It is with deep gratitude and pleasure that I write to thank the entire university community for what was a successful inauguration ceremony yesterday. It was a powerful demonstration of our standing as a premier institution of academic excellence with a global perspective.

The participation of faculty, staff, and students in the ceremony through their attendance and presentations by their respective Council chairs was truly impressive. Thank you for turning out in such large numbers. It was a testimony of our strength as a community that has achieved much and will continue to excel through its cohesion and collaboration. I felt immensely proud to be a member of this wonderful community.

I would like to extend special thanks to the VC Transition Committee led by the DVC for Academic Affairs, Ambassador Professor Ruthie Rono, who planned the ceremony and other events related to the inauguration, as well as the entire transition process from the outgoing VC to the incoming VC. I am also grateful to the University Legal Counsel/Company Secretary, Ms. Helen Ambasa, who played a particularly indispensable role from the VC search process, the transition from an independent governing Board to a two-tier governance structure and the inauguration.

The other members of the Management Board and staff in their respective divisions played critical roles in the planning of the inauguration events. To them and their staff, I extend my heartfelt appreciation.

Please allow me to single out staff in the Operations Division who take care of our campus, for turning our already gorgeous and immaculately manicured grounds into an aesthetic wonder of beauty.

I was also delighted to see the active participation of our alumni as represented by the Alumni Association. In her speech the chair of the association, Ms. Dorothy Sagwe-Onyoni, underscored the enduring commitment of the alumni to their beloved alma mater.

The inauguration ceremony was graced by the attendance of the special guest, the Cabinet Secretary for Education, Science and Technology, Dr. Fred Matiang'i, the Chief Justice and President of the Supreme Court, Dr. Willy Mutunga, Chancellors and Vice Chancellors from various universities, ambassadors, and other distinguished guests. On behalf of USIU-Africa, I extend our sincerest thanks to our invited guests who took time from their busy schedules to share this special moment with us.

On a more personal note, I would like to thank my predecessor, Professor Freida Brown, for traveling back from St. Louis to attend the ceremony. Her gracious speech was an inspiring reminder of the many struggles she led and successes she achieved to make USIU-Africa the renowned institution it is today.

The transition process was broadly guided by the Board of Trustees. I cannot thank the previous members of the Board, and the new Board of Trustees and University Council, enough for their support and commitment to a smooth and dignified transition befitting our great university. Their participation in the inauguration events including the installation ceremony, led by the Chancellor, Dr. Manu Chandaria, Chair of the Board, Mr. Linus Gitahi, and the Chair of the Council, Dr. Lola Odubekun, was gratifying indeed.

Let me take this opportunity to thank staff, faculty, students, the Board and Council, alumni, and our many institutional friends and supporters for the warm welcome and robust engagements I've had with them over the past three months. While my 90 Days of Listening have come to an end, my days of listening and working closely with all our institutional constituencies will actually intensify as we continue on our great journey of building a world class university. I'll be sharing a report of my 90 days of listening in due course.

Once again, thank you all for the most memorable day of my professional life, and one of the milestones in the history of USIU-Africa.

Prof. Paul Tiyambe Zeleza
Vice Chancellor