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Strathmore University Remembers its Founder

Mr. Silvano Borusso giving a talk to staff members

Strathmore University begun in 1961 as an A-level college for accountancy students. The inspiration behind its start was Saint Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer y Albás (9 January 1902 – 26 June 1975) St. Josemaría, through his preaching, writings and personal examples, decreed that everyone is called to live the human virtues of punctuality, order, industriousness, and cheerfulness together with theological virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity to a heroic degree. And by so doing, these ordinary people will be growing in sanctity, love for God and service to their communities.

St. Josemaría, who was a Roman Catholic priest from Spain initiated Opus Dei, an organization dedicated to teaching that everyone is called to holiness by God and that ordinary life can result to sanctity. Through St. Josemaría’s Opus Dei initiative Strathmore University was established.

It is in line with this, that Strathmore University celebrated its Founder through a week-long series of events that ran from 2nd to 6th October, 2017, commemorating the life of St. Josemaría. Several activities were lined up for the week that engaged both staff members and students. The event ran under the theme; The Greatness of Ordinary Life.

The themed focus delves in the aspect of offering the extraordinary in our everyday life. In his book Furrow, St. Josemaría states, let me stress this point: it is in the simplicity of your ordinary work, in the monotonous details of each day, that you have to find the secret, which is hidden from so many, of something great and new: Love.

To kick start the Founder’s celebration, support staff that include housekeeping, catering and security departments, were treated to high tea events which ran for two days. The staff members were taken through the teachings of St. Josemaría as they shared a meal together.

Student activities, which ran for 3 days, involved karaoke events that took place in the evenings of both Wednesday and Thursday and a football tournament that took place on Friday afternoon. On Wednesday evening, students gathered at the auditorium to listen to Professor David Sperling, who recounted the memories of St. Josemaría as he was tasked with the role of starting a college in Kenya. In his speech, Prof. Sperling emphasised on the importance of living a virtuous and dedicated life to the service of God, stating the joys and perks that came with beginning the first multinational college in 1961. Students were then engaged in an evening cocktail with mingling and networking.

The Thursday afternoon session was set aside for the awarding of prizes to students who participated in the Founders Day Photography Competition. The Chief Guest at the event was renowned photographer Victor Peace, who is an alumnus of Strathmore University Bachelor of Business Information Technology class. Victor, narrated stories of his first episodes as a photographer, while still a student, encouraging students to explore avenues that nurture personal growth, whether within their line of study or outside of it. Several students were awarded for depicting great shots using this year’s Founders Day theme; The Greatness of Ordinary life. The first and second winners were prized with a set of Tecno Spark phones courtesy of the award ceremony sponsors Tecno Mobile. Other participants received gifts that included headphones, selfie sticks, thermal bottles and much more. The students’ event culminated with a movie night that was held at the university graduation square.

I felt so happy when I heard I won. That was the first picture that got so many likes in just a span of two hours on instagram. I gave my winning gift of a Tecno Spark phone to my mother, who is now learning to use a smart phone, said Philip, 1st Runners-Up winner in the photography competition.

To conclude the Founder’s celebration, administrative staff and faculty members interacted with Mr. Silvano Borruso, whom together with Prof. Sperling began the Strathmore College in Kenya on Friday afternoon.  In his usual eloquence, Mr. Borruso re-visited the events before the establishment of the university and the role St. Josemaría played towards its establishment. Staff members were then treated to an evening session of dining and wining.

Founder’s Day week is set aside for the purpose of creating awareness of how Strathmore University began. It is an annual event that began in 2016