The interim executive members of the University of Lagos Alumni Association (North American Chapter) wish to share with former students of the University and the general public the news that it would be holding a first-of-its-kind reunion and convention in the city of Houston, Texas in the United States of America in the summer of 2017.
The North American Chapter of the Association was established in 2014 to provide alumni resident in North America, a formal platform to support the University in multifarious ways and after almost 3 years of deliberation and recruitment, the current interim leadership and other members believe that a convention is a most befitting coming-out party to introduce the initiative to the wider public.
The convention will be held over the weekend of July 14th and 15th 2017 and will feature several activities to commemorate this opportune moment of reunion for past students, their families, friends, and other well-wishers and promises to be a time to renew acquaintances and strengthen social connections among its members.
At the moment, the association has a strong and active membership whose geographical presence cuts across at least 8 states in the United States and a couple of Provinces in Canada including the states of Ohio, Michigan, North Carolina, Illinois, New York, Texas, Maryland in the US, and the province of Alberta in Canada.
While well aware that there are probably at least more than a couple of thousands of students in these 2 countries, the conveners consciously restricted initial membership and deliberations to a relatively small number for a couple of reasons: to avoid teleconference meetings becoming unmanageably large during and unwieldy; and secondly, to allow the association to operate more nimbly and better navigate teething problems which typically bedevil any such fledgling initiative. This has been very crucial in helping to create a solid working structure for the association.
In the intervening period between 2014 and now, one of the big accomplishments is the successful incorporation of the association in the state of Michigan as a limited liability company. The choice was dictated by certain stipulations in the United States governing the registration and finances of non-profit organizations, and the current leadership are looking forward to a future when reputable members of the society can be invited to serve on the board of directors to aid the transition to a full-fledged non-profit.
Additionally, through the voluntary levying of annual dues on all members, the organization have raised funds and opened an account with the collected contributions which is being used to defray the cost of running the association. The largest financial outlay so far has been on our website which can be seen at http://www.unilagalumninorthamerica.org. The website has served as a useful, one-stop shop for registration of members and has become a crucial avenue for public engagement.
Against this background, the conveners feel convinced enough that a convention would provide the greatest multiplier effect in further eliciting interest among the larger group of University of Lagos Alumni resident on the continent.
The first night of the reunion/convention will be held at the Hilton Houston Galleria Area starting off with a townhall meeting featuring the Vice Chancellor of the University- Professor Rahmon Bello, and the National President of the University of Lagos Alumni Association- Olorogun Sonny Kuku. Afterward, there will be a session to consider the adoption of our constitution, and the election of the first set of substantive officers to lead the alumni chapter in the immediate post-convention period. The new officers will replace the 6 elective posts- President, Secretary General, Treasurer, Financial Secretary Public Relations Officer and a Canada Liaison Officer, and will replace members currently serving as interim officers.
The second day will feature speakers such as Dr. Vincent Olatunji of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), a distinguished and experienced professional who has been closely involved in the formulation of Technology policy in Nigeria, and Ghaniyat Tope Fajengbesi among many others. The speakers will address the theme of the convention: “Digital Economy: Knowledge and Growth Innovation for Sustainable Growth and we hope this will serve as our token effort in helping Nigeria build up its capacity in the emerging field of Digital Technology to help boost economic productivity and growth.
We will conclude proceedings on the night of the 15th with a dinner banquet at the Ayva Center in Houston, TX with award presentations to deserving alumni, as well as presenting the newly-elected officers to the public for the first time.
We are very proud to have passed through the “campus by the lagoon” and we hope this will be the start of a lasting effort to complement the efforts of the National Association in Nigeria in supporting our dear alma mater to raise its standard to even loftier heights in the coming years and decades. We hope you will join us.
Interim Executive of University of Lagos Alumni North American Chapter
2017 Convention Committee, University of Lagos Alumni North American Chapter.