University of Liberia 99th Commencement Speaker Challenges Graduates to Build a Better Liberia

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FENDALL, LOUISIANA – The 99th Commencement Speaker of Liberia College has challenged graduates of the University of Liberia to think critically and develop a sense of honesty for Liberia by shunning corruption and divisiveness which she said is impeding Liberia’s development drive.

According to Lucia Yallah, if graduates of the State-run University stand for the truth and bear in minds that they owe a responsibility to protecting Liberia’s interest, corruption and other vices that are tearing the country apart would be alleviated.

Speaking Monday in Fendall, Lower Montserrado County, Mrs. Yallah who is an Activist at the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center for Women and Development, noted that by speaking against these vices public assets would be managed properly.

 “Brighten your light on corruption, mismanagement of public assets, the spirit of division and acts against women. Brighten your light on the Legislature, the Judiciary so that they will see the truth and make good decisions,” Mrs. Yallah said.

Mrs. Yallah, an alumna of the University of Liberia, noted that the University of Liberia was established based on developing minds that will hold to the doctrine of honesty and the principles of being bold and standing for the truth which must be a hallmark of graduates.

She admonished the graduates to raise their voices and put their words into action as a way of inspiring positive changes to Liberia, encouraging all female graduates not to limit themselves in society and to keep in minds their responsibility to the development of Liberia. 

“Every Liberian has a collective responsibility to ensure the country is on the right path, and graduates of Universities are of no exception,” Yallah added.

During the ceremony, University of Liberia President Dr. Ophelia Inez Weeks encouraged the graduates to see the need of contributing their services the University upon graduation.

This, according to Dr. Weeks, will help support UL to grow in the future. She reminded them of the uniqueness of their college as the oldest in the country and that it was a prestige for them to graduate from the nation’s premier University.

The UL President used the occasion to disclose plans of adding an Institute of Comparative Religion, Philosophy and Culture to the University.

This, according to her, will enable the University of Liberia to offer degrees in Philosophy and Religious Studies, a process she said is are nearing completion.

Dr. Weeks further added that a proposal for the establishment of the Institute of Comparative Religion would be sent to the UL Board of Trustees for consideration soon.  

In the same way, the UL President said she is reviewing a proposal sent by religious leaders of Liberia to establish a graduate program in honor of Bishop Michael Francis, adding that upon its review the proposal would be sent to the UL Board of Trustees for consideration.

Dr. Weeks than concluded by encouraging the graduates to be honest in all they do as they join the larger society.

“Liberia College was founded in 1862 to provide leaders of a new Republic and a developing Republic and today it’s a milestone to put out 611 graduates.  In 1866 it was just one graduate, James Evans,” Dr. Weeks said.

Launching the occasion, the Dean of Liberia College Associate Professor Sekou W. Konneh praised the graduates for their achievements and urged them to acknowledge those who supported them throughout their academic sojourn.

 Also speaking at the occasion, the valedictorian of Liberia College was student Iris Kou Marto urged her peers to practically apply the knowledge acquired from the university over the years wisely in helping to improve Liberia’s development drive

Student Marto said she recognized that knowledge without application is meaningless admonishing her colleagues that the knowledge gained would be meaningless if they fail to apply their education wisely.

“The aptitude and capability to perform in whatever sector you will join depends on the education you gained and how their knowledge is applied,” Madam Marto said. 

“Knowledge is a prerequisite for success but without the application of knowledge, success is impossible.”

The commencement convocation also witnessed the awarding of awards to professors for dedicated services to the University and students who volunteered their time to the university during their studies.

Professors Geetor S. Saydee, Thomas Collins and J. Wil Mannie were honored for their dedicated services to the University.

Liberia College commencement is the beginning of a two-week college-based commencement convocation that will witness more than 3,300 students graduating from the University of Liberia.

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