The Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) has produced 113 First Class graduates for the 2016/2017 academic session. They are among the 3548 to be awarded undergraduate degrees during the 26th Convocation Ceremonies of the university later in the week.
This is according to the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Kolawole Salako at the Convocation Press Conference on Monday in Abeokuta.
Professor Salako, who gave a breakdown of the number of graduates across classes and levels of degrees also disclosed the university’s plans to award honorary degrees to both Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka and Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair, Toyin Falola.
Aside the 113 First Class graduates, the university also produced 1327 graduates with a Second Class Upper, 1533 with a Second Class Lower degree. There are also 502 graduates with a Third Class and 30 with a Pass, all at the undergraduate level.
EduCeleb.com gathered that the figures included both full-time and part-time graduands of the university’s academic programmes.
Salako added that the FUNAAB Postgraduate School produced 241 Academic Masters holders. 65 Professional Masters holders and 33 holders of the Postgraduate Diploma (PGD). 79 persons would also be awarded their Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at the convocation ceremonies.
Why we’re honouring Soyinka, Falola
The FUNAAB VC also disclosed to journalists that his university was awarding both Soyinka and Falola with honorary doctorates despite the duo belonging to the humanities.
He described Professor Soyinka as “an illustrious son of the soil” in apparent reference to his Abeokuta descent and said that the honour was from his kinsmen.
“It is noteworthy that ‘Kongi’ (Wole Soyinka) has won and received many internationally acclaimed awards, which include the 1986 Nobel Prize for Literature and the December 2017 Europe Theatre Special Prize. As a matter of fact, students of the literary giant have lost count of awards bestowed on him in the continent and Nigeria. Yet, none has been given him in Abeokuta, his homestead.
“If the world recognises WS, why not his own kinsmen? If not his kinsmen, why no his home-based university, FUNAAB? For this and other major reasons, we are pleased to honour our own with an Honorary Doctorate in recognition of his contribution to literary arts and humanity,” he said.
The other honouree, Falola is a professor of history at the University of Texas at Houston. He has won several laurels among which are the Lincoln Award, Cheikh Anta Diop Award, Nigeria Diaspora Academic Prize, and Amistad Award.
He would also be delivering the 26th Convocation Lecture on the topic “Food and us: Poverty, Policies and Politics”. Salako hinted that Falola would be sharing a humanities perspective to solving the contemporary farmers-herders clashes in the country.
The lecture is billed to hold 2pm on Wednesday, 21st November on the same day as the Research and Agricultural Fair, which is expected to take place earlier from 10am.
Prior to the Press Conference, religious worships had been held at the University Mosque and University Chapel on 16th and 18th September respectively.
Various projects completed within the university will on Tuesday, 20th September be commissioned. The VC said that this would take place despite the Eid-el-Maulud holiday declared by the Federal Government as the university had already put enormous resources into following the schedule earlier.
The highpoint of the week-long ceremonies would be the conferment of first degrees on Thursday, 22nd November and that for postgraduate diploma, higher and honorary degrees follows on Friday, 23rd November.