Founded in 1985
Founded in 1985, the Xjays Alumni Association was organized to promote the interests of the school (MBJ) and the fellowship of its graduates. With the first president of the alumni association, Innocent Odo (Class of 1985), at its helm, the alumni association immediately began to engage Xjays in organized alumni activity. Approximately 34 years later, the association, with more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate alumni members, continues to thrive.
Throughout this website, you will find examples of ways for Xjays alumni to engage with MBJ and with each other. We invite you to explore the many opportunities available, from events on campus or across the globe, to educational programming, to ways to volunteer, connect online or network together.
Most of all, we hope that you will stay involved and stay in touch.
To promote the long-term welfare of MBJ, to promote fellowship among alumni, and to serve as the vehicle through which all alumni, friends and community members can support MBJ.
Membership of Xjays Alumni Association
The association is open to all ex-students of MBJ Uturu from your day of graduation.
To be a member of the alumni association you need to join a chapter and be current with your dues and pledges. The alumni association is an active network that brings tremendous benefits to its members and has the unique attribute of catering to members worldwide, regardless of their year of graduation.
The Xjays Alumni Association continues to be the vehicle through which former students can stay involved, have fun, and make a difference.
History of Xjays Alumni Association
The idea of forming an umbrella body of past students of Marist Brothers’ Juniorate Uturu came from the late Brother James Dike (a.k.a) Buzuzu in the mid 1980’s. It was called Marist Brothers’ Juniorate Uturu Old Boys Association (MBJOBA). It was an unregistered group then with just a single body. Bro. Dike was very passionate about growing the association. The group met only once a year at the school on Sunday after the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, mostly in the month of August. This body was constrained by a number of factors, one of which was membership enrollment. It is worthy of mention here that the school only experienced a boost in student enrolment in the early eighties when the Marist Brothers of Schools decided to relax their emphasis on the school being a formation center for those that aspire to be Marist Brothers. This in effect meant that as at the time of formation of the alumni association, most of the ex-students were still in school, and those that were out of school were not financially stable. Another constraint was lack of easy access to information dissemination. These and some other factors simply made the group fizzle out with time.
Several efforts were made by some individuals in the early 90’s to re-start the ‘engine’. Worthy of mention among them were some ex-students of the school studying then at the University of Nigeria Nsukka. The arrow head was Kenneth Obiakor, along with Collins Ijeoma, late Emeka Onuoha, Emeka Anidi, and Stanislus Adigwe. However, it was not yet time and the group also fizzled out.
In 1999, another student of University of Nigeria Nsukka in the person of Calistus Eze pulled a stunt. He wonderfully mobilised ex-students of the school studying in various higher institutions with the aim of repositioning the group. People really turned out in their numbers on the agreed date for the debut meeting of that edition of the association. That was on June 6, 1999 during the celebration of the canonization of the founder of the Marist Brothers, Saint Marcellinus Champagnat. The turnout was really encouraging, but it was still not time. The tempo was not sustained.
Between 1999 and 2002, another group within Onitsha axis also started meeting in the house of the former Director of the school, Dr Isaac Elusiahu (now late), and who later became the President of the small but formidable group. In the group was Victor Okechukwu, Tobechukwu Ejimkeonye, Godwin Okonkwo, Innocent Odo, Pius Emefiesi and Balonwu Okpe (now Rev Fr.). Though small in number, the group for the period it lasted was strong, owing to the fact that most of the members were working. However, it was still not time.
Then the right time came in the year 2004 when some individuals of the graduating set of 1986 again took the bull by the horns.They included Innocent Odo (Innoma), Vincent Nnamani (now Rev Fr.), and Ikenna Echekoba. They first converged at the Ikoyi residence of Vincent Nnamani where they mapped out their strategies. By the second meeting at the same venue, they recorded a massive turnout. An election was held to put in place an executive body. The following emerged as key officers of the young association: Innocent Odo (President), Vincent Nnamani (Secretary), Ikenna Echekoba (Financial Secretary), and Terrence Onyejiaku (PRO). At the time of the closing prayer/chanting of the traditional Salve Regina, people were still arriving. One of the members, Ugochukwu Obi-Uchendu, later volunteered his house to be the permanent venue of the association. This was followed by the registration of the body with the Corporate Affairs Commission under the name Marist Brothers Juniorate Old Boys Association, in March 2006 with the following as Trustees: Barr. Tobechi Egbo, Joseph Chukwukelu, Innocent Odo, Vincent Nnamani and Ugochukwu Obi-Uchendu.
The venue of the meeting in Lagos later moved from Ugo Obi-Uchendu’s house to Ugochukwu Umeh’s house.
This was really the mustard seed that grew into a gigantic tree with many branches in different parts of Nigeria and around the world, known as Chapters. In June 2007, all the Chapters met at the school in Uturu to celebrate the age long Founder’s Day with the Marist Brothers and also inaugurate the central body of the association, with the alma mater officially adopted as the headquarters. An election was held on that day of the inaugural session (June 6, 2007) with the following enthroned as the pioneer executives of the association: Innocent Odo (Innoma) as the first International President, Vincent Nnamani the International Secretary, Ndubueze Ebiogu became the Financial Secretary, and Balonwu Okpe was Treasurer. The month of June, specifically the weekend closest to feast of Saint Champagnat, was officially adopted as annual reunion (homecoming) day by members all over the world.
The acronym XJAYS (meaning, ex-Juniorate students) was added to the identity of this noble body. Today the association has twelve chapters. Chapters are also springing up (as youth/students wing) of the association in various higher institutions in Nigeria.