616 African University Students Graduate

Africa University students celebrate their graduation. Photo by the Africa University Department of Information and Public Affairs.

By Eveline Chikwanah –


A top executive of Boeing challenged the 616 Africa University graduates from 21 countries to go forth and become exemplary leaders. “Our world is in need of good principled leaders like yourself. Every good leader worked hard, took risks, and treated others with respect,” said Timothy Keating, executive vice president of government operations for the Boeing Company.

Keating also announced at the June 9 graduation ceremonies that his family has endowed a $130,000 permanent scholarship for female students studying education at Africa University. He said his family had been blessed, and it was time for them to give back to others. The scholarship is named for Keating’s wife, Ann. He urged the graduates to work hard as they embarked on a new part of their journey in life.

“By working hard and treating people with respect you can improve your luck,” Keating said. “Someone will take a risk on you.” The university awarded Keating an honorary doctorate of leadership and governance in recognition of his accomplishments.

The Rev Munyaradzi Timire, Zimbabwe East Conference education secretary, who completed a postgraduate degree in public policy and governance, was excited about his achievement. “I am grateful that I was able to able to fulfill my desire of being a policy expert. I hope my studies will help the denomination when it is making policies which have to be futuristic,” he said.

Africa University Vice Chancellor Munashe Furusa said the university would annually draw enough funding from the Ann Keating Scholarship to pay for four years of study for one student. Furusa said solutions for many of society’s challenges should come from sharp young minds like those of the graduating class. “When you leave this institution, you are going into a world that demands continuous adaptation and innovation,” he said.

Furusa said the university was reviewing its academic program structures and courses offered. “The university believes in training and developing a total person with a deep understanding of our pan-African identity and heritage, and grounded in strong Christian values,” he said.

The graduates include 309 women and 307 men. The class was made up of 123 international students and 453 Zimbabweans. With addition of the class of 2018, Africa University now has about 8,800 graduates.

The university gave scholarships worth over $2.2 million to 550 students over the last year, and Furusa expressed gratitude to The United Methodist Church, the Africa University board, and other partners for providing those scholarships.

Eveline Chikwanah is a communicator of the Zimbabwe East Annual Conference.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.