Faculty and Staff Visit First Vice-Chancellor
A cross section of Daystar University Faculty and staff led by the Ag. Vice-Chancellor Prof. James Kombo visited the first Vice-Chancellor of Daystar University Prof. Stephen Talitwala on Friday February 8, 2019, at his Syokimau home. The team was received by the now retired Prof. Talitwala, his wife Dr. Mutheu Talitwala, and last born daughter Kyesubire Greigg.
The team consisted of staff who worked in Daystar during the Talitwala tenure among them, Prof. James Kombo, Dr. Paul Mbutu, Mrs. Phyllis Mutua, Mr. Samuel Mbithi, Mrs. Damaris Kimilu, Mr. Harrison Njuguna, Mrs. Coretta Ndunda, Mrs. Margaret Munene, Dr. Dorothy Kagwaini, Mr. Hudson Musera, Mrs. Caroline Kimaru, Dr. Jane Awiti, Mr. James Ouma, Mr.Mudi Busiega, Ms. Jean Murungi and Mr.Njuno Muthike. The University Chaplaincy was represented by Pastor Rachael Ngugi.
The reunion was very nostalgic as people recounted beautiful memories of Daystar University, when Professor was the Vice-Chancellor. Then, the institution was very small and people lived as a family with deep concern for each other. Prof. James Kombo assured Prof.Talitwala that Daystar had grown in many dimensions including infrastructure, academic programmes, student enrolment, faculty and staff, among others.
He thanked Professor Talitwala for creating an environment that enabled the University to grow; and his wife for mobilizing an intercessory prayer movement that bore the University in its offtake years. Prof. Kombo assured the Talitwalas that the Daystar community was still committed to prayer.
Members of faculty and staff had many good things to say about Prof. Talitwala’s leadership as they walked down the memory lane, including a common joke by the Daystar community back then that “When Prof. looked down a building came up.”
The University Registrar Dr. Paul Mbutu credited Professor for constructing most of the buildings on the Athi River campus through his fundraising efforts. “Daystar is standing because of the philosophy of servant leadership and work ethic embedded in the scripture that you started,” he said.
“What stood out about Prof.Talitwala was his commitment to God. Similarly, Daystar stood because of Mama Talitwala’s spiritual support through her intercessory ministry” said Chief Accountant, CPA Samuel Mbithi of the Finance Department. He remembered how he accompanied Professor on the walk from Kampala to Nairobi to raise funds for the construction of Chapel on the Hill, and implored the current Daystar administration to ensure that the Chapel is constructed.
Your commitment to the Lord made a lot of difference to Daystar University,” said Margaret Munene of Continuing Education.
“Professor taught me how to love and serve God,” said Caroline Kimaru –then Professor’s Personal Assistant and now DUPA Secretariat.
In her humorous way, Dr. Jane Awiti said, “I pray to God that one day, when we go to heaven we will find a street named, ‘Talitwala street’.
On her part, Mrs. Coretta Ndunda recounted how she chose to join Daystar because of it’s Christian values and the love and unity that existed among the community members. She remembered how the Daystar community contributed and covered all funeral expenses when she once was bereaved.
The Corporate Affairs Manager Mrs. Damaris Kimilu recalled how Prof. Talitwala commissioned the crafting of the Vision and Mission. During a retreat at Athi River campus, she reminisced, Prof. Talitwala sent members of management and senior administrators into groups with clear instructions to come up with a Vision and Mission that could not be easily changed. He had just concluded a morning devotion saying: “Then there came a king in Egypt who did not know about Joseph.” Mrs. Kimilu thanked the team for making the time, and the Liaison Officer Mrs. Coretta Ndunda for organizing the visit.
With many other words, those who visited were in agreement that Prof. Talitwala’s contribution in the formative years of Daystar was undeniable.
In her appreciation of the staff visit, Dr. Mutheu Talitwala recounted the sacrifices the family made for the welfare of the institution. It was shocking for many to learn that Prof. Talitwala never drew a salary from the University in his 25-year tenure. “He was employed as a missionary and chose to remain thus,” she revealed. However, she told of the faithfulness of God to the family and Daystar as they walked by faith.
Dr. Talitwala welcomed more visits by the Daystar community.