AN ADDRESS PRESENTED BY UDE, FRANCIS ARINZE (REV. FR.) THE MANAGER, LORETTO SPECIAL SCIENCE SCHOOL, ADAZI-NNUKWU ON THE INAUGURATION OF THE NEW ACADEMIC YEAR, THE INVESTITURE OF THE NEW STUDENTS AND THE AWARD GIVING DAY ON SUN 18TH NOVEMBER, 2018.
………….AND THE STRUGGLE FOR EXCELLENCE CONTINUES.
Today marks a memorable day in the academic life of the new students, the older students and also the out-gone students. For the new students, mark it, the school has armed you with the full accoutrements and arsenals of excellence. You are equipped to excel and there is no other option than to succeed. In Loretto, failure is not and shall never be an option; so you owe your parents the debt of justifying all the efforts they make to keep and sustain you here. To older students, we look up to this day as ‘a harvest of laurels’. It is a day for reward and awards. On such day, industry and excellence are not only announced but they are equally celebrated with pomp and pageantry. For the out-gone students, today, the 18th of November 2018 is a day of reckoning. Far from being a day of judgement, it is a moment of truth. Yes, on the pedestal of these tripartite events, we have gathered to welcome the new students and assure them of the fulfilment of their dreams, for the older students, ‘it’s never too late to start afresh’, and to the QUEEN OF THE PHENOMENAL SET, thanks for being worthy ambassadors of Loretto.
My lovely little ones, see this momentous phase as historic; a transition from a peasant to a royalty. Yes, you have graduated from your junior secondary school to this great citadel of learning, but you must have noticed that Loretto is a different ball game. Here in Loretto, the game is the same but; the rules of the game have been altered. There is no extra time, no half-time; we go the full length without rest. This is a moment of endowment, as the blue blood of the Loretto royalty is being infused into your veins, the moment to prove your royalty has just started. Shy not away from the task of conquering any obstacle on the way to success. I would wish you to adopt these nuggets as a rule of thumb:
In Loretto, only the best is good enough for the princesses; therefore strive for nothing but the best.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a step, says the Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu. My glorious princesses, in the past academic year, you have put in your best both in your academic life and other aspects of your formation here. You have laboured like one who has a target; while some of you targeted the stars, some had the outer space as their target. The die is now cast, this is the moment for a holistic evaluation, a time to appraise the actions you posited and the ones you left undone. To review the hours you put into good use by studying and the many golden opportunities you might have squandered.
Its worthy of note to observe that while so many of you showed great signs of improvement, majority still displayed superlative accomplishment. This is a welcome development and since we believe in a reward system that encourages and appreciates, we shall honour you not just because you are a princess but you also behave like one. Keep it up. To those who are yet to make an impression, I urge you princesses to lift up your head lest your crown will fall. Remember that a princess is destined to become a queen; therefore you have begun to write your own unparalleled story. Your ‘once upon a time’ is now.
THE HARVEST OF STARS
Essentially, we gathered to celebrate resounding success, to dole out great awards to great minds that once hallowed this moulder of queens. Better still, we shall witness a harvest of stars. I am a believer in these quadruplets: dreams, dreamers, dream chasers, dram achievers. Every great dream begins with a dreamer; and when there is a dreamer, there is a dream chaser and also the possibility of a dream achiever. These out-gone ambassadors of ours never slept because dream chasers are always awake, working hard, refusing to give up but will always achieve their dreams. They came, they saw and they have conquered. We shall present them as great minds of sterling qualities; we urge them to remain worthy ambassadors of Loretto.
THANKS YOU TEACHERS
There is the saying, “when the students are ready, the teacher will appear”. The first appreciation goes to Very Rev. Fr. Hilary Nwajagu for making Loretto, ‘primus inter pares’; yes we are the first amongst equals. May the good Lord lead you to achieve even greater exploits in Jesus name, Amen. We have a crop of erudite and dedicated staff; ever ready to go the extra mile to give the students the best. Even as we appreciate the students, we cannot lose sight of the fact that behind every success story is a tactful story writer, the teacher. They initiated the story-line, continued it and saw to its completion. Our teachers here have toiled and moiled; they have burned the midnight candle and have supported the students in all facets of their formation. They deserve our respect and ought to be celebrated too. Once more, thank you teachers, you are the best.