By C. Winnie Saywah
It seems that the Emmet Dennis administration of the University of Liberia (UL) has made history in the educational system as some 453 students have been graduated in various disciplines but strangely without a commencement speaker.
The reason for such strange behavior was neither made known nor was there anything mentioned about a guest speaker in the convocation program but sources in the university said President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was chosen by the UL administration to speak at the mid-term graduation exercises but instead she designated the former Chairperson of the National Investment Commission (NIC) Richard Tolbert to proxy for her, a substitute the president of the UL, Emmet Dennis rejected.
Following greetings from the graduating class president, Edith M. Jallah, she urged her colleagues to let nothing impede their way to achieving their goals.
The valedictorian from the college of Agriculture and Forestry with a grade point average of 3.420 ever in the history of the UL, Benedictus B. G. Freeman, encouraged his fellow graduates to let their mind-set determine their elevation.
“Let your positive and proactive decisions determine your destiny as every member of this class will be remembered in history of the contribution made to the society,” he said.
“As we leave the walls of this reputable university, I call on my colleagues to join me to shun the spirit of entitlement and work for our achievements to always aim high by challenging ourselves to become entrepreneurs to serve our families, communities and the country positively, but not with liability,” the 94th graduating class dux noted.
Since Dr. Dennis’ ascendency as president of the UL, there have been eight mid-term graduation ceremonies and according to the UL authorities this would to be the last mid-term commencement apparently because the double graduation exercise has experienced a relative successful reduction in the number of the graduates from the UL, one of the desires that has been met by the president.
The College of Business and Public Administration had 175 graduates; Liberia College, 102, the William V.S. Tubman Teachers College, 59 and Institute of Population, 2.
The T.J.R. Faulkner College of Science and technology put out 35 graduates and the William R. Tolbert College of Agriculture and Forestry, 13 graduates.
The Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law graduated 40 persons while only one person each graduated from the International Studies Masters Program and five persons from the Business and Public Administration.
The lone candidate was Monica Boykai acquiring Masters Degree with distinction in International Relations while Audrey Zoe Cooper graduated with distinction; cum laude with Masters Degree in Business Administration in Management.
The UL also presented Award of Distinction to four of its professors namely, the Vice President for Administration, Dao Ansu Sonii who served the UL for about 30 years; the Dean of the William V. S. Tubman Teachers College, Professor Euphemia K. Abdullai who served for some 44 years; the Chairperson of the Department of Political Science, Liberia College, Assistant Professor S. Tarnue Sherman and the Professor, Eric Godfrey Eastman, College of Agriculture and Forestry.