(25th April, 2009)
The 4th Graduation ceremony was held at the Savoy Hotel in Ndola (right opposite Northrise University). This year it was an extra special event as it was the first cycle of students graduating with degrees.
An occasion for celebration graced with the presence of the Ndola mayor, the event began with a number of praise songs by the choir. After the opening prayer, the academic procession strode in, proudly wearing black gowns and other various pieces of coloured garments that go with the schools they represented. The National Anthem was sung shortly after before anyone took their sit.
Dr Moffat Zimba, the University president, had a difficult time keeping the pride and joy out of his voice (not that he made any obvious attempt to) as he gave his welcome address. He happily pointed out the recent notable achievements of previous graduates who where now making Northrise proud.
He was then joined on stage by Mr David Cheatham and Mrs Doreen Zimba, the vice president of the University, for the certification of the graduates, fourteen in all. Mrs Zimba, positively glowing, then presented the new graduates to the chancellor and all present. Her face continued to beam as a slideshow of all the graduates, which the Master of Ceremonies insisted contained mischievous photographs of student life at Northrise, began to show.
One of the graduates, Mrs. Alice Simutowe, then gave a valedictory address alive with the hurdles and struggles leading up to their achievement. She was quick to thank sponsors, donors and all those who rendered support to Northrise University and made their graduation possible. She was followed by the guest of honour, Mr Dave Cheatham, who gave his address for the occasion. This being his sixth visit to Zambia, he recounted how his journey with Northrise University had started and how his friendship had grown ever since. “All I wanted to do was sign a cheque; I never thought I’d one day be making this speech.” Thes were Mr. Cheatham’s exact words.
An all-smiles affair was aptly ended by an address delivered with a smile that could not have grown any wider. Dr. Zimba again assumed the podium and all but embraced the new graduates in a big collective hug as he addressed them one last time charging them with the duty to be envoys of Northrise University and above all God Almighty.
The future looks bright and the present is already sparkling. The choir led the procession out with another praise song marking the end of the ceremony.