Tubman University Holds Fourth Graduation Ceremony – 170 Awarded Degrees


Maryland County – The southern Liberia region is said to be getting better educational wise due to the re-opening of the William V.S. Tubman University.

Report by Edwin G. Genoway, Jr – [email protected]

Tubman University came into being by an Act of the Liberian Legislature, transforming the William V.S. Tubman College of Technology into the “new” William V.S. Tubman University on September 14th, 2009.

Since its inception, the institution has graduated over 500 students in various disciplines.

William V. S. Tubman University is the second state-owned university located in the South- Eastern Liberia.

The school held its fourth graduation ceremony on Wednesday, May 31 at the St. Theresa Cathedral in Harper City, Maryland County.

About 170 students were awarded degrees in various disciplines from the five of the six colleges operating at the university (Management & Administration, Engineering, Education, Agriculture, and Health Sciences).

Thirty students from the College of Health Science were awarded Bachelors of Science degree, including fifteen from the Nursing Department, fifteen students from the Department of Public Health; forty-one candidates from the Dr. Elizabeth Davis Russell College of Education, thirty-seven in Secondary Education, four graduated in Early Childhood Development, while eight students also got degrees in Guidance and Counseling, and two in Primary Education.

Forty-four (44) candidates graduated from the College of Agriculture and Food Science with BSc. in General Agriculture.

The university also awarded degrees to eight persons in Accounting, two in Banking and Finance, six in Economics, and fifteen in Public Administration which accumulated to thirty-one candidates from the College of Management and Public Administration.

The College of Engineering and Technology presented a total of Twenty-five (25) candidates, including five in Civil Engineering, five in Mechanical Engineering, and 15 in Electrical Engineering.

The fourth baccalaureate speaker, Rev. Bishop Andrew J. Karnley, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Cape Palmas, admonished students to be productive, saying Liberia is now a land of many opportunities.

He urged them to be the salt of the earth that many will feed on as they graduate from the TU.

“I would like to admonish you that as you go out into the world where there are so many opportunities and challenges, be the salt of the earth and the light of the world standing against the seven deadly social sins that Mahatma Ghandi spoke about, namely politics without principles, wealth without work, commerce without morality, pleasure without conscience, education without character, science without humanity and worship without sacrifice.

You can only be the salt of the earth and light of the world if you use your knowledge and skills to fight against these deadly social sins creeping into your life and our society”, Bishop Karnley told the graduates.

The commencement speaker of the day, the Executive Director of Partners in Health (PIH) Liberia, Mr. Bryan Murphy-Eustis, urged graduates to always strive for greater things in life.

“Go to bed smarter than you woke up”, he highlighted. Mr. Murphy-Eustis, a very young man himself, advised the exuberant graduates to make their tomorrow greater than their today.

He described Tubman University as a resilient institution thus admonishing the graduates to be resilient in whatever they do or say as they represent the university in the larger society.

“The decision you have made by acquiring higher and quality education from TU puts you at the verge of many greater opportunities in the country and the world at large”, Mr. Murphy-Eustis added.

The valedictorian of the fourth graduating class Mr. Abraham S. Martey from the College of Engineering and Technology lauded the administration of TU for the conducive learning environment provided for students.

He called on his fellow graduates to be steadfast in promoting the good image of the institution.

“As graduates, we face many uncertainties in the both immediate and distant future.”

“However, uncertainty is another word for opportunity. We must concentrate on enhancing our futures and setting great examples for those who will follow us. We must be tomorrow’s positive images”, Abraham Martey told fellow graduates.

Also speaking, the President of the university, Dr. Edward Lama Wonkeryor highlighted the positive strides the university has made under his leadership.

He however urged students to live by examples and implement whatever they have learned as students at the TU.

“I am over plus happy to see our students graduating from the TU today, I urge you all students to be the light of the world, Liberia is, and the young students you leaving behind today are looking up to you to be a good example in society, so, follow and implement your goals to the letter,” he urged them.

This is the first graduation ceremony of Dr. Wonkeryor since he succeeded Dr. Elizabeth Davis-Russell founding President of TU in July of 2016.

The occasion was graced by some members of the Board of Trustees of the University, Atty. Norris Tweah Vice President for UL Relations, Hon. Gbleh-bo Brown Senator of Maryland County, Authorities of Maryland County, PIH family, family members of the graduates among others.

William V. S. Tubman University, is a public university located in Harper, Maryland County, Liberia. The university is named after William Tubman, the 19th President of Liberia.

Founded in 1978 as the William V. S. Tubman College of Technology, the school originally offered associate’s degrees in architecture, civil engineering, electrical engineering, electronics and mechanical engineering.

Tubman was also one of the main schools in Liberia to produce secondary school teachers.

In 1990, the college was accredited to offer Bachelor of Science degrees in those fields, but soon closed following the outbreak of the First Liberian Civil War.

The school remained closed through the 1990s and the end of the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003. Enrollment numbers show 264 students and a faculty of 28 in 1999.

In 2008, the college was reopened by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, with Dr. Elizabeth Davis-Russell appointed that year as the first female President of the university.

In April 2009, President Sirleaf signed a bill elevating Tubman to university status, and the newly renamed and renovated university opened on 14 September 2009.

The school’s enrollment stood at 288 at that time, of which 219 were male and 69 were female.

Enrollment stood at 838 for the first semester of the 2013-14 school year, and the school held its first commencement in June 2014.

William V. S. Tubman University is proud of its graduating class of nursing students who experienced a 100% pass-rate on the State Board of Nursing examinations.

The nation’s first female mechanical engineer graduated from William V. S. Tubman University in 2016.