University of Ghana Alumni in UK Hold Fundraising Gala, Launch Alumni Fund

The United Kingdom chapter of the University of Ghana Alumni Association (UGAA-UK) has held a fundraising Gala in support of the 75th anniversary celebrations of the University. The elaborate event which drew former UG students from all across the UK was also used to launch an Alumni Fund which will provide extended support for several other projects at the university.

This is in furtherance of the association’s goal of deepening the relationship between the university and its former students within the United Kingdom. Apart from providing an opportunity for alumni to network and reconnect with each other, the well-attended event held at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Heathrow in West London saw the UGAA-UK members participating in raffles and auctions on the night.

With an initial target of £35,000, proceeds from the night’s activities will be channeled back into supporting a range of initiatives for the 75th anniversary celebrations of the university, while progressively expanding to aid for scholarships, bursaries, research projects and other infrastructural developments.

President of UGAA-UK Margaret Legend said, “we had a meeting with the Vice Chancellor in March 2023 as part of the 75th anniversary celebrations and decided not to be left out.  Indeed, we appreciate the impact of the University of Ghana in our lives, and setting up this fund to support our alma mater is only one of the ways we can pay it forward,” she added.

Delivering her keynote address, Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University of London (in charge of Finance and Operations) and member of the UG Class of ‘89, Rita Akushie, recounted how her experiences at the University of Ghana contributed to building the unique qualities she exudes, being the only black woman in several of the top level boards she has served on.

Member of the UG Class of ‘89, Rita Akushie

According to her, “every now and then, I do or say something profound and get asked, ‘which university did you go to?’ Many times, the expectation is that I mention one of these other top schools. But I always smile and proudly say, ‘I went to the University of Ghana’.”

The gala follows an initial £3000 donated to the university in support of the Vice Chancellor’s Digitalization agenda. This initiative aims to modernise lecture halls to allow the delivery of inclusive learning spaces that utilise technology; provide free laptops for needy students and affordable laptops with flexible payment plans for non-needy students, faculty, and staff; and construct designated areas equipped with Wi-Fi and other digital technologies around the University campus to allow students to sit/unwind/debate in between classes to make the best use of their free periods.

As part of the 75th anniversary celebration launched in August 2022, the University of Ghana has lined up a series of projects and programmes with the aim of enriching the student experience on campus, drawing back alumni and other stakeholders to interface with the university and ultimately deepening its contribution to development at the national, continental and global levels.

Highlighting the activities over the past year, Vice-Chancellor Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo said, “we have had a series of lectures on topical issues of national concern covering the energy sector, the nation Ghana, our economy and recently, through collaboration with Harvard University Centre for African Studies, a lecture on public health in Africa.” She added that the university intends to construct a Student Experience Centre, a one-stop location for all student needs as the UG@75 legacy project.

Vice-Chancellor Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo interacting with Alumni via online

According to Director of the Office of Institutional Advancement (OIA) the university, Prof. Kwasi Dartey-Baah, “UG is currently raising funds towards this legacy project and the efforts by the UK alumni chapter is a major example for others elsewhere to follow.” He continued to say, “we have recently set up a chapter of the association in Liberia with the aim of spreading across Africa and the rest of the world based on our data of where our former students currently are. So, this is only the beginning.”

Director, Office of Institutional Advancement, Prof. Kwasi Dartey-Baah

The Vice-Chancellor expressed gratitude to UGAA-UK and assured of management’s commitment to “improving the teaching, research and learning environment [of the university] to a comparable state as world-class universities globally.”

She further stressed that “our combined efforts and kind donations will provide the resources required to speed up the attainment of an improved, holistic, and technology-driven experience for students, staff and faculty on campus.”