Twenty-three years ago, an experiment was conceived to test whether a new generation of Nigerians could be rid of the tribalism, classism and other schisms that had come to dominate life and living in the country. Like original sin, these divisions had permeated the fabric of our consciousness among the old and among the young. The boldness of this experiment lay in attempting to remold the intellectual and moral paradigms of children in their formative years, and to equip them with the courage to revive our ailing society. And so, the country’s brightest minds were convened in a secluded village in the center of the country to undergo this transformation. We were immersed in a language that was foreign to the majority of us, instructed by teachers from across Nigeria, and challenged by classmates whose origins spanned the country’s diverse ethnic groups. In our daily life on campus, it was difficult to distinguish rich from poor, Christian from Muslim, or Westerner from Easterner. The sea of unity bound us all together. We strove collectively, and we achieved feats together.
In 2019, the results of this experiment are glaring for all to see. The name Loyola Jesuit College has garnered a resounding renowned name within Nigeria and beyond its shores for excellence in scholarship, decorum, and creativity. From the pioneer class to the most recent graduates, we have maintained a stellar reputation for being innovators in the sundry fields of endeavor that we pursue. Most importantly, we continue to respond to our calling to be men and women acting in service of God and others in all we do.
The experiment started twenty-three years ago is no longer an experiment. It is a model to be sustained and replicated around the country. It is a beacon of light for education in Nigeria and a breeding ground for the hope this country needs. To make this possible, the Loyola Jesuit College Endowment Fund was realized. The fund aims to maintain and improve the stellar quality of education in this college, replicate this amazing model in strategic areas of the country, participate in education intervention activities in areas of the country without access to quality education amongst many other functions.
The mission of LJC has never been more critical to the survival of our nation. We are living in trying times that threaten our cohesion as a single unit. More than ever, a crop of exemplary and competent Nigerians whose minds have been nurtured to place others before themselves is needed across the country. We must take up the charge to continue the experiment that LJC has continued so successfully. We must be the catalysts in the reaction to transform our national spirit and realize this nation’s immense potential. We, the alumni of this great school, implore you to take up this cause with us, and together we will yield a dignifying Nigeria for ourselves, our children, and many generations to come.
by Chiemezie Ucheaga (President Elect – L.J.C. Alumni)