In His Own Words: Alumni Speaker Uchenna Emelonye
CEU alumnus Uchenna Emelonye (LEGS ’04) has had a distinguished career with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, where he currently serves as the Country Representative for Uganda. He’s also represented CEU well, earning the Alumni Impact Award last year and taking the dais as Alumni Speaker during this year’s graduation ceremony, on June 23.
We asked Uchenna his thoughts on the value of CEU, the power of its community and what he misses most.
As alumni speaker, what do you think graduates must know?
The best tool outside the university is attitude, not aptitude. Statistically, innovators and leaders are not always the best in class. Something accounts for this, which I call ‘attitude.’
As a graduate, what do you feel is the value of CEU?
It's life changing and transformational. All graduates have gotten the skill and perseverance to face the world, and CEU is a reputable name to bank on.
You’ve worked all over the world; what influence did CEU have in your career?
As a lawyer, my career took a different trajectory once I came here. CEU gave me the tools I use every day: I’ve worked to influence the constitutional framework of three countries, Kenya, South Sudan and Somalia - CEU had a direct influence in that.
What do you feel is the value of the alumni community?
I meet fellow alumni throughout the world. In Nigeria, where I’m from, the network is very strong.
Do you ‘stand with CEU’?
This for me is a family cause. My profile cannot be written without CEU, therefore I have a stake in its continued existence.
You’re back for Graduation Weekend. Plans?
I missed everything about Budapest during my nine months here - I was too busy with my studies. I’ve never even been to Buda! Now I just want to go for a walk, look around and say ‘it’s so beautiful.’