Almost 10 years ago, on 31st March 2005, a partnership was formed between Strathmore University and IESE Business School. The product of that partnership was an institution that operated from a small room in the university’s library. The only evidence of its existence were a single windblown banner and the smiling faces of the men and women who, believing in its destiny, ran after that flimsy banner whenever the wind took it.
That institution was Strathmore Business School (SBS).
Yesterday, Thursday 26th of March, the first in a series of events to mark the tenth year of its founding was held in the auditorium of its current campus, which was the first green business school building in Africa. In attendance were staff members from every epoch of the business school’s ten-year history. The founding pioneers, visibly moved by the result of ten years of hard work, mingled with the youngest novitiates, who are still learning of the sacrifices which have made the business school what it is today, and everybody in between.
Commenting on the founding principles and values of the business school, the dean, Dr George Njenga, said, “We came to be of service to society, to remove the often pathological idea that the value of people is measured in the things they have. We came to tell society that, as St Josemaria, the inspiration behind this institution, said, work done well becomes a prayer and thanksgiving to God, expressed, not in words, but in deeds. We measure our success by the number of lives we touch.”
Dr Chris Ogbechie, a visiting faculty member from Nigeria’s Lagos Business School, a key partner of Strathmore Business School, delivered the keynote address on the theme ‘Moving against the Tide,’ exploring the meaning the name Strathmore has gained over the years. “Starting from the strong Launchpad of ethical values, quality education and personal development, Strathmore has come to embody one of the strongest brands in Kenya and Africa,” he said.
He further made an analysis of the attributes of Strathmore, delving into what dealing with Strathmore says about a person, what parents of Strathmore students think, and how the students view the school. All these, he concluded, add to the pedigree of 54 years on which the ten-year old business school has proved itself worthy to ride. He concluded by emphasising the need to communicate the good things that have happened over the ten years with other people.
The afternoon event saw Ellen Soriano recall the baby steps of the institution and Evelynne Mutura sing a song which left the audience on the edge of tears. Both ladies were among the founding staff members of the business school. The event went on into the evening, with a cocktail.
More events are lined up for the entire year to celebrate the tenth-year milestone. The next two are the Media Briefing on 31st March, and the Alumni Ball, on 11th April.