VINCENT TOWN, Bomi County – Smiles could not cease from the faces of the graduates of the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E) Zion University as the Liberian President George Weah announced at the 31st Graduation ceremony that he will pay the graduation fee for all 356 graduates.
Each of the 356 graduates was to pay US$450 and with that, the President will have to pay US$160,200 in fulfillment of his promise.
President Weah, after giving the keynote address at AME Zion University 31st Convocation program, a faculty of the institution announced that a significant portion of the graduates was still owing graduation fees.
However, being generous, the President sent a message to the faculty who was giving the announcement that he will pay all 356 graduates’ graduation fees.
President Weah, according to record, has been the first President to pay all graduation for under-graduate level. The move by the President comes after he paid for all students from the University of Liberia graduate school.
In March 2022, President Weah paid the amount of $55,800 to the University of Liberia authorities through the president of the class to cover all the expenses for 124 students who graduated from various disciplines.
Also, speaking earlier, the Liberian President told graduates to work hard, adding that success will not come to the graduates if they rest on what they have achieved.
According to the President, after adequate preparation, success will only come to those who are dedicated and disciplined enough to do the work.
“I want to encourage you to dream and to dream big dreams. But then, I advise you not to make dreams your master but to wake up from the sleep of dreams and go to work to make it happen. Most dreams will not come true without hard work, struggle, and sacrifice,” the Liberian Leader said.
President Weah added: “I want you graduates to know that failure is a crucial part of success. Failure teaches you a lesson that you must be willing to learn, and only when you learn that lesson, will you benefit from your failure.”
According to President Weah, in his own career, there were many failures along the way but he was able to triumph over every problem that came his way.
“In the beginning of my soccer career, for example, I was benched many times before I became a regular member of the starting teams. But I used my time on the bench to study the game and the other players, and learn from their mistakes, so that each time I got the opportunity to play, I tried to make sure that I made a positive difference to the game,” he said.
President Weah added: “And you are all aware that in my political career, I ran for President and was defeated twice, but I did not give up. Each time, I took stock of my journey, and I went back to where I had left my dream, and recalibrated, and continued my journey. Eventually, I applied those lessons to develop a winning formula. And here we are today.”
Also, at the event, President Weah was honored for what the university terms as his outstanding contributions, and achievements to humanity and society.
“The Board of Trustees of the AME Zion University by recommendation of the Faculty Senate, and president of the AME Zion University, has herewith approved the conferral on you, George Mannah Weah, the Degree of Doctor of Letters (L.H.D.) honoris causa in international Relations,” the University citation quoted.
It is not the first time President has been honored by the university. The President received his first-ever honorary doctorate degree, 23 years ago from AME Zion University. The degree of Doctor of Humane Letters (Honoris Causa) was conferred upon him in recognition of his efforts, achievements, and humanitarian gestures as a philanthropist and a world-class athlete.
The AME Zion University commenced in 1993 with the founding of the AME Zion School of Business, attached to the AME Zion Academy.
In 1987, the AME Zion Community College was established, offering Associate Degrees in Criminal justice administration and law enforcement, liberal art, and business, as well as Diploma in Trauma Counseling, and its first convocation in May 1989.
In 1996, by an act of the national legislature, the AME Zion University College was established with the Reverend Frederick Umoja, serving as its first president.