In a radiant display of nostalgia, camaraderie, and benevolence, the illustrious Bendel State University (BENSU) Law Class of ’87 recently convened for a memorable three-day reunion at the Colossus Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.

From the 3rd to the 5th of August, 2023, old bonds were reignited, memories were cherished, and a legacy was celebrated.

The Association’s 2023 Reunion theme was: “Developing Alumni Connections: Challenges and Prospects”, and the Special Guest of Honour at the occasion was the immediate past Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba, CON. BENSU is now known as the Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma.

Day 1: A Glittering Start

The event commenced with a spectacular cocktail party that set the tone for the festivities. Classmates were joyously reunited, exchanging laughter and stories, as they embarked on a journey down memory lane. The air was filled with the electric hum of rekindled friendships, and the excitement was palpable.

Day 2: Uniting for a Purpose

The second day was marked by a momentous class meeting, a time of reflection and renewal. The esteemed Chairman of the BENSU Law Class ’87 Association, Mr. Sylva Ogwemoh, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), graced the occasion with his presence and delivered a poignant speech that stirred both hearts and minds. His words served as a reminder of the shared values that have bound this exceptional group together.

He paid tribute to the late Ambrose Folorunsho Alli, a Professor of Morbid Anatomy and the first governor of Old Bendel State (now Edo State) who established the university. He stated that the major aim of the Association is to improve the welfare of members and also support AAU and particularly the Faculty of Law of the University in areas of need.

He also said the Class of ‘87 boasts of an array of Judges, Senior Advocates of Nigeria, a distinguished Professor of Law, Magistrates, Directors in Public Service, Seasoned Politicians and successful businessmen and women.

A remarkable highlight of this day was the spirit of giving that flowed abundantly. With unwavering generosity, donations totalling over N10 million naira were raised for the purchase of law books for the library of the Faculty of Law at AAU. This act of kindness will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on the education and empowerment of future legal minds.

Adding intellectual fervour to the occasion was a captivating Health Talk delivered by the erudite Dr. Augustine Idenebeme Aipoh. Attendees were enlightened on matters of well-being, highlighting the holistic approach to success that has defined the journey of BENSU Law Class ’87.

As the sun dipped below the horizon, a splendid dinner awaited, graced by the presence of the distinguished Prince Clem Agba – CON, the immediate past Minister of State for Budget and National Planning. His insightful speech resonated deeply, reminding all present of the enduring importance of their shared vocation and the impact they can continue to make on society.

He said: “Alumni associations in Nigeria should, therefore, participate actively in the development of their various institutions like their counterparts in developed countries by looking beyond providing infrastructure to looking into the administration and academic situation of our universities to know truly if we are producing the right kind of students for the society.

“This is because the real challenges of university education and development can only be properly addressed with the involvement and contributions of those who passed through its four walls and are interested in the progress and further development of the institution’’, he said.

According to the Honourable Minister, “It behooves alumni associations to ensure that the connections they have built over the years translates into tangible benefits to their institutions of training.”

He believes that the existence of an academic institution in modern sense depends largely on the commitment and carriage of its alumni.

“This is because the acquisition of knowledge and tradition and the engagement in scholarship is only appreciated through a continuous display of academic traditions and self-pride in their belief system in sustaining the values of their self-discovery and self-consciousness,” he said.

He noted that beyond donations, alumni associations can volunteer for activities in the institutions, carry out speaking engagements, engage in mentoring and take active interest in the institution’s administration.

Day 3: Fond Farewells

The reunion concluded with a heartwarming breakfast, a final moment for laughter and farewells. Departing with hearts full of cherished memories and spirits uplifted, the BENSU Law Class of ’87 bid adieu to the Colossus Hotel, each classmate taking with them the renewed determination to uphold their legacy and the values they hold dear.

This extraordinary reunion of the BENSU Law Class ’87 was more than just an event; it was a celebration of unity, purpose, and the enduring bond that has carried these legal professionals through decades of change and progress. As they return to their individual paths, they do so with a shared commitment to upholding the noble ideals of justice and scholarship that have defined their journey.

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