The Beauty of BUK Alumni Association
A paper presented by Alhaji Garba Bello Kankarofi frpa, fimn, former Registrar Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) at Bayero University Kano Mass Communication Alumni 40th Anniversary Lecture
I am already aware that Bayero University Kano Alumni association has been in existence long time ago.
However, it became more formal following its formation and ratification on the 7Th December, 2013. The preamble of the constitution of Alumni Association states that “ We, members of BUK Alumni Association, realizing the need for a viable and formidable association firmly and solemnly resolved that there shall be a set out rules and laws guiding the day today affairs of the association anchored on unity, progress, welfare and brotherhood amongst its members and maintaining closer association and upholding the collective contribution towards the social, cultural, academic and infrastructural development of our Alma Mater in particular, the community and the country in general”.
“Do hereby make, enact and give ourselves the following constitution.”
The vision of the Alumni Association is to “provide a platform for Bayero University, Kano Alumni which rekindles commitment and fosters individual and collective obligation for harnessing the abundant reservoir of goodwill by developing critical resources for the upliftment of our Alma Mater as a foremost founting of knowledge and integrity”.
“To stridently key into and be materially supportive of the Bayero University Kano strategic plan towards the provision of infrastructure that incrementally promotes excellence in teaching, research, learning and community service for national development”.
Motto: “Legacy committed to knowledge”.
For the purpose of our visitors, students and special guests, let me also recap what the faculty formally recorded as the history, to appreciate why we are here to celebrate 40 years of first graduants.
2.) The Institution
At the time of establishing the Mass Communication Department of Bayero University, Kano in October 1978, an 1-year old foundation had been laid by an effectual Planning Group of meticulously picked academics and media specialists who were assigned with the task of identifying and recommending appropriate solutions to bridge the occupational and learning gaps in the then emerging media establishments. Setting up suitable professional training institutions/Department for Mass Communication and appropriate curriculum was amongst the dominant tasks agreed to be achieved in the country, especially for the northern region since similar Departments were already established at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 1960 and University of Lagos in 1963 respectively.
3.) The chronicle of the BUK Mass Communication Department is an interesting one. The Department which at the moment can competently compete with its likes over the world initially focused on broadcast and print. Diligently following the dynamics of the global trends in journalism and mass communication, the Department has evolved in many forms, transiting from Faculty of Arts and Islamic Studies through Faculty of Social and Management Studies to full-fledged Faculty of Communications.
4.) It does not matter at what point a set of Alumni enrolled or graduated from the Department. The pivotal fact remains that the quality of training and skills acquisition has never depreciated. Our standard has remained top-notch and has been radiating through the outstanding achievements of those who have passed through the Department (and whom the Department has passed through in principle) for the past four decades.
The Beauty of Alumni Relations
5.) Like a tree which sprout on a fertile ground, BUK Mass Communication Department provides the basic roots and strong stem upon which every alumnae has sprang forth as its fruit. We owe our educational background, part of our professional successes and far-reaching togetherness to the Department which has continually kept us in her encirclement and serving as our point of convergence.
The Structure and Relevance
6.) Alumni relation is the total communications, activities and events put in place to retain the relationship, support and positive interventions of old students in their alma mater. To make cordiality and mutually beneficial exchange permeate through our engagements, a responsibility unit is expected to be created for the purpose of ensuring that:
(a) Keeping the profiles of individual student and each class or set;
(b) Following up on the developments of individuals, class or groups of former students as part of the institution’s asset. This will help the institution’s data base particularly for the purpose of progressive in gathering of her products in human capital and institutional development.
(c) Investing deliberate efforts in positioning alumni relations domestically and globally as key prospect in refining the institution’s brand equity;
7.) As indispensable stakeholders, the emphasis on keeping alumni closer by recognition and constant communication cannot be exaggerated. Institutions of learning, as a matter of strategy, rely to a reasonable extent on the alumni for capital developments and sponsorships, getting grants and donations, logistics, facilitation of beneficial investments in Corporate Social Responsibility projects from organisations made successful by products of the institution.
8.) The strength and influential capacity of an alumni association is determined by the active participation of her members. The more, the merrier. The older a progressive institution gets, the more influential and supportive her alumni association ought to become due to increase in membership and potential advancement in professional lives of her members. BUK Mass Communications alumni association deserves a better in support and influence at 40.
9.) In exploring the potentials, a consideration may be given to the means of strengthening alumni engagement and raising awareness for the engagement of qualified members as academic and non-academic personnel of the institution, dedicating positions to the group at governance and policy making levels of the institutions, providing or designating a building within the institution to serve as an administrative building for alumni’s affairs while efforts deserve to be made by members and the institution to assist in the facilitation of alumni’s programmes.
10.) Being that alumni relations is an essential tool needed for the improvement of both her members and the institution, maximum efforts supportive of its causes should be taken as important element for general growth and productivity. Public relations for better branding resides in our hands as communication professionals bred by one of the leading institution for journalism and mass communications in West Africa. Let us rise to promote our Alma Mata and the Alumni Association. Let our works serve as guide to others.
11.) Having been groomed as communication specialists, the Mass Communications alumni should be able to constructively exploit the opportunities which the emerging media has availed our profession. The diversification of the media, the profession and the business has changed the trajectory and sequence known to the industry four decades ago. Moving with global trend must be made an ambition and pursued vigorously. We must endeavour to excel in any preferred segment where our professional aptitude is demanded; it may be in social media, print media, broadcast media, blogs etc.
Alumni relation is not just a bed of roses. There are so many examples of abuses of Alumni relations such as:
§ Turning Alumni to an alternative government or opposition against the university administration.
§ Breach of trust and financial abuses.
§ Building a cartel for nepotism and corruption.
The alumni association, as a crucial bedrock of any institution, must maintain a stable and friendly relationship with the institution while safeguarding the welfare of her members. The relevance and benefits derivable from alumni association are multitudinous and highly profitable.
Garba Bello Kankarofi, frpa, fimn
Kidnapped School ChildrenYauri FGC Students, Kebbi (Freed)
Baptist School Students, Kaduna
702 days 14 hours 54 minutes 58 seconds
Tegina Islamiya Pupils, Niger (Freed)
Report By: PRNigeria.com