Cuttington University to Host Bicentennial Forum


Bong County – Cuttington University, Liberia’s second oldest institution of higher learning, will host a National Bicentennial Forum on the theme: “Historical, Cultural and Socio-Economic Perspectives of Liberia’s Bicentennial (1822-2022).” The forum will be held on the institution’s Suacoco Campus from November 16-19, 2022.

The Forum, which is being organized by the Liberian Elders of the Republic of the Bicentennial 2022 (an informal group of Septuagenarians and other older Liberians) and participating universities in Liberia, is being held with support from the National Bicentennial Committee.  

The Forum will bring together scores of scholars, development experts including religious, civic and business leaders to present papers and exchange ideas for the growth and development of Liberia.

Elder Dee Zoe Lake, Chairperson of the Coordinating Committee to plan the Forum spoke to FrontPageAfrica recently on the sidelines at a meeting recently held between a delegation of the Elders and Cuttington Administration on the Suacoco Campus.

Elder Lake said the gathering on the CU campus in Bong County will create a platform that inspires presenters and participants alike, to drive and celebrate ideas.

He further stated the speakers are expected to lecture on topics that have characterized events and discussions on the past 200-year existence of Liberia.

“A cardinal objective of the Forum is to have diverse perspectives and viewpoints and recommendations proffered for policies formulation and national development considerations; to enrich Liberia’s national life, heritage, promote patriotism while documenting the Forum findings for future generations.”

Elder Lake, who headed an eight-person delegation to meet with Cuttington authorities to work out modalities for lodging, feeding and staffing of the over 100 persons expected to attend the Forum, further said the Forum shall “reflect on the importance of cultural, touristic, historic and other sites of Liberia as pertinent to the Bicentennial and to national development.”

Chairperson Lake called on all institutions of higher learning in Liberia to join in planning and hosting of the Forum. She specifically named AMEU, SDA, Stella Maris, Zion and Tubman University. She said that the Elders were gratified that CU and University of Liberia have named their representatives to the Coordinating Committee. Dr. William E. Allen will represent UL and the Bicentennial Committee, while Madam Cassell will represent CU and is serving as Vice Chairperson of the Coordinating Committee. Madam Lake said they are now in high gear to follow up communications they addressed to various universities to name persons to the Coordinating Committee and to finalize the topics and lists of speakers and presenters.

The delegation was welcomed at Cuttington by the Vice Presidents and Administrators of the University including Dr. Amanze Charles Ihedioha, Anthony Siakor, Orea Wright and Madam Lynne Y. George-Cassell. The Interim President of Cuttington, Dr. Romelle Horton was absent from campus.

However, Cuttington Administration assured the Elders that the University welcomes the hosting of the Forum on its premises and would endeavor to not only assist with lodging, feeding and in providing other necessities ways but will also make sure the participants are comfortable and secure. Several Elders stated that Cuttington was chosen because of its central location in Liberia and they asked besides hosting Forum participants, Cuttington should provide from its rank persons to work with the Forum. The Elders asked to see various facilities that would be offered to them for the Forum.

In addition to the Chairperson, the Elders delegation comprised Dr.  Evelyn S. Kandakai, Elder Rupel E. Marshall, Sr, Elder Maureen Shaw, Madam Maria Mensah, Head of the Secretariat of the Coordinating Committee, Master Romeo T. Kamara and Elder Neville Reid, who went as a guest of the Elders.

Elder Rupel E. Marshall said the cost of the Forum is a little over US$22,000. He stated that the Bicentennial Committee, having endorsed the Forum, Mr. J. Ledgerhood Rennie, Minister of Information, Culture & Tourism/Chair of the Bicentennial Committee is favorably considering the Bicentennial Committee meeting the cost as requested by the Elders.

After the indoor discussions, the Elders were taken on a guided tour of residences, dormitories and the dining hall. They also inspected the Guannu Institute for Peace and delivered a purse in appreciation of the sterling educational and diplomatic services the late Dr. Joseph Saye Guannu gave Liberia to be transmitted to his family.  

The membership of the Elders includes Olubanke King-Akerele, Joanna Emerson, Roseda E. Marshall, Rupel E. Marshall, Sr., Joshua Nma-Mle Bedell, Kenneth Y. Best, Sis. Mary Laurene Browne, Klarie Kla-Williams, Lester G. Tarpeh, Elizabeth N. Tubman, Hilary Dennis, Charles T. O. King, III, Siafa Bondokai, Richlieu Mitchell, Etweeda Cooper, D. Evelyn S. Kandakai, William Smith, Clara Doe Mvogo, Bishop Philip Nelson, Maureen L. Shaw and Hawa Goll-Kochi.