Kectil Colleague Daniel Ochieng Gives Strathmore Valedictorian Speech

On behalf of the class of 2017, I would like to welcome all Faculty, Alumni, Family, Friends and Distinguished Guests to this year’s graduation ceremony of Strathmore University.

I am humbled, to stand before you today and give this speech of highly personalized anecdotes.

Well, we made it. The four years of mission impossible have finally come to an end. I am glad to say we did pretty well. Joining Strathmore University presented each one of us with a long journey, as my father once told me “life is a journey, not a destination – we determine our destiny by the direction we take”.

Graduands, I believe we all recall our first week of orientation; that begun in the auditorium right behind us where the Dean of Students and his team welcomed us. It is in this very grounds that four years ago our dear Vice Chancellor, Prof. John Odhiambo, welcomed us to Strathmore University during the Vice Chancellor’s address to the freshmen. Today the team that welcomed us is seeing us off; we are proud of who we have become. Not forgetting, the tedious oral and written interview, which enabled us to finally get admitted into the Strathmore community. The walk through the guarded gates of Strathmore University, being questioned by the pleasant watchmen about what our purpose was for crossing those memorable gates. Going into admissions office, getting hold of that identification card with the expiration date 30th June 2017 at 12.00pm.

Here is a brief snapshot from my time lines of candid memories which I believe you fellow graduands will find familiar. I recall, the smartly dressed fashion cops who were quick to prepare us for employment as early as first year, especially those of us who knew campus dress code comprised of faded jeans and T-shirts. I will not forget the Strathmore class timetable that ensures that you get to attend classes in all of the buildings in the span of a day. Confusing a class in LT 6 (Lecture hall 6) for a class in MSB 6 (Management Science Building 6) meant you had to cross the length of the campus to get to the correct classroom.

I believe that we will all be in agreement that Strathmore University not only provided excellent service and education, but also exposed all of us to co-curricular activities that helped us discover our passions and purpose in life. It is through co-curricular that I discovered I could lead people, and last year in August I successfully vied for the Presidency of the University Student Council and was humbled by the victory; most humbling being the fact that I not being a native Kenyan, was chosen to lead regardless. This will always be the highlight of my life at Strathmore University.

I salute all of you in this congregation who took leadership positions in various sports teams, clubs and module leading, having been forged in the crucible of demanding roles. We are now ready to take the Strathmore brand of leadership to the corporate world.

June 30th 2017 is finally here, we graduands are at the finish line of this long race. I would like to extend my sincere appreciation and thank our parents and guardians for seeing us through. Through the compulsory community service attachment, I believe that we discovered the true meaning of fulfillment by doing good and spreading love, not only to those closest to us but to those living in other communities. The Strathmore Community surrounded us with mentors, individuals, corporates and staff who offered a support system to keep us in line and intact as we built professional and personal lives.

Now a much greater task awaits us, job search commonly known as tarmacking which through the same resilience and hard work, not forgetting keeping in close touch with the Strathmore Careers Development Service Office, will be manageable. I see future presidents, judges, entrepreneurs, chief technical officers and other professional careers amongst all of you. I expect that we will all have great influence in the future of this country.

To those who have chosen the path of enterprise, you have accepted a noble calling, go forth and be great businessmen and women, we need you to provide jobs.

Strathmore University has given us opportunities to dream big and challenge ourselves without being afraid to face failures as we aspire. These are but the few principles which we have learnt not only in class but in our daily lives beyond the four walls. Today marks the genesis of the great adventure that awaits us.

May each of us carry this one quote by St. Josemaría; for all your learning, for all your fame, your eloquence and power, if you are not humble, you are worth nothing

Daniel Ochieng President Strathmore Student Council (2016 – 2017)