Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett Packard was the guest of honor at the Convocation celebration of the new school year, giving a special speech to students, staff and faculty. Ms Fiorina and her husband, among ALA’s earliest supporters, spent two days with the students, participating in classes and activities.
Mrs Fiorina spoke about the need for mentorship, perseverance and always being open to possibilities, even ones of which you might not be aware. Joining her in welcoming the new year were US Ambassador to South Africa Donald Gips and Nigerian Senator Fred A Brume.
Mrs Fiorina shared her wisdom with both the returning class and the first year students, 86 young leaders from 23 African nations. Chosen from the largest pool of applicants yet, 2959 from 43 African nations, the incoming class represents a new level of diversity and growth for ALA. Among the students this year are, for the first time, students from Madagascar and Mauritius.
Mrs Fiorina and her husband, Frank, closed the day’s festivities with the dedication of a wing of the residential hall as Fiorina Hall. The convocation of the school year will officially close Friday, September 23, when the second year students extend their welcome to the new class, complete with a concert by South African legend Vusi Mahlasela.
ALA was saddened by the sudden and unexpected passing of Senator Fred A Brume. The Senator passed away a few days after he and his wife participated in the Convocation of the 2011 school year. In his speech to the Academy, the Senator spoke of Africa’s need for peaceful democratic governance in Africa and the need to addresss issues such as educational reform, re-thinking of industrial, transportation and comunications infrastructures and agricultural reform. Our condolences to his family.