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52 Students receive N10.4m Dallas OAU Alumni scholarships

*The Dallas Branch, United States Chapter of Obafemi Awolowo University Alumni Association awards 52 deserving students from 13 Faculties of the University N10.4 million worth of scholarships for the 2023/2024 academic year

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

A delegation of the Dallas Branch, United States (US) Chapter of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Great Ife Alumni Association was at the institution, in Ile-Ife, during its maiden Dallas Scholars Initiative, where it recently awarded 52 deserving students from 13 Faculties of the University N10.4 million worth of scholarships for the 2023/2024 academic year.

The Dallas Great Ife Alumni, in a statement, disclosed the objective of the intervention is to provide some relief to support the aspirations of some of these students, in line with how some other well-meaning groups and individuals are providing interventions in different ways.

The alumni also noted the challenging economic situation in Nigeria is no doubt posing serious threats to the academic pursuit of several students across different institutions of learning in the country in recent times.

The event, which took place in the Oduduwa Hall of the University had in attendance some top members of the University management led by the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Simeon Bamire.

The mood was one of excitement and overwhelming elation for the donors, the beneficiaries as well as the University officials, stated the alumni.

Speaking on the objective of the initiative, Adeolu Esho, President of the US Chapter of the Alumni Association, stated that the Dallas project is “a give-back and support for their beloved alma mater” targeted to aid indigent students with financial constraints in pursuit of their academic dreams.

Esho said that he was co-opted by Dallas Branch President to serve on the  Scholarship Award Committee.

Providing insights into the criteria for the selection process, the President of the US Alumni also stated: “We commenced the process in August 2023 and the beneficiaries were selected based on set criteria ranging from their outstanding academic performance, fascinating application and strict adherence to the laid down instructions, justification of financial needs, personal branding ability and the quality of their written essay.”

Also.commenting on the scholarship initiative, Dr. Tunde Adeyemo, President of the Awarding Branch, Great Ife Alumni Association, in Dallas, said: “Many of our members in the Dallas Branch identify with the struggles of the younger students who are pursuing their education at OAU at a critical time like this.

“We understand that there are many students who, though exceptionally brilliant, may need some help financially to make it through their Degree programmes.”

Dr. Adeyemo stated: “We were here and still understand the peculiar challenges.”

According him, the beneficiaries of the scholarship awards are to be tagged “Dallas Scholars”, and are expected to be good ambassadors of the Dallas OAU Alumni branch.

“We will give out scholarships every academic session to indigent students who are diligent and who excel academically,” the President.

Adeyemo, therefore, commended the 52 scholarship awardees, urging them to consider themselves fortunate among the over 35,000 students populace of the University.

He further cited various projects the Association had executed to support the University in the past.

He noted: “Our commitment to our alma mater and different interventions are to ease the burden of both infrastructural provisions and human capital needs of our beloved University” as a way of being proactive.

He further stated: “For example our Dallas Branch championed the perimeter fencing of Angola Hall of Residence and the donation of equipment for speedy processing transcripts, among other projects.”

It is recalled that in 2022, the Dallas Branch of Obafemi Awolowo University Alumni Association in the US donated $10,000 to the Maternal and Reproductive Health Research Collective of the University of Lagos Teaching Hospital, (LUTH) Idi Araba, as part of measures aimed at providing humanitarian service and medical support for the Save Our Red Cells otherwise referred to as Sickle-Cell Warriors.

Evangelist Adekunbi Akin-Taylor, a Lagos-based member of the Dallas Alumni Branch, expressed satisfaction at the presentation of the scholarship certificates to the beneficiaries after a very thorough process.

Akin-Taylor also commended the visionary foresight of the President of the United States Chapter of the Great Ife Alumni Association and the leadership of the Dallas Branch for their pro-activeness and people driven projects executed so far on the campus, in Ile-Ife.

In his address on the occasion, Prof. Bamire, Vice-Chancellor of OAU, expressed his appreciation to the Dallas Chapter for the scholarship support and the overall contribution of the alumni association towards the growth, development, sustainability and maintenance of the values and standards for which the institution is revered among the committee of foremost Universities in Africa.

He urged the beneficiaries to emulate the donors in the future.

“We are most grateful for the good work and efforts of different alumni branches across the world, especially like Dallas Branch.

“It is unimaginable the effect on any student dropping out of the University due to the challenges of funding.

“That is the more reason why interventions, such as Dallas Scholars initiative, are unquantifiable, and the University remains most grateful for their goodwill,” the Vice Chancellor emphasised.

Prof. Akanni Akinyemi, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, Innovation, and Development of the University, equally expressed the gratitude of the University’s authorities to the Dallas Branch of the OAU Alumni body.

Akinyemi admonished the non-beneficiaries at this time to seek further scholarship opportunities without getting discouraged as they are numerous.

According to him, “supporting human capital development is the best investment anybody can give to the world as the value remains unquantifiable.”

The Deputy Vice Chancellor further said: “Poorly trained young people will turn out to be a disservice to humanity and the society in general, hence efforts such as that of Dallas Branch are special and commendable.”

Tadese Ayodele Stephen, a 500 Level Dentistry student of OAU and one of the scholarship beneficiaries, who stated that he initially doubted the process since the application in 2023, expressed his delight and the timely intervention at such a very challenging economic situation.

Tadese stated: “I came across the scholarship offer online as the registration process wasn’t tedious.

“I had my reservations but when I got the message that I am one of the recipients of the scholarship award, I was surprised because the application was almost six months long.”

The student thanked the Dallas Alumni Branch for the initiative while stating that the gesture would further serve as a morale booster for him in his academic quest.

Similarly, Sobanke Oluwadoyinsola, a 300 Level student of Medicine and Surgery, feels elated for the opportunity, expressing profound appreciation to the Dallas alumni body.

Young Sobanke also said: “To be very honest, when I saw the requirements, I was a bit discouraged because I wasn’t really sure if I could write a very persuasive personal statement of justification.

“I just decided to give it a try and fortunately, it turned out positively.”

The female student assured she would do everything right to be a good ambassador of the Dallas Scholars.

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