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Convocation of Haile Selassie I University

 

.....Leadership developed here should be guided by the fundamental values and moral power which have for centuries constituted the essence of our religious teachings.....Discipline of the mind is a basic ingredient of genuine morality and therefore of spiritual strength. Indeed, a university, taken in all its aspects, is essentially a spiritual enterprise which, along with the knowledge and training it imparts, leads students into more wise living and a greater sensitivity to life's responsibilities..... This is a most historic occasion for InI, and for the entire Ithiopian people.

   Today, the first convocation of this University, affords InI first opportunity, as Chancellor, to address the Governors, the Faculty, and the students as a single group. InI welcome and greet you all on this occasion. You who have in the past, either as teachers or students, been united in spirit although members of diverse educational institutions, are now truly united in this University. InI welcome the members of the Board of Governors, who will direct the policy of the University. InI welcome the Administrators, who will provide the framework within which teacher and student alike will work. InI welcome you, the professors, the instructors, the lecturers, to whom has been confided the task of leading our youth to higher levels of knowledge and learning. InI welcome the students, InI own and those from other lands, who will study here and from among whom will come future leaders. InI may pause briefly now to enquire why this University is being established, what goals it is seeking to achieve, what results InI may expect of it and what contributions it can reasonably be expected to make.

   A fundamental objective of the University must be the safeguarding and the developing of the culture of the people which it serves. This University is a product of that culture; it is the grouping together of those capable of overstanding and using the accumulated heritage of the Ithiopian people. In this University men and women will, working in association with one another, study the well-springs of InI culture, trace its development, and mould its future. That which enables InI today to open a university of such a standard is the wealth of literature and learning now extinct elsewhere in the world which through hard work and perseverance InI forefathers have preserved for InI. On this occasion InI would like to remember with gratitude these fathers of great learning among whom InI quote a few names such as Yared, Abba Giorgis of Gasicha, Absadi of Insaro, Wolde-Ab Wolde Mikael, Arat Ayina Goshu, Memihir Akala Wold and Aleka Gabra Medihin. Music, drama and other forms of art are rooted in the ancient history of InI Empire, and their development to an even higher peak of perfection will be possible in the atmosphere of a university.

   Ithiopia is possessed of an ancient literature, and its study can be fostered here so that the Ithiopian youth, inspired by this national example, may raise it to yet higher levels of excellence. The study of the heroic history of InI Empire will stimulate the imagination of budding authors and teachers. The overstanding of that philosophy of life which is the basis of InI traditional customs will lead InI all to a better overstanding of InI nation and of InI nation's expression through the arts.

 

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