The former president of the University of Liberia Alumni Association, Mary Brownell says the younger generation of Liberia continues to ignore and abuse the freedom given them by disrespecting elders and people considered their fathers and mothers.
Dr. Brownell, speaking as the 95th commencement speaker of the University of Liberia yesterday said in this new age there is no secrecy as compared to the days of old thereby speaking on the topic, “Old values for a new age.”
She said as educated people, students at the university level must take the lead in setting examples wondering, “If University of Liberia students can resolve to violence what do we expect from those who have not been in school?”
Dr. Brownell said cultural, social and other values are what matters in life and Lux In Tenebris (light in darkness) places the institution on the platform for such values because it is those virtues to take with you wherever you are.
She emphasized that freedom requires discipline to be exercised taking into consideration the character of others involved but stated that Liberians have forgotten about reasoning among each other.
The commencement speaker said it is the University students that are giving others the impression to think that violence is the resolution to problems noting, “We have heard enough of those negative comments about Liberia and this needs to be avoided.”
She said in order to match the old values with this new age, Liberians especially those in the universities need to consider academic freedom and excellence. Commencement speaker Brownell said no one has the right to speak or act in the name of academic freedom because to exercise this freedom one must engage in studying and applying.
Madam Brownell described academic excellence as not to mean insulting your professors, cooking marijuana soup or copying the work of others instead it is exercising restraints and considering all aspects before reaching conclusion.
“Anything done over and over becomes a habit. To the graduates and students of the university, much is expected of you for education is not only about reading and writing but also showing some respect,” Madam Brownell motivated the graduates.
Meanwhile, a Doctor of Humane Letters was conferred upon the commencement speaker Mary Brownell by the University of Liberia’s Board of Trustees.