The University of Benin Alumni Association North America (UBAANA) is a recognized non-profit, non-political organization that strives to support the work and mission of the University of Benin (UNIBEN). They seek to build relationships among UNIBEN graduates, especially those who live and work in the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean.
To foster a progressive and dependable network among alumni and students of the University of Benin for the common benefit of all who share the experience of the great University of Benin; and to project the values, image, and recognition of the University of Benin as a leading center of excellence in academics, research, and character building.
The Tale of UBAANA’s Golden 12
In August 2005, some female Uniben alumni residing in the New York Metro area discussed the idea of holding a Uniben reunion. To do a test run, it was agreed upon to hold a “Ladies Only” informal gathering and decide how to proceed based on its success or lack thereof.
Immense efforts were made to contact every female alumnus in the States of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. On Saturday, October 15 2005, the chosen date for the gathering, only 12 alumni showed up (Tonia Ajao, Judith Giwa-Amu, Ngozi Abili, Toyin Enahoro, Yeta Eweka, Margaret Adubor, Bolanle Uduebo, Sarah Uzamere, Ngozi Ezeihuaku, Omozuwa Etokhana, Adesuwa Uzamere, and Stella Aduba).
In spite of the small number of attendees, the gathering was fun and uniquely refreshing, especially as the agenda included giving an account of one’s funniest or most memorable experience as a Uniben student. Everyone in attendance on that day agreed it would be worthwhile to hold a reunion of a larger scale, inviting both male and female alumni.
The 12 ladies took up the challenge to plan a formal reunion, with Tonia Ajao as the event coordinator. On June 3rd 2006, the “Inaugural Uniben Reunion for U.S.A and Canada” was held at Sheraton Hotel, Parsippany, New Jersey. The enthusiasm generated by the successful reunion drove the decision to form Uniben Alumni Association North America (UBAANA).
Since its founding in November 2006 as a branch of Uniben Alumni Association, UBAANA has achieved many strides and is registered in the United States of America as a non-profit organization. The 12 female alumni who played a pivotal role in UBAANA’s formation are now referred to as the “Golden 12”.