Agabi, Samuel .I.
My Role as an Alumnus to my Alma Mater and Alumni Association
Written by: Agabi, Samuel I. (Green House, 2010)
For clarity purposes, this essay is divided into two (2) sections. In Line with the topic, the first section shall discuss my role as an Alumna to my Alma Mata, while the second shall discuss my role as an Alumna to the association.
The first time I heard the word Alumni was back in school as a student. Some old boys had come to pay a visit on one of those occasions. I hadn’t a clue of the meaning of the word then, but I supposed it referred to a certain group of people. It is in this light that I wish to kick start this essay with a quote from the great Socrates who once said “The beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms.” Thus, an alumna/ alumnus is a male or female graduate of a school, college or university. There are a plethora of roles I believe I and other Alumni have to play to our great Alma – Mata and association. To a certain extent they are interconnected. You can’t be one and completely isolate yourself from the other. Hence, my first role as an Alumna to my Alma – Mata is to be an inspiration to the younger generation of Alumni. I recall, when those old boys paid a visit as earlier mentioned and talked with us, and we saw and heard from them how others were succeeding, I felt inspired. I wanted to do more with myself so that I can be associated with that measure of success. John Quincy Adams said if your actions inspire others to dream more, to do more, and become more, then you are a leader. My actions, in this light should be able to inspire the upcoming Alumni to dream more, do more, and become more. My second role would be to be an ambassador. The term ambassador originated in the 14th century from the French word ambassadeur. An ambassador is one who represents. I should be able to represent my Alma – Mata in the circular world for good. You talk about Wole Soyinka today and the first thing that comes to mind is Government College Ibadan. That’s good representation. Now people want to send their children to Government College because of the standard and good representation it has. No one in their right frame of mind will send their child to a school that turns out criminals or academic sluggards. So I must be able to represent my Alumni for good. People should be able to see me and say he came out of FGC Ikom.
A while ago I took a course titled African Diaspora. It talks basically about Africans who have resettled in the new world after the end of slave trade. One of the characteristics of an African in diaspora is “Commitment to the homeland” (Africa). We saw individuals like Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, and W.E.B Dubois stand up and speak against colonialism and exploitation on the African continent. They were committed to the freedom of the homeland. In this case, I and I believe everyone else should be committed to our Alma – Mata, which is our homeland. I should be committed financially, offering whatever support I can to the development of my Alma – Mata. .I recall yet again on one of those visits, an old boy had donated 10,000 naira to restock the Margaret Ekpo library. That’s financial commitment. I should also be committed physically, offering my presence when needed at special events. I should be committed morally, supporting whatever ideas and objectives my Alma – Mata wishes to accomplish. These I consider Sine Qua Non and should be practiced ad infinitum.
The Alumni association has at its core the objective of fostering unity among members, keeping the fire of Pro-Unitate alive while blazing a new path forward. The association has had its hand in some of the developmental projects of our dear college. This is in part because of the corporation of its members at home and abroad. Thus, my role to the association is to give her unequivocally, my full corporation. I should participate in the association’s meetings, and make constructive contributions to her development and growth. I should not withhold myself from contributing to her coffers if need be. We all know that every organization has its governing rules, likewise the Alumni association. I should abide by her rules in toto to ensure a steady flow of peace, law and order.