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Founder’s Week 2019: Called to Greatness – the Power of Magnanimity

Strathmore University marked the 2019 Founder’s Week with a series of events from September 30 to October 4, 2019. Staff members were treated to a series of high teas and cocktails while students celebrated the week through a karaoke night on Wednesday and a movie night at the graduation square on Thursday. A Eucharistic procession, led by the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, took place on Thursday after the 12.30 pm Mass.

The week was an opportunity for staff and students to trace the University’s origin which is rooted in the life and teaching of St. Josemaría Escrivá, founder of Opus Dei. Founder’s Week, an annual event that began in 2016, falls in October to commemorate the founding of Opus Dei on October 2, 1928 and the canonization of St. Josemaría on October 6, 2002. St. Josemaría inspired and sent a group of professionals to start a university in East Africa.

This year’s theme was “Called to Greatness: The Virtue of Magnanimity, a virtue that St. Josemaría encouraged people to acquire. As he put it, “Magnanimity means greatness of spirit, a largeness of heart wherein many can find refuge. Magnanimity gives us the energy to break out of ourselves and be prepared to undertake generous tasks which will be of benefit to all… The magnanimous person devotes all his strength, unstintingly, to what is worthwhile. As a result, he is capable of giving himself. He is not content with merely giving. He gives his very self. He thus comes to understand that the greatest expression of magnanimity consists in giving oneself to God.”

The speakers at high tea for the fashion ladies, housekeeping and catering staff members, Celestine Kanjama, Ag. Associate Manager, Mentoring Services and Lena Gachoki-Njihia, shared nuggets of wisdom on magnanimity: A magnanimous person considers themselves worthy of doing great things; magnanimous deeds do not require money. They require us to go out of our way to do them; a magnanimous person is always hopeful. Magnanimity knows no obstacles; A magnanimous person has a big heart where everyone can fit.

During the high tea with security team and groundsmen, Bishop Eduardo Kussala of the Tombura-Yambio diocese, South Sudan, asked the security team to see themselves, not as guards, but as guardians of the Strathmore community.

On Thursday, during the Eucharistic procession, Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist was carried through the streets of Strathmore University from the Central Building Chapel to one altar behind the University library and to another at the Shrine of the Holy Family. The University Chaplain, Fr. Charles Mundia, reminded the Strathmore community to be magnanimous with God and to bring peace to every place that Our Lord passed through and to cultivate a lasting peace in their hearts and in those around them.

The staff cocktail wrapped up the week’s activity. Dr. Caesar Mwangi, Deputy Chairperson of the University Council, speaking on magnanimity, said, “You are shaping the lives of the students who are passing through your hands. This is bigger than any material possession you may acquire.”  He added, “The most difficult mountain to conquer is oneself. We have to keep striving for excellence, even on days when we don’t feel like it.”

The student Council championed the 21 Day Magnanimity challenge, a challenge that gave ideas to students on how to be magnanimous, kinder and more accommodative to others on Strathmore grounds and beyond. Josephine Kipchumba, one of Strathmore University‘s security team members, was nominated by students as the most magnanimous person in Strathmore University. Josephine, who lights up the University with her constant smile and warm greetings, said, “I do it because I love this job. Perhaps people come to work with burdens; I smile and greet them to lessen them.”

This article was written by Wambui Gachari. 

If you have a story, kindly email: communications@strathmore.edu