Alumni have a unique bond with their educational institutions, fueled by their aspiration to create a lasting legacy for their alma mater. In an interview on AkweyaTV, the President (Worldwide) of the Mount Saint Gabriel’s Secondary School Old Boys Association, Mr Emmanuel Adukwu, shed light on the pivotal role alumni play in school development. He also shared the inspiring story of how his leadership team revitalised a deteriorating dining facility at their beloved alma mater.
A respected banker and entrepreneur, Emmanuel Adukwu belongs to the illustrious Class of ’90/’91 at the prestigious Mt. St. Gabriel Secondary School, Makurdi, Benue State. Notably, he shares this academic journey with renowned music icon Innocent Idibia (2Baba), Black Face, and AkweyaTV‘s Managing Director, Odoh Diego Okenyodo.
The passion that fuels this group of alumni is rooted in the profound impact the school had on their lives, largely attributed to the exceptional leadership of Angus Fraser’s dedication to shaping African children into their best selves left an enduring impression on the alumni, who regard the Irish priest as a living saint.
Mr Adukwu recalled the turning point for the alumni association when he and fellow members visited the school during his campaign for the Alumni Association President. What they encountered painted a stark picture of the school’s decline: students were having breakfast seated on the bare floor due to the lack of dining tables and chairs. In response, they swiftly mobilised resources and transformed the situation by providing benches and tables and installing solar panels to ensure uninterrupted lighting for the students.
A stark contrast emerged between the school’s current condition and its glory days under Father Fraser’s leadership. The discipline, academic excellence, and conducive learning environment once synonymous with the institution had faded away. The alumni saw their role as bridging the gap between the past and present by reintroducing the traditions of yesteryears, such as the beloved cultural nights. This revival not only rekindled cultural roots but also fostered a sense of belonging among the students. Mr Adukwu fondly remembered that the winning House at the cultural night celebrations received a goat to celebrate in their hostel.
In addition to restoring cultural traditions, the alumni embarked on various renovation projects, including the school hall, roofing repairs, hostel and classroom refurbishments, the establishment of an IT laboratory, and the provision of sports equipment such as football and soccer jerseys. They also breathed new life into the basketball court.
Mr. Adukwu emphasised the importance of silent, impactful action and stressed the alumni’s vision of elevating Mt. St. Gabriel Secondary School to a pedestal of excellence. Their aim is to maintain the institution’s reputation as a dominant force in WAEC and JAMB results, producing top graduates not only in Benue State but nationwide.
He further advised that politics should be kept at bay within the alumni association, advocating for the involvement of the most capable individuals. A well-functioning alumni network, he argued, is an invaluable asset for the institution’s ongoing development.