The AUN President, Ms Dekle, presents a certificate to an Honours Society awardee.
The American University of Nigeria, Yola, on Thursday night honoured 21 outstanding students in the graduating class of 2018 during its annual Honour Society Awards Banquet.
The students, drawn from the university's Schools of Arts and Sciences, Business and Entrepreneurship, and Information Technology and Computing, are among the 10th set of graduands since the institution was established in 2003.
The AUN's Honour Society is a long-standing tradition to recognise superior scholarship and innovative service among the students.
"This awards ceremony is held to recognize our Honour Society members who are graduating seniors," said Dawn Dekle, a professor and the President of the AUN.
"They have made an immense contribution to our university and the Honour Society. These graduating students exhibit qualities that have helped bring success to the Honour Society - qualities that will serve to help them achieve their own individual goals after graduating from AUN."
Ms Dekle challenged the awardees to be entrepreneurs, adventurers, and trailblazers.
"As such, I want you to follow the advice of American industrialist and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, who said, 'Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.' That is what an entrepreneur does, and it will take you into new territory where you can shine.
"So don't get too comfortable, don't settle for just the good; instead, you need to pursue the great. Rockefeller should know, he was the richest man in his time, and adjusting for inflation, he is considered the richest man to ever walk the planet, estimated at USD$400 billion net worth. Like Rockefeller, I encourage you to be the hero of your own story."
Every year, students in their second and third years who had attained a cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 3.5 out of a 4.0 scale are invited to apply for membership of the Honours Society and are selected after rigorous interviews.
The minimum 3.5 CGPA and continuous acceptable conduct are required to maintain membership status.
In addition to organising tutorials for their fellow students on subjects such as Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Computer Science, Economics and Accounting; members of the Honours Society are also involved in community projects outside the university.
Ferdinand Che, Faculty Advisor of the Society, said the Class of 2018 conducted over 200 tutorials and also gave out scholarships in some primary and secondary schools in Yola among other projects.
"The Society is a distinct privilege where members willingly and enthusiastically carry out their roles," said Mr Che, as assistant professor.
"They know it's not simply a badge of honour or a feather in their cap; it is a call to serve."
The award night began with a rendition of the national anthem of the United States of America, followed by that of Nigeria.
Atiku Abubakar, the AUN founder, was in attendance accompanied by the former governor of Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel.
Reuben Ikape, the President of the Honours Society, expressed happiness that the members willingly answered the call to serve.
"We have been extremely proud of our achievements and we pledge to champion the dream everywhere we go," Mr Ikape said.