The American University of Nigeria (AUN) has named Rhodes Scholar and leading investment banker, Ike Chioke of Afrinvest West Africa Limited, as the new keynote speaker for its graduation ceremony at 10 a.m. at the Lamido Aliyu Musdafa Commencement Hall on the Yola campus on Saturday, May 13.
A first-class Civil Engineering graduate of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, and trustee member of the AUN Board, Mr. Chioke replaces His Highness Emir Lamido Muhammadu Sanusi II of Kano, earlier advertised as the Commencement Speaker for this year. Mr. Chioke was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University where he earned his MPhil degree in Management Studies prior to launching his extraordinary banking career.
“The Emir cannot attend our Commencement due to his pressing schedule,” said the AUN Interim President, Prof. LeGene Quesenberry, while announcing Mr. Chioke as the new speaker. She expressed her delight and gratitude that Mr. Chioke will be able to step in despite the short notice.
A former Goldman Sachs and Salomon Smith Barney’s executive, Mr. Chioke has over 25 years of investment banking experience involving strategic advisory in corporate finance including mergers & acquisitions, project/structured finance and debt/equity capital markets transactions valued at over US$7.5billion. His industry specializations include the telecommunications, media, financial services and general industrial sectors.
At 5 p.m. on May 12, preceding the Commencement, AUN Founder and former Vice President, HE Atiku Abubakar, will dedicate the second eco-friendly structure on the campus, the Admin II Building. Following the dedication, at 7 pm, will be the presentation of this year’s Graduation Awards to deserving students by corporate sponsors.
Over the years, AUN has had an array of notables as commencement speakers, including EU Ambassador David MacRae (2011), civil rights champion Charlayne Hunter-Gault (2013), Ambassador John Simon (2014), and famous Colombian educator Vicky Colbert (2015).
“We are very excited at another Commencement as we graduate yet another amazing class,” said Prof. Quesenberry, while thanking the members of staff and faculty for mentoring these students. “We know you and your proud parents are very delighted at your many accomplishments here at AUN–we are equally very proud of all of you,” she said to the graduating students.
Founded in 2003, the American University of Nigeria was created to be Africa’s first Development University; its mission is to promote service learning and to educate leaders who will be prepared to tackle the development issues of Nigeria and Africa. The University offers an American-style education modeled after the curriculum of American universities, using the latest in Internet technology and e-learning resources.