UCU’s Bishop Barham University College holds first in-person graduation since Covid

The following pictorial, captured for Uganda Partners by Irene Best Nyapendi, shows some scenes  from a graduation at Uganda Christian University’s (UCU) affiliate, Bishop Barham University College (BBUC), Kabale, in early December.  This was the first in-person graduation ceremony at the Kabale location since Uganda’s Covid lockdown.

Best Student
Best Student – It is often said that after the doctors have treated a patient, they leave the healing to God. As a clinical officer, Erasmus Nzabandora, the Overall Best Student at a Dec. 2 UCU graduation, is fully aware that God works through medical personnel. In fact, because he is aware that the healing comes from God, Nzabandora says not every sick person needs medicine. “Some just need prayers,” he says. To be able to provide both the medical and spiritual treatment, Nzabandora enrolled for the Bachelor of Divinity course at UCU’s Bishop Barham University College (BBUC). The father of four graduated with a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 4.59 of 5.0. 

“UCU’s cutting edge innovation with online studies, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, helped me a lot and contributed to my success,” Nzabandora said, noting that his course was sponsored by the Office of the Bishop of Muhabura, his home diocese in southwestern Uganda. He said that he was inspired by the holy spirit to pursue the course since “medicine and spiritual matters go hand in hand.”

“I had to deny myself sleep, work during the day and do my course work and assignments at night,” said Nzabandora, whose First-Class degree has inspired him to work now for a postgraduate degree.

Here, Nzabandora receives his Best Student award from Vice Chancellor Assoc. Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi.

Best Female Student
Best Female Student – UCU Vice Chancellor Assoc. Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi is shown handing over a First Class award to Babirye Loy, the BBUC best female student with a 4.55 of 5.0 GPA and one of 106 female graduates on Dec. 2. Babirye, who earned a Bachelor of Science in Oil and Gas Management, attributes her achievement to prayer, self-sacrifice and group discussions. She was among the few graduates from her UCU Kampala campus and the UCU Arua Campus who received degrees at Kabale because they missed out at the October 28, 2022, graduation held at the university main campus in Mukono.

“My mother wasn’t able to raise my tuition because she is a peasant,” Babirye said, citing the affordability of data for on-line studies as among her hardships. “Luckily, when I applied for a government students’ loan, I was successful.”

Graduation Chief Guest
Graduation Chief Guest – The Chief Guest, Dr. Brian Rushaju (left), and Principal, Dr. Alice Jossy Kyobutungi, are shown at the Dec. 2 ceremony. 

Dr. Rushaju, a public health dentist, urged the graduands to remember that they are children of God and that therefore, they are required to serve in a God-loving manner. “Knowing who you are will help you understand your purpose in life, which will help you stay focused,” he said.

BBUC Principal Dr. Alice Jossy Kyobutungi said holding the college’s own graduation ceremonies helps with marketing, including visibility for facility needs.  The college, which started as a Divinity College in 1924, has been operating from lecture rooms, many in need of repair, for its 98 years of existence, she  said.

Some Graduates
Some Graduates – Shown here are some of UCU’s 270 graduates after receiving degrees at BBUC in Kabale on December 2. UCU Vice Chancellor Assoc. Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi informed the graduates that the marketplace is looking for young people not only with knowledge and hands-on skills, but who are  disciplined, confident and with a positive attitude towards work. “God created you to fulfill a special purpose,” he said. “So, as you go out, know that you are representing God; go forth and shine in the marketplace.”