Bells Serve with Dedication

Dr. Maggie Jackson with Bishop Tracy Malone of East Ohio.Two longstanding friends of Africa University—Mr. Robert Bell and Dr. Marion Bell—recently completed their second successful stint as visiting staff at Africa University. The couple returned to Baltimore, Maryland in December.

As members of The United Methodist Church, the Bells followed the process leading up to the opening of Africa University in 1992 with great interest. Robert Bell made his first visit to the campus in a volunteers in mission work team in 1995. From cooking for students in the dining hall to offering a hand in the construction of staff houses and setting up a computer lab, he served selflessly.

“I love Africa and Africa University especially. I will continue to be of service to AU and assist wherever possible,” said Mr. Bell.

The Bells were very instrumental in the success of a campaign by the Desert Southwest Conference, under the leadership of Bishop Minerva Carcaño, to endow an academic chair in health sciences at Africa University. It was Dr. Marion Bell’s dream to teach at AU. In 2013, she offered her expertise as a visiting professor and the couple returned to the campus.

During that first semester of teaching, the Bells were moved by the passion and potential of the students. “Transformational Leadership is about change and inspiration," said Dr. Bell. “I taught World Changers!” 

The Bells went back home after one semester but they remained engaged. They provided scholarships for students and helped to procure a vehicle to assist the University Chaplain in his work. In August 2016, they returned to the campus in Zimbabwe to continue in the effort to train young leaders with integrity, compassion and empathy. This time, Dr. Bell was both a faculty member and a counselor at the Bishop Alfred Norris Health Clinic.

“What I will never forget about Dr. Bell is her compassion and dedication to her work and her students, said Joseph Zishiri, a freshman who took the course on transformational leadership taught by Dr. Bell. “Together with Mr. Bell, she would host the class at their house in their free time for oral presentation practice.”

Classmate and fellow freshman Elson Mungani said Dr. Bell modeled what she taught.

“She went out of her way to make sure that we were motivated throughout the course, which was a journey of both self and group discovery. The knowledge I gained through her course is a catalyst to achieve my ambitions in life,” said Mungani.

Prior to their departure from the campus, the Bells presented the university with a projector, portable PA system, printer and several ICT accessories. They highlighted that the gifts are part of their commitment to advance teaching and learning at the institution.

“Many of our AU students are brilliant and eager to lead. Let us harness and nurture the positive energy they bring to achieve the full greatness of Africa,” said Dr. Bell.