616 Africa University students graduate

Top executive, Timothy Keating, 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 Keating, executive vice president of government operations for the Boeing Company.

Keating also announced at the 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.

Timothy Keating addresses students at Africa University prior to their graduation.
"By working hard and treating people with respect you can improve your luck, someone will take a risk on you," the Boeing executive said. Photo by the Africa University Department of Information and Public Affairs.

"By working hard and treating people with respect you can improve your luck," Keating said. "Someone will take a risk on you."

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

The new graduates were celebrating.

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.

The vice chancellor 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.

"We have developed a comprehensive general education program that was approved by the AU Board in March and will be implemented from August 2018," said Furusa.

This year's graduating class was very special to the vice chancellor.

"Most of you joined the university in 2014, the same year that I also joined this great institution. You are therefore the first class that I saw through from your first year as freshmen to your final year, and it gives me joy to witness your graduation," said Furusa.

The university gave scholarships worth more thanĀ $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.

By Eveline Chikwanah,communicator, Zimbabwe East Annual Conference

One of seven apportioned giving opportunities of The United Methodist Church, the Africa University Fund transforms Africa by educating and empowering students from across the continent through Africa University, the first fully accredited, United Methodist-related educational institution on the continent. The Africa University Fund supports the general operating expenses of Africa University including faculty and staff salaries and vital infrastructure. Please encourage your leaders and congregations to support the Africa University Fund at 100 percent.