University of Calabar which was established in 1975, grew out of the Calabar campus of University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN). The University was one of the seven second generation Nigerian universities that were established at various locations in that year April 1975, by the Federal Military Government of Nigeria. They were established under the national higher education expansion programme of the third quinquennial national development Plan of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
However the university formerly received the legal backing for its establishment via Decree 80 of 28th September 1979.
The University of Calabar is located within the geo coordinates of 4.95280 N and 8.34000E in the East of ancient city of Calabar and situates between the Great Qua and Calabar Rivers. It occupies a 17 hectare site, with additional land acquired on both sides of the Great Qua river for the development of the University.
The people of Calabar are believed to have had contacts with western education as far back as the 15th Century when the Portuguese first landed on their shores. The famous King Eyamba of Calabar is reputed as first to make a formal request for Education when he wrote to Queen Victoria, through the Commander Raymond on December 4, 1842 requesting personnel to “teach book proper, and make all men saby God like white man and then we go for same fashion”. Calabar is also the home of the famous Scottish missionary Mary Slessor, whose passion and prayer ended the killing of twins. Her grave and effigies still attract visitors locally and globally. It is the home of the birth of football in Nigeria when it was first played in 1904 at the Hope Waddell Training Institute. Calabar also plays host to the first general hospital in Nigeria, the St. Margaret Hospital which was established in November 1897.
From its nucleus on the Duke Town Campus, the University has rapidly expanded into a busy academic community that is housed in a vast constellation of modern academic blocks, students' residential halls and staff quarters. We copiously appreciate our Alumnus Vice Chancellor, Professor Zana Akpagu whose passion for the transformation of the University, our Alma mater has contributed in massive infrastructural development and aggressive expansion of the academic contents of the University. The students’ population has risen from its initial 896 in 1976, to over 45,000.
Our great University has the mission of Producing high quality graduates and scholars in focal areas of learning with theoretical, practical and entrepreneurial skills for the world of work in a conducive environment through quality research and teaching.
It also has the vision to be a centre of excellence producing globally competitive graduates and contributing significantly to development through research.
Philosophically, the University is grounded in the pursuit for Knowledge for enlightenment, freedom and service to humanity.
Armed with the above mission and vision the University produced its first batch of graduates in 1980. Since then the University has graduated several generations of undergraduates and post graduate students who have been found worthy in learning and character from its various faculties which include; Agriculture, Arts, Education, Law, Management Sciences, Sciences, Social Sciences, Allied Medical Sciences, Basic Medical Sciences, Clinical Sciences, and the newly established Faculties such as Biological Sciences, Dentistry, Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Pharmacy and Oceanography. It also has, the Institute of Education, Institute of Oceanography and Institute of Policy and Administrative Studies with a highly organized Graduate School now rebranded as Post graduate School by the University Senate.
Having graduated a large army of Alumni since inception, it is therefore fitting that these great intellectuals be visible and connected with each other so as to harness her strength and resources in contributing to the development of our Alma mater.
It is for the purpose of effective coordination of all Alumni that our passion driven and first Alumnus Vice Chancellor, Prof. Zana Itiunbe Akpagu upgraded the Alumni affairs unit to a full Directorate of Alumni Affair. The Directorate is to headed by a professor who reports directly to the Vice Chancellor.
Since its upgrade, the Directorate has worked assiduously with great achievements including; Creation of a webpage, linked to the University website, with address as unical.edu.ng/alumni. A page for Alumni of the month-page which showcases a distinguished alumnus/alumnae every month with three Alumni so far showcased- Judge Chile Eboe Osuji of the international Criminal Court at the Hage, Prof Zana Itiunbe Akpagu, the first Alumnus Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Prof Hilary Inyang Inyang, a world class scientist and national Merit Award laureate and others. The directorate has developed a pledge- The University of Calabar Alumni pledge- for all graduates of the University of Calabar. This was first administered on the last convocation ceremony on all the graduates, including our Awardees which included, His Excelency General Abdul Salam Abubakar, Dr. Clement Ebri and Chief (Dr) C. I. Ilomuanya, pledging allegiance to the University with it.
The University of Calabar song has been re-recorded and produced and made available for Students. The Directorate has encouraged and stimulated the registration of the Alumni Association across the Country. Currently over 35 branches have been successfully registered and more are still interested in registering.
The directorate has instituted distinguished ambassadorial award series to encourage and stimulate our Alumni for greater impact and contributions.
Recipients of this distinguished award so far include;
1) Our Foremost Alumnus Vice Chancellor, Professor ZanaItiunbe Akpagu, as distinguished awardee number 1
2) Professor Hilary Inyang Inyang, our diaspora Ambassador based in the United States of America as distinguished awardee No. 2
3) Professor Emmanuel Eyo Ekanem, the first Full director of the Directorate and now Chief Medical Director of Ibom Specalist Hospital (ISH) Uyo Akwa Ibom State. Awardee Number 3
4) Professor Yakubu Aboki Ochefu, our incumbent National President and now the Executive secretary of the Committee of Vice Chancellors. Distinguished Awardee Number 4
5) Rt. Hon Bright Omokhodion our BOT Chairman. Distinguihed Awardee Number
6) Rt. Hon. Eteng Jones Williams, the incumbent Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly
Several others are on line.
The directorate is working hand in hand with the Senate committee on Endowment to reach out to our great Alumni for effective participation in the development of the University.
Updating of our Alumni directory is currently ongoing for a comprehensive compendium for effective access to members. The directory is to be classified based on areas of achievements and scholarship, such as; Alumnus Vice Chancellors/DVCs, Alumnus Governors, Registrars, Deputy registrars, Speakers, Professors, National Assembly members(Senate and House of Reps.), Members of State houses of Assembly, Captains of industries, and other categories of Notable Alumni.
The directorate is coordinating the hosting of the 4th quarterly meeting of the Conference of Alumni Associations of Nigerian Universities CAANU which has been scheduled to hold from 5th to 8th December, 2019.
I wish to use this opportunity to formerly inform all our Alumni that our proactive Vice Chancellor Prof. Zana Itiunbe Akpagu has approved an annual Unical Alumni week which was proposed by the Directorate of Alumni Affairs. This is to be organized yearly, preferably in the first week of March, just before the Annual Convocation Ceremony. The maiden Alumni week for this year is in advance stage of planning. We invite all Alumni to participate fully
I wish to sincerely appeal to all Alumni who have had issues and are still facing challenges with respect to transcripts to please bear with the University, your Alma mater (Mother) which gave birth to you academically. Our passionate Alumnus Vice Chancellor, Professor Zana Akpagu and the entire management staff are taking proactive steps to find a lasting solution to the transcripts delays and other bottlenecks associated with it. Solution is in sight very soon.
We are indeed proud to be products of this great University, which stands neath the broad expanse of Nigeria’s sky with a bright mission of upholding the banner of knowledge high. These find expressions in the production of high quality graduates and scholars in various professions who are contributing significantly to the development of knowledge, locally, nationally and in the international community. We therefore wish to invite you to visit our website at unical.edu.ng/alumni and be ready to give back to our great Alma mater which has laid the golden foundation in you for great exploits in your various professions.
Prof. Ernest–Bassey Etta Asikong