Fact Check: Did University of Arizona Denounce Graduation Presided Over by Ruto?

President William Ruto awarding graduates of University of Arizona on December 9, 2023
President William Ruto awarding graduates of the University of Arizona on December 9, 2023

For the better part of Sunday, a press release allegedly drafted by the University of Arizona disowning a graduation ceremony presided over by President William Ruto was the talk of the town, triggering hot debate among Kenyans.

The letter, distanced the institution from the graduation, denying a partnership between itself and the Kenyan government.

It further called out the Head of State and asked him to concentrate on the needs of Kenyans like putting in place a fair taxation regime.

President William Ruto arriving in Tanzania for an official visit on October 22, 2022.
President William Ruto arriving in Tanzania for an official visit on October 22, 2022.

"We wish to emphasize our unequivocal disassociation from this fraudulent claim and underscore that these individuals did not pursue their studies at our esteemed institution," read part of the letter.

The letter further called upon the Head of State to reduce his international travels amid criticism directed at the president by Kenyans over his frequent travels.

This comes a day after Ruto presided over the graduation of Kenyans who allegedly benefitted from free courses announced by Ruto during the Jamhuri celebrations in 2022. The scholarships have been at the centre of controversy with Kenyans questioning whether they are authentic.

However, Kenyans were quick to point out that the letter was fake due to the language and demands issued. A section believed that the letter was drafted by someone dissatisfied with the current regime.

Kenyans.co.ke, conducted a Google reverse search to ascertain the letter's origin but no similar documents popped up.

The spot check also confirmed that the letter was fake and Arizona University had not shared any such communication on its official channels.

Additionally, Arizona University, on its website categorically specifies that all its communications follow a style guide. The university's communication team uses the Calibri font for all its dispatches, with all texts being size 10.

The fake letter in question used the Calibri (body) font, size 11.

Further, the university's style guide dictates that all communications should contain specific details such as; the date of the letter, recipient's name, title, company, and company address.

All of these requirements were conspicuously missing in the viral letter.

The University of Arizona's template also bears the fax and the office number, both situated on the right alongside other contact details. 

Meanwhile, the institution's logo is positioned on the left.

However, in the 'fake' later, the address details were positioned on the left side while the logo was placed at the centre.

Another discrepancy between the letters is the line spacing. The institution's style guide dictates that the line spacing for such documents should be 1.5 but the viral document had multiple line spacing.

The institution and the government were yet to comment on the letter by the time of publishing this article.

An aerial view of University of Arizona
An aerial view of the University of Arizona in the US
University of Arizona