Nairobi — President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged Kenyans, especially those in positions of influence, to always support their former schools as a way of giving back to society.
The President said former students have the potential to positively influence schools to perform better through their support.
He encouraged learning institutions to tap into the potential of their former learners through alumni associations and other platforms.
The President spoke on Friday at his former school, St Mary's, Nairobi when he presided over celebrations to mark the institution's 80th anniversary.
"Institutions however great their history, are kept alive and relevant by people. The ways in which, we alumni, can support this our alma mater are boundless," the President said as he rallied his former colleagues at St Mary's to support their school more.
He identified development of school infrastructure, equipping of libraries and provision of sports kits as some of the projects that can be taken up by alumni associations.
The President, who was joined in marking the celebration by several former students of St Mary's School among them Baringo Senator Gideon Moi and TV journalist Jeff Koinange, recalled with nostalgia his experiences at the school.
"For many of us who stood at attention during assembly in this very quadrangle or ran through its corridors to get to our next class, we can never forget that St. Mary's gave us so much, moulded us, introduced us to lifelong friends and gave us the tools and confidence to be all that we are today," he said.
The Head of State, who wore a navy blue blazer bearing the St Mary's School badge in remembrance of his school attire, challenged the current students of the school to work hard, be honest, dutiful, respectful and God-fearing in order to succeed in life.
"Every boy, girl, young man and young lady should feel privileged to attend this school and should always be aware that they are ambassadors of Saints.
"Your words and actions; whether in school or outside of it, must at all times reflect the principles and values of this institution," the President advised.
The President acknowledged the role played by the Catholic Church especially the Holy Ghost Fathers in setting up the school and several other learning institutions across the country.
"We have a lot to thank them for. We appreciate their good work and we hope we will continue to work together as we march into the future," he said.
The colourful anniversary celebrations were kicked off by a thanks giving mass led by His Lordship Bishop David Kamau, the auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Nairobi.