AUN’s Best Graduating Student ‘Wasn’t Very Bright In Primary, Secondary School.

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  • the expansive Commencement hall of the American University of Nigeria in Yola, the smile on the face of Benedict Egwuchukwu (Snr), an engineer from Imo State, was so wide it infected his wife.

    They both beamed with smiles – and then burst into laughter – when Mr Egwuchukwu attempted to explain how their son, Benedict (Jnr), the best graduating student in the university’s Class of 2018, acquired his brilliance.

    The valedictorian’s mother, Bridget, graduated from the Rivers State University of Science and Technology in 1987 with a First Class degree in Biochemistry; the next placed student after her bagged a Second Class Lower. It took one decade for another First Class student to emerge from that department.

    “My son took after his mother but without much dilution,” said Mr Egwuchukwu, a petroleum engineer.

    “If there was much dilution he wouldn’t have gotten that (the valedictorian), it was because I had a superior addition to her gene so we made it a super.”

    The couple burst into laughter again.

    A few metres away, Benedict, clutched one of his five awards on the night and shook hands with Atiku Abubakar, a former vice president of Nigeria and founder of the university; the cameras clicked away.

    An Accounting major, he topped the Class of 2018 with a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 3.90 (on a 4.0 scale).

    Unlike Ms Onuigbo who began bagging academic scholarships in primary school, Benedict wasn’t always a brilliant student.

    His mother said her son “wasn’t very bright in his primary and secondary school” days.

    “He wasn’t even first 10, but I wasn’t also bright in my primary and secondary. And I told all of them (her children) ‘It doesn’t matter. All I need you to do is to do your best. Just put in your best, that is all I want from you. When the time is right it will mature.’

    “The same thing happened to me, I wasn’t too good in primary school. In my secondary school, I was above average, and in my university, I had first class.”

    Benedict said he was surprised to emerge the university’s valedictorian for 2018.

    “To be honest, it’s quite overwhelming I didn’t want to believe it at first but here I am,” he said after it was announced last Friday night.

    “All I can just say is that I thank God because looking back at my academic history from primary and secondary schools I will not believe I will be here today, I just give God the glory, it’s really overwhelming for me.

    “In primary school I was a bit average, in secondary school I really didn’t take my academics too serious until in my SS (Senior Secondary) One, third term, that was when I finally got up to average, and from then on I started picking up on my academics but I still consider myself as an average student back then.”

    In addition to receiving the award for Academic Distinction as the best graduating student in Accounting, Benedict also bagged the awards for the best graduating student in the School of Business and Entrepreneurship; VPAA & Provost’s Award for Academic Excellence; Haruna Musa (Individual) Award for Academic Excellence; and the Afrinvest (West Africa) Award for Academic Excellence (which includes a paid internship at any Afrinvest subsidiary).

    Out of the 158 students who received their graduate and masters degrees and post-graduate diplomas at the university.



Source : IWN Online Editor

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