The Adventist University of Africa (AUA) officially opened and dedicated the Lindsay Thomas Jr., PhD, Multipurpose Complex on November 3, 2019.
Among government officials who attended was the cabinet secretary of the Ministry of Education in Kenya, George Magoha. The cabinet secretary read a speech on behalf of the president of the Republic of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta. Magoha commended the Seventh-day Adventist Church for being strong on education and health. A fact of note is that AUA trains students from across the entire African continent, with current student representation from 30 out of the 54 African countries.
Magoha emphasized the high quality and innovative programs at AUA that reach the highest standard of excellence in education as well as practical relevance. He urged the university to enhance its diversity in programs so as to avoid duplication of programs with other universities.
AUA chancellor Blasious Ruguri and vice-chancellor Delbert Baker extended their appreciation to the generous donors from Africa, the United States, and around the world, who gave of their means and resources to make the complex a reality.
Among the donors to the complex was Evelyan Thomas, widow of Lindsay Thomas Jr., for whom the new complex is named. She was represented at the event by Earl Adouis and Giles McGill. Other donors mentioned were Simeon Nyachae from Kenya, Adedeji Adeleke of Nigeria, the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, the East-Central Africa Division, Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division, West-Central Africa Division, and AUA Strategic Development Partners (SDP), among others.
Other dignitaries present during the event were Guillermo Biaggi, general vice president of the General Conference, Ray Wahlen, undertreasurer of the General Conference, Kajiado County governor Joseph Ole Lenku, and leaders from across the East-Central Africa Division.
As part of the celebration, an inaugural concert featuring musician Wintley Phipps took place inside the complex. The 1,200-seat auditorium was filled to capacity. “Outstanding!” an attendee commented. “I was truly blessed. We should have more of these in this magnificent facility.”
Besides the 1,200-seat auditorium, the new complex contains eight technologically up-to-date classrooms with break-out capacity for groups; an indoor and outdoor amphitheatre; social veranda terraces with views of the surrounding hills and environs; administrative offices; a spacious cafeteria, and more.
The multipurpose building is also intended to enhance the academic scholarship and research of both faculty and students, leaders say. Undergirding the external construction is a comprehensive Information and Communication Technology (ICT) fiber-optic system that supports learning through online education, video conferencing, and web-based education on campus and at partner institutions.
The building has the capacity to meet the needs of AUA and the Advent Hill community, in which the East-Central Africa Division (ECD) offices are located, both now and into the future, leaders explained. In addition, the building provides facilities that organizations can use for large meetings.
The Lindsay Thomas, Jr., PhD Multipurpose Complex ground-breaking took place on November 23, 2016.