By Sr. Mufaro Chakuinga LCBL
Over 150 students graduated from Arrupe Jesuit University of Zimbabwe on 26 May 2023 at the university’s campus in Mount Pleasant, Harare. The Graduation ceremony was graced by the Papal Nuncio to Zimbabwe, Archbishop Paolo Rudelli, the University Chancellor Dr. A. E. Orobator (SJ), Guest of Honor Fr. Loua Zaoro Hyacinthe (SJ) who is also the President of CERAP University in Abidjan Ivory Coast, representatives from the Government, priests, religious and parents of the graduands. The graduation was of great significance as it marked the culmination of five years since the inauguration in 2018 of Arrupe Jesuit University.
Arrupe University countersigned the graduation of hundred students with certificates who were registered for various short courses and capped more than 50 with degrees in different disciplines in the school of Education and Leadership, Philosophy and Humanities, Engineering and ICT. The theme was Hope and Endurance; keys to transformative innovation in which the Guest of Honor noted that the two virtues help to transform humanity and mission.
“The starting point for transformation is hope. Without hope the society cannot rebuild its identity. We live in hope as a fish lives in water and as a bird lives in the air. For the young people who are going out there, it is important to have hope in our lives, look positively into our future for it is difficult to change without hope, hence a key to transformative innovation,” said Fr. Loua Zaoro Hyacinthe.
Eric Emmanuel Teru was the man of the day as he scooped five awards in five different disciplines. Teru, who is a Jesuit Scholastic and from Nigeria received prizes for academic excellence and was also awarded for creating an impact in the lives of other students and the community in exceptional ways. He was also awarded for his contribution to the life of the University through his knowledge in ICT, African studies, Philosophy and publication of articles. Teru encouraged the young people to be naturally original and to be ready to embrace new ideas as well as to consult experts wherever they need assistance.
“I was not expecting this, but hard work pays. My words of encouragement to young people is that they should not lose their identity in whatever they do and they should remain focused all the time. If you can do something, try it and if it is beyond you, ask for help and definitely, it will work,’’ said Teru.
Shallet Sibanda, one of the graduating students, appreciated the care and love they experienced from their passionate lecturers, deep and remarkable Ignatian spirituality which exude from the institute. She recommended short diploma courses for young people so that they can also benefit from the university’s rich formation knack.
“I would like to pay tribute to our Arrupe lecturers for prioritising education and for bringing us together through the Ignatian spirituality. I found comfort even in my class and we were united in our diversity. I would like to see more young people take up the diploma and short courses for their spiritual growth,” said Sibanda.