On the 11th of July, the International University of East Africa and Virginia Union University (VUU) ecstatically embraced each other with open arms to discuss African and African-American perspectives. Courtesy of IUEA’s partners and stellar reputation, three delegates from Virginia Union University graced the halls of IUEA. Dr. Mark H. James, the Dean Associate of Students Development Success at Virginia Union University was accompanied by a couple of remarkable young minds. With an agenda founded on aligning African and African American perspectives, the meeting birthed the promise of inter-university collaboration.
What is Virginia Union University
Virginia Union University is a historically black university located in Richmond Virginia with roots dating back to the end of the American Civil War. Founded in 1865 by the American Baptist Home Mission Society (ABHMS), the university is just as concerned with the moral integrity of its students as it is with their intellectual growth. It was founded on the principles of innovation, spiritual formation, integrity, inclusion and excellence. True to Virginia Union University’s principle of inclusivity of thought, the institution convened with IUEA to exchange ideas with reputable African scholars.
Why VUU chose IUEA to Champion the African Perspective?
The virtuous and prestigious Virginia Union University chose IUEA as the ideal partner with whom to share perspectives. There are plenty of exemplary institutions the acclaimed varsity could have chosen thus some might question the decision to select IUEA. The myriad of reasons why Virginia Union University considers IUEA the quintessential partner with whom to foster a collaborative exchange include;
- The diverse student body makes it a microcosm of African and global perspectives. As a university with tribes from all over Uganda, nationalities from all over Africa and races from all over the globe, IUEA is particularly renowned for its diversity
- The tradition of harbouring and nurturing various schools of thought. This is crucial as it creates a conducive environment in which to amalgamate differing perspectives.
- The innovative and creative culture IUEA promotes. This further affirms IUEA as the ideal partner with whom to bounce around ideas.
- Having an identical catalogue of courses. This is important as it explains why IUEA is the archetypal comparative institution. It also enables greater synergy as students of the same course can better build on each others’ ideas and perspectives.
What did IUEA and Virginia Union University discuss?
The event entailed representatives from both institutions sharing ideas as scholars from different parts of the world. Each representative raised a multitude of scintillating points that highlighted the universities’ innovations and technological achievements. The substance and depth encapsulated in each point raised by faculty and students alike was a testament to the scholastic excellence of both IUEA and VUU. The conversation also highlighted the differences and similarities shared by the vastly distant varsities and nurtured a mutual bond of respect and kinship. The session was such an unmitigated success that it was mutually agreed upon that it warranted future collaboration.
What was the way forward?
The event concluded with the promise of future collaborations between IUEA and Virginia Union University. The epiphanies generated during the discussions laid a firm and fertile foundation on which innovations can sprout. However, as the event drew close, the need for an interuniversity forum was irrefutable. Thus both IUEA and Virginia Union University explored possible future collaboration opportunities. One such opportunity is a mentorship program between Virginia Union University and IUEA students through which over the course of 30, 60 and even 90 days, students from one institution can witness the cultural and academic experience of another with the aim of building bridges between African and African-American perspectives.