It was a joyous moment at the University of Nairobi (UoN) during a dinner hosted to officially launch the University of Nairobi Foundation on 30th June, 2022 at the Great Court.
The Foundation is a special purpose vehicle geared towards mobilization of resources for the benefit of the university and by extension, all who set foot in it and particularly, the poor and vulnerable.
Speaking during the launch, the Chancellor and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the UoN Foundation Dr. Vijoo Rattansi said the launch was historical for UoN and that the Foundation will go a long way in transforming the University to be vibrant, relevant and sustainable.
“Today’s launch of the University of Nairobi Foundation places the university on the precipice of history. This moment has afforded us the luxury of quiet reflection, the latitude to take stock of our present realities and the opportunity to finesse our trajectory to the future.
It is my fervent belief that the university foundation shall verily make the university the hero of its own journey, delivering it from the debilitating manacles of need and want and ushering it into an era of self-sustenance and realized dreams,” Dr. Rattansi said.
Dr. Rattansi urged people of goodwill to generously contribute to the Foundation saying it is good to give.
“My seniors, friends, colleagues and invited guests, on behalf of my fellow Trustees and the University of Nairobi, I invite you all to loosen your purse strings and give all you can from a cheerful heart. There is no greater joy, believe me, than the joy of giving. It makes life as beautiful as it is meaningful! I assure you, as Brian Tracey would, that as you give without remembering so shall we receive without forgetting!” Dr. Rattansi said.
On his part, UoN Vice Chancellor who also doubles as the Secretary of the Board of Trustees said time and economy of resources have not served the university well and that competing needs and propositions have had the inadvertent effect of the university lagging behind the community and its respective needs.
“The foundation that we launch today, should be the panacea to this problem riding on the promise of better days ahead. The foundation offers both the community and the academy an unrivalled opportunity to forge a better alliance aimed at improving the relevance both constituents to each other. It will also provide the community, and the university’s convocation by extension, the leverage to engage with the university more directly,” Prof. Kiama said.
According to the Vice Chancellor, the community can support the academy through aiding the university’s core mandate of teaching, learning and research, supporting the university, in perpetuity, through philanthropic bequests, endowment of research chairs and investing in upskilling of personnel and upscaling of technology.
“In so doing, the community will be engaged with the academy and drive its own agenda. The academy on the other hand, will employ the intellect of its human resource in finding relevant and timely cures to the society’s current afflictions. The two will then find an equilibrium where societal needs and the university will strike a balance and ensure continued sustainability of both constituents,” Prof. Kiama affirmed.
The event was attended by UoN's key partners, donors, government representatives, alumni, industry players as well as staff and students.