22nd September, 2011
In Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps, the National Peace Corps Association will honor one of its own â€œgraduates,â€ Atiku Abubakar.
Mr. Abubakar has served not only as Nigeriaâ€™s Vice President, but is also the founder of The American University of Nigeria, the only American-style University south of the Sahara.
As a young boy, Mr. Abubakar was taught by American Peace Corps teachers. He had never responded well to rote memorization, the hallmark of education in Nigeria at the time. When the Peace Corps teachers encouraged his independent thinking, it changed his life.
Years later, successful in business and politics, he wanted to provide to others the education he had received.
Six years ago he opened the doors of The American University of Nigeria. It now enrolls 1200 students on a totally wireless campusâ€”the largest single user of Google in all of Nigeriaâ€”and has graduated its first three classes. Its Board includes Archbishop Tutu, the EU Ambassador to Nigeria, a former head of the National Science Foundation and prominent Nigerian and American academics and business leaders. It is providing an alternative model to often troubled higher education systems in West Africa.
Hosted by journalist Bill Moyers, first Deputy Director of the Peace Corps, His Excellency Atiku Abubukar will participate in a discussion panel of Peace Corps alumni, including the President of Rwanda and former President of Peru. The celebration will focus on â€œThe Future of the Peace Corpsâ€ at the National Theater in Washington, D.C. on September 24.