Chancellor’s Inaugural Visit to Strathmore University
The Chancellor of Strathmore University, Mons. Fernando Ocáriz visited the institution on December 19, 2019 during his inaugural visit to East Africa (14th -22nd Dec, 2019) as Prelate of Opus Dei. He had an opportunity to meet with the University Council as well as Management Board Members, who welcomed him to the University with much joy.
I assure you of my prayers
He was entertained by the University Chorale who welcomed him with Kenyan songs and dances just before the plenary session with staff and students. He began by remembering his predecessors, the Founder of Strathmore University, St. Josemaría Escrivá, as well as Don. Javier Echevarría, noting that they both had Strathmore University in their hearts as he also does. He was particular in mentioning that he prays a lot for the Strathmore Community.
He urged the Stratizen community to always find moments of interconnection, noting that the formation of students is also interdisciplinary. He urged the faculty and students to seek the interdisciplinary aspects among themselves. He further urged the students to feel the responsibility of receiving knowledge from their faculty as well as being able to transmit the received knowledge for the good of the society. “A university is an academic community. It’s a family and a community in which there are many aspects that influence its growth,” said Mons. Ocáriz.
Question and Answer session
The Chancellor asked the students to trust their lecturers and take an interest in all those around them. After his opening remarks, he gave an opportunity to various students and staff members present to ask him questions and share the various initiatives conducted in the University. Joyce, one of the housekeeping staff members, narrated to the Chancellor her experience of working at Strathmore. She asked the Prelate, “How can I use my work, which some people may look at as low-level, to serve others?” To this question, Mons. Ocáriz responded that no work is more important than the other. He then quoted St. Josemaría by saying, “The most important work is that which is done with love. The type of work you do (as a housekeeper) is extremely important. If everything is dirty, it would be impossible for people in the university to work. Your work educates people on the importance of order.”
Dr. Magdalene Dimba, Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, asked a question on the role of research in fostering the economic, human and cultural development of Kenya, to which the Chancellor responded by stating that research should be directed to areas where there will be the most impact. He emphasized that it is good to have the desire to engage in research that will bring greater impact to the society.
Tree planting session
To close the plenary session, he gave his blessing to the entire audience and thanked them for receiving him. This session was then followed by a tree planting session next to University Shrine, in commemoration of his visit. He blessed the image of St. Joseph at the Holy Family Shrine and then proceeded to the Business School to meet with the various family enrichment programme teams facilitated by Institute for Family Studies, Family Network and Programme for Family Development (PFD). He encouraged the teams to keep up with the good work of forming families to be strong and stable units of the society and assured them of his continued prayers.
In addition to this, he took a group photo with them, the management of the University and housekeeping staff before leaving the University.
This article was written by Martha Oduor.
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