Former Vice Chancellor Prof. Freida Brown (center) and Chairman of the Board, Youth Development Fund Mr. Ronald Osumba (center-right) cut the ribbon officially opening the Freida Brown Student Center on Thursday, November 10.
They were flanked by Chancellor Dr. Manu Chandaria (right) and Chair of the Board of Trustees Mr. Linus Gitahi (right).

The brand-new Freida Brown Student Center was officially launched on Thursday, November 10 at a ceremony presided over by former Vice Chancellor Prof. Freida Brown and the Guest of Honor Mr. Ronald Osumba (Chairman of the Board, Youth Enterprise Development Fund.

The 77, 12 square feet of floor space is spread between three wings and four floors, and ultimately cost KES 735 million to build over an a period of twenty months. The building is also the new home of centralized student support services such as the Academic Counseling, Counseling Services, Placement and Career Services, Sports and Club activities, as well as the offices of the Student Affairs Council.

Furthermore, in addition to administrative offices for International Students, the University Registrar and the Alumni Association, are meeting places for various student organizations, and innovation spaces for student startups and a Business Continuity Center.

A new ultra-modern outfitted medical center as well as a fitness and wellness center, will now occupy three times as much space as their current locations. The medical center will for the first time have a laboratory, therapy room, larger pharmacy and more treatment rooms. The fitness center now has a dedicated cardio and strength training rooms as well as much larger gym with more than twice the equipment in the old gym.

Finally, a new top notch hotel and restaurant training facility unrivalled in East and Central Africa now gives graduates of the undergraduate program the tools to own and run a five-star hotel and restaurant business. With a dedicated demonstration kitchen/classroom, a professional fully-outfitted kitchen and an adjacent cafeteria, USIU-Africa now leapfrogs local regional training institutions, and joins a class of its own.

Following the ceremony, an Art for Change art exhibition was mounted on the Center’s third floor, where several students submitted their paintings for a silent auction. KES 160000 worth of successful bids were received, with a portion of the proceeds going towards the Freida Brown Scholarship Fund. Paintings will remain on display, and bids will remain welcome until Thursday, November 17.

The Fund will also benefit from contributions raised through a signature canvas that was mounted in the Center’s lobby.  Members of the USIU-Africa community paid KES 200 for the opportunity to immortalize a signature congratulatory message on the canvas. The opportunity to sign will also remain open until Thursday, November 17, after which the canvas will be permanently mounted on the lobby’s wall, as in commemoration of Center’s grand opening ceremony.

Chairman of the Board, Youth Development Fund Mr. Ronald Osumba (foreground) and the Chancellor Dr. Manu Chandaria append their signature messages on the commemorative signature canvas, during the opening ceremony of the Freida Brown Student Center on Thursday, November 10.

It is all smiles as Prof. Freida Brown (center), Mr. Ronald Osumba (second right), Prof. Paul Zeleza (right) and Dr. Manu Chandaria (second left) shake hands following the unveiling the plaque commemorating the opening of the Freida Brown Student Center on Thursday, November 10. Looking on gleefully is DVC-Student Affairs Mrs. Ritah Asunda (left).
Mr. Anthony Gitau  (Journalism Senior) explains his business model to the Chairman of the Youth Development Fund Board Mr. Ronald Osumba (second right), who then made a preliminary promise to loan Mr. Gitau the entire requested capital injection of KES 350, 000. Mr. Gitau’s one-year old wholesale and retail startup business was among those successful ventures incubated and showcased by the New Economy Venture Accelerator (NEVA) at the innovation space in the new Freida Brown Student Center, on Thursday, November 10.

Looking on is Chair of the Board of Trustees Mr. Linus Gitahi (right), Chair of the Alumni Association Ms. Dorothy Sagwe (center) and University Advancement Director Mr. James Ogolla (third left).