Address By The Vice-Chancellor, Professor D. Obeng-Ofori At The 23rd Matriculation Of Cucg
On March 19, 2017 At Lecture Thesther
My dear Matriculants, Deans, Directors, staff, students, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, Good morning to you all.
On this memorable occasion of the 23rd Matriculation of students enrolled in the Catholic University College of Ghana, let me say a big welcome to you; freshmen and women, who have been successful in going through the 'mill' of selection into this University. Let me assure you that your coming here is not by chance. God has destined you to receive your tertiary education here. Matriculation as you may know is the ceremony by which freshmen and women admitted to the University are formally initiated as Junior Members into this academically and socially stimulating community. It provides the opportunity for you, the students, to pledge your allegiance to the authority of this University through the administering of the Matriculation Oath, which enjoins you to be of good behaviour and to obey the rules and regulations governing the University. Matriculation is also of special significance in the life of every University because it denotes the injection of fresh blood into the University's life.
Remember, my dear Matriculants, that your primary focus in enrolling in the University is to successfully go through your prescribed academic programme, and to graduate. What this means is that everything you do should be geared towards this academic achievement. Take advantage of every facility available to develop yourselves and to prepare for future opportunities and challenges. Please do not just pass through the University but allow the University to pass through you. I pray that the good Lord will crown all your efforts with success. Amen.
As the years pass by, you will judge yourself not only on what you do for yourself and your family but also on the contributions you made to others, to your country, your communities and to your generation. When you turn your good fortune into a chance for others, you then will not only be leaders in your individual constituencies, but you become the leaders of this country. Apply the knowledge you are gaining at CUCG to the service of humanity so that you become wise men and women for Ghana. Please always remember that LOVE and MERCY are the greatest weapons in the Kingdom of God. The most useful asset of a person is not a head full of knowledge but a heart full of love, with ears open to listen, and hands ever willing to help others.
Also remember, my dear Matriculants that "life is as you make it". Whether you are from a rich family or a poor family, whether you had aggregate 6 or 36, whether you are confident or timid, whether you are popular or unpopular, these are not in any way going to determine how life treats you in the real world. What you would become in future depends on how you take your chances in life. The way you plan, manage and control your affairs determine your success or otherwise. Greatness in life comes from the tenacity of purpose, perseverance and resilience in all that you do. This requires hard work, commitment, positive moral and ethical values and self-discipline. With a disciplined life, you will be able to maximise your potential and thread the pathway of success by discovering good opportunities in life. You have to realise that only you are in control of your own future and that there are no barriers you cannot bring down in your pursuit of progressive successful life. You must always remember that nothing happens without change and the driving force of change is innovation. You must therefore be creative and innovative in whatever you do. It is our prayer that innovations and creativity will be the hall-mark of our Matriculants.
In all these, there must be a place for the expression of our faith also. Without taking undue advantage of this platform let me refer to you to a bible quotation that says I am with you always even to the end of the world. The person, who said this, is the one who controls the universe and our lives, put your trust in him.
One of my favourite songs by Celine Dion is the song she sang at the 1996 Olympics opening ceremony in Atlanta, Georgia, USA "the Power of the Dream". This is what has driven many successful men and women to where they are today. The audacity of hope driven by the dream of I CAN, is what translated into President Obama's victory in 2008. You also can. Dream Big and may the lyrics of Celine Dion song, "The Power of The Dream" inspire you to greatness.
My dear Matriculants, let me end with the Life's Blueprint advocated by the famous Martin Luther King of blessed memory.
Martin Luther King is telling you dear Matriculants, and I quote "This is the most important and crucial period of your lives, for what you do now and what you decide now at this age may well determine which way your life shall go. And the question is, whether you have a proper, a solid and a sound blueprint.
And I want to suggest some of the things that should be in your life's blueprint. Number one in your life's blueprint must be a deep belief in your own dignity, your own worth and your own somebodiness.
Do not allow anybody to make you feel that you are nobody. Always feel that you count. Always feel that you have worth, and always feel that your life has ultimate significance.
Secondly, in your life's blueprint, you must have as a basic principle the determination to achieve excellence in your various fields of endeavour. You are going to be deciding as the days and the years unfold what you will do in life, what your life's work will be. Once you discover what it will be, set out to do it and do it well. Be a bush if you can not be a tree. If you can not be a highway, just be a trail. If you can not be the sun, be a star, for it is not by size that you win or you fail, be the best of whatever you are.
Finally, in your life's blueprint, must be a commitment to the eternal principle of beauty, love and justice. Well, life for none of us has been a crystal stair, but we must keep moving, we must keep going. If you can not fly, run. If you can not run, walk, if you can not walk, crawl, but by all means keep moving". End of quote.
Lastly, let me leave you with the saying of a renowned Philosopher: Popularity is an accident, riches take wings, the only thing that endures is Good Character. May God help us all to build good characters for mother Ghana.
Thank you and may God bless all.