In 1969, Jimmy Cliff released his “Wonderful World, Beautiful People” song which has now become a classic, symbolizing the power of love and the possibility of creating a better world when people come together to drive a change or make a difference. On the warm afternoon of November 6, 2023, Jimmy Cliff's song seemed somewhat fulfilled when the beautiful people of the MBBS Class of 1979 paid a courtesy visit to the Provost of the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Professor Olayinka Omigbodun FAS, in her office in their collective show of support to the ongoing Student Hostels' Building Project.
The class delegation was led by Professor Folashade Omokhodion nee Akinyede, a distinguished Professor of Occupational Health and Community Medicine at the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan. In her remarks, Professor Omokhodion acknowledged the shared bond of the class and their long history of commitment to the institution. She corrected that their class was rightly referred to as the IBADAN MEDICS ‘79. This umbrella body, she said, exemplified their unity towards giving back long before the formal kick-off of the Ibadan College of Medicine Alumni Association (ICOMAA).
She added that the class had also embarked on several student-oriented projects, such as the transformation of the wooden female building at the Alexander Brown Hall (ABH) into a block building. She added that these integrated interventions demonstrate how much their hearts are still invested in the institution and their commitment to promoting causes or works that enhance the student experience. She emphasized that their visit to present financial support towards the ongoing Student Hostel Building Project was a “timely return of the investment of the class” to their alma mater.
Thereafter, she introduced the accompanying delegation from the class, comprising distinguished professionals and alumni. They included Professor Aderonke Mojisola Baiyeroju nee Agbeja, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at the University of Ibadan; Dr. Wole Ajayi, who operates in private practice and runs Victory Hospital in Oke Ado; Dr. Remi Oyekunle of Poly Clinic; Dr. Akintunde of Vine Hospital in Oluyole; and Dr. Dayo Adeniyi of Jubilee Hospital in Sango. They also conveyed the warm regards of some class members who couldn't be present but who sent their heartfelt greetings.
In her immediate response, the apparently excited Provost burst into a grateful song of thanksgiving to God. She expressed heartfelt appreciation to the Class of 1979 for their visit and generous contribution, acknowledging the significant impact of their support. Highlighting her personal connections with some members of the class, she described their lives as an inspiration and a strong pillar of support, both to her personally and to her administration.
The Provost acknowledged the husband of Professor Folashade Omokhodion, Professor Sam Omokhodion, MBBS Class of 1977 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10388417/) for his support in his role Chaplain to her administration. The Provost specifically thanked Professor Aderonke Mojisola Baiyeroju, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), commending her exceptional work that led to the promotion of lecturers in the University of Ibadan including the College of Medicine. She alluded to the recent announcement of the promotion of lecturers in the college to full professorship last week as a testament to the positive changes being implemented.
The Provost went on to introduce the Executive Committee members who joined her in welcoming the class and thereafter offered a very clear and transparent report on the donations made to the Sponsor-A-Student-Programme and the Student Hostels' Building Project - two pivotal initiatives during her tenure as Provost. She acknowledged the class’s previous support for indigent students through the scholarship programme and assured them that their contributions to the hostel construction would be utilized effectively. She made it clear that the Student Hostels' Building Project was under the management of the Alumni body, emphasizing its strategic placement for long-term sustainability. The project's management by the Alumni aims to ensure continued support for the improvement of student facilities.
In his remarks, the ICOMAA-WW President, Professor Emmanuel Oladipo Otolorin, expressed gratitude for the class's support and emphasized the crucial work that remains. He suggested leveraging connections from the visiting class to reach out to other prominent Nigerians who might also support the cause, encouraging them to utilize their networks and connections effectively.
The MBBS class OF 1979 then presented a cheque of N25million naira on behalf of their other class members to the Provost, in the company of the ICOMAA-WW President and other Management Team Members present.
The Executive Committee of the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan that received the class of ’79 included the Deputy Provost, Professor Fatai Adeniyi; the Secretary to the College, Mr. Emmanuel Odedele; Financial Controller, Mr. Samson O. Ayansina; the Dean of Faculty of Basic Medical Science, Professor Oyeronke Odunola; Dean of the Faculty of Clinical Sciences, Professor Temidayo Ogundiran, Dean of Public Health, Professor Godson Ana and Dean of Faculty of Basic Clinical Sciences, Professor Fatai Fehintola.
The courtesy visit ended with a vote of thanks delivered by the Secretary to the College, Mr. Odedele.