President Jomo Kenyatta was installed on Thursday (10 December) as Chancellor of the new University of Nairobi.
President Jomo Kenyatta was installed on Thursday (10 December) as Chancellor of the new University of Nairobi. In his inaugural address he said the new institution should gear itself to the needs of Kenyan nation-building.
Also present at the ceremony were the Ugandan President Milton Obote, Miss Margaret Kenyatta, Mayor of Nairobi, distinguished academics from all over the world, and the students who received the University's first degrees.
The ceremony began with a colourful procession of the leading members of the University and the new Chancellor to the dais under awnings put up against the hot sun for the open-air ceremony.
After the inauguration President Kenyatta was formally installed as first Chancellor, and presented with the degree of Doctor of Laws.
The first fore-runner of the University of Nairobi was the Royal Technical College of East Africa, created twenty years ago to provide some higher education for what was then a colonial territory. In 1954 that institution merged with the Gandhi Memorial Academy, and the Royal College was formed on a much broader basis.
Seven years later, this college entered into a special relationship with the University of London, and the first students at University level were admitted in October 1961.
President Kenyatta in his speech thanked the Universities of London and of East Africa for having "served as academic midwives" for the birth of the new University of Nairobi.