Liberia: Celebrating 100th Commencement: UL Gears Toward the Centennial Commencement

Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chairperson of the University of Liberia Centennial Commencement Committee William Ezra Allen, Ph.D.

Monrovia – The Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chairperson of the University of Liberia Centennial Commencement Committee William Ezra Allen, Ph.D. says the university has outlined activities leading to a successful event slated for December 11, at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex.

The university was established by an Act of Legislation in 1861 but started operation in 1862 as Liberian College.

After four years in operation, James Henry Edwin was the first and the only student to graduate from the university in 1866 with a BA Degree.

In 1951, the Liberia College along with the William V.S. Tubman Teachers College was part of the newly found University of Liberia.

From 1862 till 2019, the university has lived for 153 years. This year’s graduation makes it the 100th graduation ceremony of the University of Liberia.

The theme of this year’s graduation is “Memory, Preservation and the Way Forward”.

Addressing journalists at the Capitol Hill Campus of the University on Monday, August 12, Dr. Allen said the university will be undertaking three projects (printing press, time capsule, and concise history) as part of its centennial ceremony.

According to the Centennial Committee Chairperson, a “concise history” and time capsule represent the memory and preservation while the commercial printing press envisions as an epitomizing future, adding that the revenue from the business enterprise will supplement the public funds to effectively support UL.

“The centennial is undertaking three projects this year. One is the printing press and the groundbreaking will be on August 22, the Chairperson of the Centennial Commencement Committee,” he said.

“The goal is to establish a commercial printing press for the University of Liberia that will provide quality and high-quality service to not just the University of Liberia but to the public at large”.

He continued: “The University relies on the government to support its programs and the government does that but equally so, the university is looking for means to supplement what they get from the government.”

The reason for getting into said venture, Dr. Allen says, is that the university has begun offering many programs to its students in recent times something he says needs funding.

“So the printing press is our vision for the way forward. Like you have seen on our theme. It will be around US$700.000. We could start with one machine and when time goes by we can increase the machine,” Dr. Allen said. 

According to him, the university has concluded studies from other universities in and around Africa and that similar commercial venture has been able to increase their revenue.

Another project he said is the time capsule that will be launched in September of this year. A time capsule is a historic cache of goods or information, usually intended as a deliberate method of communication with future people, and to help future archaeologistsanthropologists, or historians.

According to him, things to be stored in the time capsule are pieces of UL history as well as those from public ministries and corporations and private businesses.

“We are trying to preserve the memory of the University of Liberia and hand it over to the next generation of custodians who will manage the university,” he said.

“The time capsule will use to preserve our history for the next generation. The university payrolls, souvenirs, and other things will be put in the time capsule. We may not be around. The time we have chosen to open the time capsule is 100 years. The time capsule will be opened in 2119.”

“We are doing it in collaboration with public and private entities,” he continues.

“We will ask entities out there like Orange and Lone Star GSM companies, Monrovia Beverage, the NPA, and many other entities to give us their important documents,” he said.

“So, in the year 2119, when we open it the future generation will know what those entities look like. It will be stored on the Capitol Hill campus.

The last project Dr. Allen mentioned is writting a concise history of the University of Liberia.

“We are writing a concise history of the University of Liberia, history book. That book will tell you the history of the University of Liberia including this centennial. So, we are preserving the history in that book,” Dr. Allen stressed.