The Senator representing Bayelsa East constituency and chairman of the Senate Committee on Privatization, Ben Murray-Bruce, will deliver the keynote speech at the 13th Founder’s Day ceremony of the American University of Nigeria.

The event is scheduled for Saturday at the Lamido Aliyu Musdafa Commencement Hall on the main campus of the university in Yola, the Adamawa State capital.

An American tradition, the annual Founder’s Day celebrates the vision, progress and development strides of the American University of Nigeria, which graduated its first set of students in 2009.

The AUN learning community, including its growing student members who come from all the 36 states of Nigeria, South Africa, Cameroon, and around the world, will join the university’s global faculty and staff to reflect on the impact of the university’s Development and Entrepreneurship mantra on the Nigerian and African societies.

They will also share experience on the unparalleled commitment to education, entrepreneurship, and community development motivation of the founder and former Nigerian vice president, Atiku Abubakar.

In conferring on the AUN Founder the first Global Citizenship Award on its 50th anniversary in 2011, the United States Peace Corps spoke glowingly of his generosity to the cause of education: “No private businessman in Africa has worked harder for democracy or contributed more to the progress of higher education than Atiku Abubakar.”

Mr Abubakar is currently contesting for the Nigerian presidency under the platform of the Peoples’ Democratic Party in the 2019 election.

Connecting from their various locations around the world, AUN’s emergent alumni kicked-started the celebrations with a series of colorful weeklong Homecoming events underlining the strong bond they proudly share with their alma mater.

Dawn Dekle, the AUN president, expressed excitement at the choice of Mr Murray-Bruce as the university’s keynote speaker.

“As a learning community, AUN is honored to have a statesman, media mogul, and the distinguished Senator Ben Murray-Bruce, OON, as keynote speaker,” she said.

Ms Dekle said Mr Murray-Bruce is the ideal speaker for this year’s occasion given his background in entrepreneurship, corporate governance, and resource management and also against the university management’s policy push toward greater sustainability.

Past speakers at the AUN’s Founder’s Day ceremonies since 2006 have included the late Hamidu Alkali; Charles Soludo; Tulane University’s Professor William Bertrand; Matthew Hassan Kukah; former US Ambassador to Nigeria Robin Sanders; former EU ambassador to Nigeria David McRae; Ibrahim Gambari; Colombian educationist Vicky Colbert; and former Ugandan vice president, Gilbert Bukenya.

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