Why UCU ranks among the 50 most beautiful Christian campuses globally
Originally posted at: https://www.ugandapartners.org/2021/03/why-ucu-ranks-among-the-50-most-beautiful-christian-campuses-globally/
Story and photos by Esther Byoona and Jimmy Siyasa
The sight of monkeys freely swinging from tree to tree, shaking up and enlivening the evergreen foliage, is hard to miss for anyone visiting the Uganda Christian University (UCU) main campus in Mukono. The interaction between students and the monkeys plays out best on Sunday afternoons. Usually, part of the menu for students on Sundays are bananas – something the monkeys seem to be keenly aware of as the primates play like court jesters for a king, hoping to be rewarded with the yellow fruit.
Monkeys are likely part of the reason why UCU was designated one of the 50 most beautiful Christian campuses globally in 2017 by Christianuniversities.org, an online independent resource. As if to buttress the findings by Christianuniversities.org, a year later, in 2018, timeshighereducation.com ranked UCU among the top 10 most beautiful campuses in Africa.
UCU’s lush green terraces and beauty spots sometimes are dotted with mangoes and guavas that fall off the fruit trees. The fruits become food for the monkeys and various species of birds.
The birds sometimes fly waist-high. They land with a peace that tells of their guarantee for safety. During the advent semester, which happens during wet season in Uganda (September to December), the misty hills of UCU cut an impression of quasi-winter in Africa.
This is the same period doves are seen in beautiful array, pecking at grains underneath the greenery, in front of the Nsibambi university hall. Viewed from the main gate, located at its extreme lower front view, the crown of Hamu Mukasa library also deceptively appears to have snowflakes dangling above it at dawn, during the wet season.
Even when the dry season strikes, between February and June, UCU’s beauty does not fade with the weather. Magnificent buildings, such the Hamu Mukasa Library, stay stunning, in and out of season. The library is the largest facility in the university, covering 5,582 square meters.
The Bishop Tucker building, which will make a century of existence in 2022, is another magnificent feature at the university. The building is belted by green ribbons of lush grass and well-tended flowers, on both sides of an isle made of ever-clean, concrete paving. The building, looking like a smaller version of the centuries-old Fiesole Cathedral in Italy, is the most iconic on the university main campus.
Mariam Naigaga, a second-year student, pursing a Bachelor of Arts in Education, says UCU has such a beautiful campus that is conducive for learning.
“The garden near the university’s main gate is really beautiful and inviting,” Naigaga said.
The Rev. Jessica Hughes, from the US, working with the chaplaincy and theology department in UCU, also praised the university’s beauty.
“I admire the way the UCU campus is always improving and I love the beautiful garden that was put at the main gate, as well as the new developments coming up within the university,” she said. Hughes finds the UCU landscape beautiful.
Mary E. Chowenhill, a lecturer at the Faculty of Business Administration, said the variety of plants in the university gives a beauty to behold.
“The hibiscus in the UCU compound has beautiful flowers and originally was planted with the idea that the hedges would be flowers,” she said.
Despite being located within Mukono town, UCU sits on a huge chunk of land, thanks to former Buganda Kingdom Chief Hamu Mukasa, who donated it to the Church of Uganda in the early 1900s.
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