The Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, members of the governing council, staff, and students of Coal City University (CCU) Enugu on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 played host to the foremost African philanthropist, Prince Engr. Arthur Eze. The oil magnate of international repute, who was on an inspection visit to the University, lauded the giant strides that the University has made within the few years of its establishment.
Receiving the oil magnate at the University’s Convocation Arena, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Afam Icha-Ituma reeled out the numerous achievements of the University to include the signing of series of MoUs with world class universities in Australia, UK, Canada and more recently Delaware State University (DSU) United States of America for dual degrees. The MoU with DSU provides for CCU students who enroll in the International Pathway Programme to be awarded a Bachelor degree by Coal City University and Delaware State University. The erudite professor also informed the visitor that the University has introduced International Visiting Fellowship Programme to harness the skills and experiences of world class Nigerian academics in prestigious universities abroad. Under the programme, which has since taken off, Coal City University students now have British, Australian and American trained professors teach them, both in class and remotely.
The VC noted that: “the university has taken a quantum leap in all aspects of intellectual activity which explains why it is providing digital leadership in the higher education sector in Nigeria …”
He further explained that the university was not deterred by the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic as it continued its research, teaching, learning and assessment activities online during the lockdown using its customized and robust myCCU virtual platform. This, he explained “ensured our students progressed at every level and the final year students graduated timely right on schedule”. He further explained to Prince Arthur Eze, who continually nodded in affirmation, that the university was committed to maintaining a stable academic calendar to ensure that “our students will not spend one extra day beyond the time scheduled for their graduation”, unless, of course, of their own making”.
CCU To Immortalize Prince Arthur Eze
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Afam Icha-Ituma disclosed that the decision of the Board of Trustees of Coal City University to name the Community Education Centre complex after Prince Arthur Eze, a graduate of Chemical Engineering from the prestigious California State University, is informed by his uncommon love for the education of Nigerian youths. This is exemplified by the numerous scholarships he has awarded to students and his contributions to education programmes in the country and beyond. The VC, continued, “Prince Arthur Eze has done so much for humanity. Yet, he hasn’t been sufficiently appreciated and celebrated in Enugu, his second home, as it ought to be for his great benevolent works. This is the reason Coal City University is naming its Community Education Centre, after Prince Arthur Eze”.
Giving insight into what underlies the establishment of the Centre, the VC reiterated the university’s irrevocable commitment to providing world class education, to which the Prince Arthur Eze Community Education Centre will contribute immensely. While presenting a structural breakdown of the Centre, Prof. Icha-Ituma said “the University auditorium will be located on the first floor of the building. And it will be used mainly for the hosting of Coal City University Distinguished Speakers Series which aims to bring eminent speakers from the realm of politics, academics, industry, religion, entertainment and others to Coal City University. This, is to promote the discussion of important issues of public interest and provide an opportunity for the University community to listen to some of the world’s greatest minds discuss critical issues of public interest”. The auditorium will also play host to community related events and educational programmes.
The ground floor of the complex, he explained, will house computer work stations, computer-based testing space and a collaborative, technology-rich space which will provide students with programmes, services and resources to explore their ideas and develop innovative projects for social, cultural, community and economic impact.
In their own address to the oil and gas mogul, delivered by a 400 level student of English and Literary Studies, Oluchi Cookey, Miss Tourism at CCU, the students lauded Prince Arthur Eze for his unbending philanthropic disposition. They hoped that what they’ve always heard he did wherever he went will be repeated at Coal City University.
Responding to the addresses and reacting to the warm welcome accorded him, Prince Arthur Eze, expressed happiness over the honor bestowed him by Coal City University. He stressed the importance of universities in promoting national unity and solving societal problems. He donated N350 Million to support the University ensure that current and future generations of Coal City University students continue to receive rich educational experience. The gift will fund scholarships and completion of the Prince Arthur Eze Community Education Centre. He remarked that upon returning from the US in 1979 he was accorded the highest degree of hospitality by the indigenous people of Enugu, a gesture he explained necessitated his choice of Enugu as his second home. He applauded the Chancellor and the Board of Trustees of the University for “doing great things”, waving at the prominent physical structures in the university, to contribute to the good of humanity, especially its youth.
Speaking at the event, the Chancellor of the University, Sir. Chinedu Ani commended the African business magnate for his humility and matchless philanthropic gestures. He recalled, with nostalgia, the exceptional treat, Prince Arthur Eze gave him on their first meeting and his support to the University. He noted that the endowment will be a timeless testament to Prince Arthur Eze’s passion for quality education for Nigerian youths and a resource that will help nurture the development of a new generation of thinkers that will solve national and global problems.”
By Collins Azu
3 December, 2020