Shanahan University,a game changer in holistic education and moral regeneration
Recently,the federal government of Nigeria released the operating licence of the new Shanahan University,Onitsha.
The licence was handed over to the Metropolitan Archbishop of Onitsha,most Rev Valerian Okeke on 9th June 2023.The university was his initiative and is presently the proprietor of the university.
We recall that the National Universities Commission (NUC)granted approval of the university on 16th May 2023 after intense inspection of facilities and infrastructure at the site of the university in Onitsha.
It was indeed a dream come true after a long struggle by the Archbishop to crown his desire to bequeat to the Archdiocese of Onitsha,the youths and all lovers of education an institution that would be all inclusive in qualitative education and moral values.
Reactions which greeted the birth of Shanahan University was massive across the length and breath of Nigeria and diaspora and also among those who know what Archbishop Valerian Okeke wanted to achieve with the university.
The university is not going to be the normal institution which has not succeeded in giving employment to Nigeria’s teeming youths but a unique university that would prepare it’s students to face the world after graduation.
Shanahan University is therefore taking off full swing as a University of with all necessary infrastructure and paraphernalia of operation on ground.
This is practicalised by a huge construction team led by the chairman of the university project,Rev Fr Dr Basil Ekwunife.
From the foregoing, there’s no doubt that Archbishop Valerian Okeke is towing the footsteps of his forebears particularly the great former late Bishop of Onitsha,Bishop Ignatius Shanahan CSSp whose vision was to prioritize education to emancipate the people from the clutches of ignorance,superstition and disease.
Bishop Shanahan for instance,invested a great deal in education in Southern Nigeria and the present effort by Archbishop Valerian Okeke in towing his footsteps and that of other early missionaries is hugely commendable and impressive.
In proving his capacity and sagacity, Archbishop Valerian Okeke has continued to invest massively in education across the Archdiocese of Onitsha.
From the inception of his episcopacy, Archbishop Okeke embarked on erecting new schools and renovating those recovered from the state government.
In his vision and commitment to lift education to the level of excellence which the Archbishop preaches always,the Archbishop instituted the Archbishop Valerian Okeke Scholarship Scheme (AVOSCO) through-which he promoted competition and excellence among students across the Archdiocese.
The Archbishop afforded scholarships to hundreds of students and sponsored many on excursions locally and abroad and also engaged them in academic competitions where many of the mission schools have won laurels locally and internationally.
The latest among the numerous competitions won by various Archdiocesan schools is from Mater Amabilis Secondary School,Umuoji,Anambra State which clinched the prestigious title of champions at the 2023 National Entrepreneurship Exhibition and awards organised by the Nigerian segment of students for the advancement of Global Entrepreneurship (SAGE).
It is also common knowledge that many priests,religious and seminarians are not exempted from the Archbishop’s gracious opportunity of studying abroad in special institutions in the Archbishop’s drive for academic excellence.
From the foregoing,there is no other fitting description for Archbishop Valerian Okeke than, a consumate trail blazer,visionary,solutionist and a revivalist.
He is a charismatic pastor,educationist, philanthropist,a man of deep faith and insight and a passionate shepherd of his flock.
Parents,guardians,students and other stakeholders in education are encouraged and hopeful that the new Shanahan University will be the game changer the Nigerian education sector has been yearning for.
To God only,be the glory.