Colourfully clad in traditional outfits that showcased their countries of origin, ALC (ALU’s flagship campus in Mauritius) students, Staff and Faculty gathered on October 23 to commemorate the last day of orientation. The event, dubbed the “Opening Ceremony,” was an exhibition of culture, talent and camaraderie amongst the group of 58 students who make up the first cohort of ALC’s inaugural class. The entire event was planned and organised by the students themselves and was executed in spectacular fashion. It was a moment that the ALC community will not soon forget.
Students began the day by writing letters to themselves on graduation day. These handwritten notes will be given back to them on their graduation day and will provide them with an opportunity to pause and reflect on what their hopes and aspirations were when they first joined ALC and how much they have grown throughout their journey with us.
The evening’s activities included a soulful a capella performance from the institution’s first ever a capella group, an introduction of each of the 22 countries represented on campus right now, poetry, speeches, food and an induction ceremony. The performances were a snapshot of the diversity of the student body as well as how much they have taken ownership of the student experience.
“Nothing works unless we work and nothing changes unless we change and grow, so let us all stand up for growth, and most importantly let us stand up for our Africa,” encouraged Yassmine Eladib from Morocco in her student speech. Yassmine’s speech was a recollection of why she chose to apply to ALC and why she is elated that she made the choice to leave her degree in Environmental Science at her previous university in Marrakesh.
Eric Sewankambo, the second student speaker reflected on how as a young boy, he returned home from boarding school each semester hoping to see positive change in his community but instead was confronted by the same old problems and challenges. He realised that if he wants to see this change in his community, he needs to take the lead in bringing about that transformation. In a rousing speech he said, “each of us has the potential to lead the change. I am going back home to Uganda to be the genesis of the change I want to see. Dear friends, I wish you courage, success and determination as we embark on this crazy journey filled with passion for Africa.”
Reflecting on the preparation by staff and faculty for students’ arrival, Mena Odu, Faculty for the Communicating for Impact foundation course gave students tips on how to make sure they enjoy their time at ALC.
“As you begin this journey I’d like you to remember three things. Remember to be kind to yourself and others. Remember that failure is okay and remember your privileges as students at ALC. Founders, we’re proud of you and can’t wait to begin this journey with you,” she said.
Check out the Instagram account for videos and pictures from the ceremony.