The students of Linguistics and Communication Studies of the University of Port Harcourt particularly those at the undergraduate level, who before now had been taking most of their lectures and writing exam under inconducive atmosphere can now heave a sigh of relief.
This is sequel to the completion and commissioning of a 500 seater lecture hall through self-help effort and first of its kind in the history of the over four decades old institution.
Conceived and built under the leadership of the outgoing Head of Dept, Dr. Baridisi H. Isaac, the new lecture hall has thus ended many years of student agitation for a place of their own for studies.
The students according to Dr. Isaac, were worried over having lectures under inhospitable places such as tennis lawn and the convocation arena, a situation that had on many occasion triggered off threats to embark on demonstration to express their anger.
The arduous tasking of embarking on the self-help initiative according to Dr. Isaac actually took off with the approval of land for the project by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ndowa S. E. Lale in 2017 through the instrumentality of the Dean of Faculty of Humanities, Prof. Femi O. Shaka.
In Dr. Isaac's words: “Accomplishing this project was possible through canvassing free will donations from alumni, friends and students' associations to augment students check off to the project which could hardly take the project anywhere considering the enormity of funds required”.
Commissioning the lecture hall, Friday, December 6, 2019, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ndowa S. E. Lale lauded Dr. B. H. Isaac for his vision and courage to dare where his predecessors and co-heads of departments feared to thread.
The VC, who had donated seats for the lecture hall in appreciation of the self-help initiative, also appealed to other departments in the University to emulate the Linguistics and Communication Studies department, stressing that the University management cannot provide all the needed infrastructure alone.
Also speaking at the commissioning ceremony, the 'father', and former senior lecturer in Linguistics and Communication Studies department of the University, and now Vice Chancellor of Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Rumuolumeni who also doubled as the special guest and chairman of the occasion, Prof. Ozo-Mercury Ndimele said for Dr. Isaac to have mustered the courage to solve the intractable challenge of building a lecture hall for the teeming Linguistics and Communication Studies, has entered his name in the Guinness Book of Records and deserves a re-appointment if possible.
Prof. Ndimele applauded the management, students and lecturers in the department for their co-operation and encouragement that made the project possible.
Prof. Ndimele who had earlier supported the project by donating all the roofing sheets, roofing wood, ceiling, windows and doors, also promised to interlock the frontage of the lecture hall.
The highlights of the event were the unveiling of the LCS Hall of Fame which contains the names of the major donors to the project and conferment of awards on some deserving personalities by the Linguistics and Communication Studies Students Association (LINCOMSSA).
The self-help initiative was named after one of the pioneer lecturers in the department and a 'great teacher,' late Prof. Kay Ruth Williamson.