Shared Experiences Bearing Hope and Endurance
All Protocol Observed

Today marks a great day for us as individuals and for our institution. We are very grateful to God for this day and for our staff and faculty for preparing us so well. We are grateful for the gift of our mentors from the school of education and leadership, from the school of engineering and ICT, and from the school of philosophy and humanities. We are grateful to the Library staff, the support staff, our kitchen staff who fed us so well and all members of the University community who made our stay at AJU memorable and fulfilling. We are grateful. This graduation is a shared moment of joy and achievement for you and for us.

Today I speak from the viewpoint of shared experiences. During our stay at Arrupe Jesuit University, we have shared so many remarkable experiences. We can easily recount the pandemic and how it restructured our social interactions. It was a moment that imposed on us the reality that one is never too old to learn new skills. At an institutional level, we were able to confront the reality of COVID-19 by adapting to online learning. It demonstrated our institution’s capacity to adapt to irregularities. As students, we never stopped learning! Let’s show some appreciation. Our lecturers also continue to show their ability to adapt to the reality of irregularities. I guess the proper description of Prof. Chennells now is “the technological guru.”

I think the greatest lesson we learn from these is that if we are to remain relevant in our service to one another, adaptability and proactivity are not just significant but necessary skills. Today, our institution walks out of the pandemic more advanced in its functionality, properly integrating the use of technology. Our systems of education are better because they are even more flexible, not limited by space, and relevant to our African context. We thank the Lord for seeing us past the pandemic and for the resumption of blended classes. As students, we quickly regained our friendliness and our human interaction; this brings to mind the marathon we had this semester, the Dean’s cup, and the Arrupe cultural festival. Some of us graduating today will, I guess, miss all that!

I presume that the experiences that we have had here at Arrupe Jesuit University will have different impressions on our lives. Some of us have already come to the understanding that there is complexity embedded in reality. Things are not always what they seem. Leading to genuine curiosity and humility. In a world of growing artificial intelligence, like ChatGPT, which is increasingly making it impossible to fight misinformation, some of us have come to understand the need for human relationships, honesty, and cooperation, and dialogue. Some of us have wrestled in our thesis about what AI may never become, such as gaining strong consciousness, the ability to self-repair, immune defence, and morphogenesis. I hope such research is undertaken to further consider how AI may possibly induce human actions.

As we leave this prestigious institution without leaving our experiences behind, I hope we understand that almost everyone is aware of a problem. Confronting a problem is a different thing. As graduates of Arrupe Jesuit University, we should take pride in our ability to think about how to confront a problem. We should take pride in our ability to face reality, as we have shown over the years with courage and confidence. Thank you and may God bless us all.

Mr. Gabriel Tyolumun TSAOR SJ
BA. Honours in Philosophy