Outgoing United States International University (USIU) Vice Chancellor Professor Paul Tiyambe Zeleza has made a donation of personal gifts valued at Ksh100 million (US$1 million) to his former students.
The professor donated the valuables he had collected in various continents over a period of 40 years during a ceremony at the institution on Tuesday, August 17.
The gifts comprised of Prof. Zeleza’s personal academic library featuring books, transcripts, research papers, journals, and conference reports.
Speaking at a handover ceremony graced by Former Chief Justice Dr Willy Mutunga among other dignitaries, Prof. Zeleza described his tenure at USIU-Africa as an unforgettable experience.
“Donating these books to USIU-Africa represents my dedication to enhancing the university’s learning and research capacities. More broadly, it reflects my lifelong passion for promoting African knowledge production and cultivating the culture of philanthropy in African universities.
“I trust that the Professor Paul Zeleza collection will be well taken care of and benefit generations of faculty and students and researchers from across Africa. I have collected a valuable library that will help advance academic delivery in African, Diaspora, Development, Gender, Environmental, Cultural and Globalization studies. The library also holds books on economic history, intellectual history, creative works, and science and technology, areas I’ve immersed myself in and that the collection covers," stated Zeleza.
The Universities current include 204,804 print books, 48,751 print periodicals, over 100,000 online journals, over 200,000 electronic books, 16,348 non-print media and 47 electronic databases.
Zeleza's gift includes 10,000 textbooks that are set to boost the university's collection. He made the collection through his experience teaching in universities in the Caribbean, Kenya, Canada, and the United States
Mutunga praised the outgoing VC for his role in cultivating knowledge production and leaving an indelible mark.
“The books donated here today are a representation of Prof Zeleza’s lifelong passion for promoting African knowledge production and cultivating the culture of philanthropy in African universities.
"The pride of any university lies in its ability to engage in cutting edge research and USIU-Africa has remained committed to this cause in its years of operation. Through the donation of his personal library, Prof Zeleza has demonstrated his dedication to the enhancement of the University’s learning and research capacities,” stated Mutunga.
Zeleza's scholarly work has crossed traditional boundaries, ranging from economic and intellectual history to human rights, gender studies and diaspora studies.
He has published more than 300 journal articles, book chapters, reviews, short stories and online essays and authored or edited 27 books, several of which have won international awards.
He has also worked as a consultant with various philanthropic foundations and UN agencies.