Milestones take time to achieve. That’s why they are celebration worthy.
Hence the 50th Inaugural Lecture of Abia State University is not just another academic event, but a celebration of commitment, focus and determined leadership of the administration of Distinguished Professor E. Uche Ikonne as Vice Chancellor, in successfully creating a robust and competitive academic environment, that has encouraged and supported Professors of the University to take up the challenge of delivering inaugural lectures, as a major opportunity to inform colleagues, the academic community, and the general public of their work to date, current research, and the contributions of their work in the development of the society.
Professor Ralph J. Hexter, a former Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor, University of California speaking on the occasion of an Inaugural lecture in the Institution once said, “We look forward at Universities as Institutions uniquely qualified to make sense of the current historical moment, and to help improve the condition of people around the world. We look at Universities to lead the way to the future- with new knowledge, new ideas, and even new system of ideas. A University that fails to lead in these ways is irrelevant and falls short in its service to society and to individual”
This perhaps, may have been at the back of the mind of Distinguished Professor E. Uche Ikonne, on assumption of office on December 1, 2015 as the 7th substantive Vice Chancellor of the University, that he quickly rekindled the moribund Inaugural lecture series of the University, that was at the 19th edition when he took the mantle of leadership, and brought it to this 50th edition, that is being celebrated.
As a consummate academic, the revered and respected Professor of Optometry, knew that the generation of new knowledge is by no doubt one of the key elements in developing a sustainable society, and at every forum, he encouraged and challenged other academics to come and share on a formal occasion, what they professes in their different fields. Not only that, the occasion of the Inaugural lectures in the University is organized in such a way that the lecturer, celebrates with his/her family, friends, colleagues, and the academic community, with support from the University, and finally at the end, admitted into the family, of “Distinguished Professors”.
In his book, “Not the how, the what, but who” the famous author, Claudio Fernadez opined that. “One of the hallmarks of great leadership is change leadership. An ability to drive change through people, transforming and aligning an organization around a new goal” Again, Carolyn Canceglia, another great author and Vice President, Amadems, North America says, “Great Leaders take the best of the past, build upon it, and link it to the future” All these, lends credence to the great leadership ability of the Vice Chancellor, who among other notable achievements in virtually every area of the core mandate of the University- Teaching, research and community service, built on the foundations of his predecessors, and particularly made the Inaugural lecture series a monthly tradition in the University that markets the Institution beyond the shores of Nigeria.
That the 50th Inaugural lecture of the University is being delivered under the watch of Distinguished Professor E. Uche Ikonne is by no means accidental, considering his commitment to the revival of inaugural lectures, and his total transformation of the University. That the lecture is equally being delivered by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Administration, Chairman, Ceremonial Committee, an erudite Professor of Finance, a notable traditional ruler of his community, Professor Onyemachi Maxwell Ogbulu is also not a coincidence. And the topic, “Anatomy of the Market Portfolio and the Valuation of Securities in the Nigerian Capital market: Have we got it right”, together, gives promises of a sumptuous academic and social event associated with unique anniversaries.
Professor Ikonne often says, “My mandate is to be the image of the University. To market Abia State University, the Academic content, its staff, students, graduates and all the activities of the University to the world”. This is one of such opportunities, as members of the State Executive council and senior Government officials, Legislature, Judiciary, the Academia, Traditional Rulers, Clergy, Corporate Executives, Town Unions, Friends, Staff, Students, and the entire University community converge at the Abia State University Auditorium Wednesday, September 4, 2019, by 11am, for the 50th Inaugural Lecture of the University to celebrate another success story of outstanding achievements of the Distinguished Professor E. Uche Ikonne, as Vice Chancellor, Abia State University