AE-FUNAI ARTS PROFESSOR HOLDS VALEDICTORY LECTURE
- Displays Creative Works
It was a historic day for Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi State and particularly the Department of Fine and Applied Arts, Faculty of Humanities, as Chris U. Ebhigbo, a renowned professor of sculptor presented his valedictory lecture. The event which was held recently at the auditorium was a first of its kind in the history of the university.
Speaking at the event, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Chinedum Nwajiuba eulogized the Faculty of Humanities, especially Fine and Applied Arts Discipline, for their contributory roles in the unquenchable thirst to drive the vision of the University. He expressed his delight on the celebrator who according to him, has carved a niche for himself both as an academic and a celebrated sculptor, and enjoined other members of the department to aspire to exceed his records.
The Vice-Chancellor, who was represented by his deputy, Professor Sunday Elom, thanked Professor Ebhigbo for his numerous contributions to the development of the university, especially as the pioneer Dean of Students Affairs.
He said: ’It Is a thing of pride to hold a valedictory lecture in a university and the first of its kind for that matter but it is also a thing of sadness to bid farewell to an Academic Icon like Professor Chris who had made giant strides in the development of AE-FUNAI and the department of Fine and Applied Arts., in particular.”
He continued: “A valedictory lecture is a goodbye and retirement lecture done after a successful completion of one’s service years. This is mostly done in the university system. Professor Ebhigbo has paid his dues, completed his service in the university system and today, we’re bidding him farewell”, and prayed that God would grant him his positive thoughts and wishes as he enters another phase of his life.
Also, speaking at the event, the Dean, Faculty of Humanities, Professor Gloria M. T Emezue noted that her Faculty has made unparalleled contributions to the development of the university and promised to sustain the feat. She however, regretted that the celebrator was retiring at a time his wealth of experience was still needed in the arts department but thanked God that he was alive to tell the story of his academic trajectory. While also speaking, the Head, Department of Fine and Applied Arts, Professor Ameh Akoh described the event as a rare one, noting that Professor Ebhigbo had made his marks in the creative industry and as a member of the academia. He further extolled his creativity, doggedness and dint of hard work.
Delivering a lecture entitled, “From The Blacksmith Forge To The Royal Bronze: My 36 Years Odyssey “, Professor Ebhigbo traced his career trajectory in the Academia starting from the University of Benin in 1982 to the Alex EKwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi State where he is retiring in 2018. He said it wasn’t a smooth sail as he had to swim in many troubled waters to reach the zenith of his career, urging young academics not to be deterred by challenges that might confront them in the course of striving to rise to the zenith of their professions. .
He explained that the peak of his achievements in the Academia was when he was selected to exhibit his art works at the Allen Priebe Gallery in Wisconson Oshkosh. . He thanked the management for holding a valedictory lecture in his honour and promised to always support the university at their request.
Concluding, he stated that art could promote the economy of the country if properly harnessed because of its capacity to make people self-reliant, equally adding that it can attract foreign exchange through tourists that could come from different parts of the world during exhibitions.
The highlight of the occasion was the exhibition of his numerous creative works, including the masterpiece that played a major role in his first class honours degree at the undergraduate level.