDs.

Their families looked on and cheered (one mum shed a tear or two), a testament to the sheer amount of determination and sacrifice that goes into the PhD process.

At the tail end of the ceremony each year, we recognize the outstanding students of each faculty. The academic excellence awards were awarded alongside the Sports Woman and Man of the year; Diana Awino and Prevailer Muhani respectively, the Esther Kidambi Excellence in Service award; Felex Namayi, the Community Service Award; Maria Gitau and the Chancellor’s Award; Samuel Mue.

With that, the ceremonies came to a celebratory close. The Vice Chancellor dissolved the congregation, but that was not quite the end as parents and graduates stayed behind to dance and take photos. One year from now, when google photos inevitably sends a reminder, they will look back on this special day with pride at yet another milestone achieved.

Congratulations, class of 2023!

This article was written by Celia Kinuthia. 

What’s your story? We’d like to hear it. Contact us via communications@strathmore.edu

What’s your story? We’d like to hear it. Contact us via communications@strathmore.edu


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