After his installation Prof. Thomas Cheruiyot made his maiden Graduation Speech that was laced with humor, his life journey and advise, his vision and transformation agenda for the University of Eldoret.
Prof. Cheruiyot began by extending his gratitude as he reminisced his life journey from the day he started going to school when he was nine years old due to the distance he had to cover. There was a burst of laughter when he talked of how he would share his packed lunch with wild animals. ‘When I became a mature student enough to go for lunch I opted to carry it packed and given the number of people who would be in waiting to partake I would hide it in a specific thicket a few kilometers from school and on lucky days I would find it and on others my love for nature understood when wild animals had their fair share of the same,’ saying this as he gave us his infectious smile and with a twinkle in his eye. His life’s motto - "From Hardships to Heights: Embrace Transformation and Ignite Growth" is what kept him going to through the various mishaps and misadventures to reach the height of leadership at the University of Eldoret.
He thanked the President of the Republic of Kenya, Dr. William Samoei Rutto for the appointment and his dedication and commitment to excellence in the education which will foster a vibrant and thriving academic environment. ‘Your gracious support not only honors this institution but also symbolizes the significance of collaborative efforts between academia and leadership and serves as a guiding light, inspiring us to continue our pursuit of excellence in education and innovation. Thank you for your continuous encouragement and belief in the transformative power of education for our nation's future,’ he added.
He thanked the Minister of Education, Hon Ezekiel Machogu; the Principal Secretary, State Department of Higher education and Research, Dr. Beatrice Inyangala; and the Head of Public Service and Chief of Staff, Mr. Felix Kosgey for their support and asked them to continue in their support as he works towards transforming and repositioning the University.
In line with the Graduation Theme ‘Invigorating Higher Education through Digital Technology,’ Prof Cheruiyot said, ‘Embracing digital technology isn't just a goal; it's an imperative. It's about creating an educational ecosystem that transcends physical boundaries, democratizes access, and cultivates a culture of innovation. Technology isn't a substitute; it's an enabler, enhancing the learning experience and preparing our students for a world where adaptability and digital fluency are essential.’
The repositioning and transformative journey would be multifaceted, focusing on the key dimensions of the University;
- Academic Excellence
- Infrastructure Development
- Focus on Sustainability
- Modernization of Farm & Agribusiness
- Innovation and Research
- Diversity and Inclusivity
- Student Empowerment
- Community Engagement
As he concluded his speech, Prof. Cheruiyot thanked his mother for her wisdom and guidance, his family, friends and mentors who supported him and pushed him to excel beyond his previous boundaries saying, ‘I also thank each one of you for entrusting me with this responsibility. I am committed to serving with integrity, empathy, inclusivity, respect for diversity and a relentless pursuit of excellence. Let us stand united as we embark on this transformative chapter together.’