The Gregory University, Utura (GUU) has conferred an honorary degree on Liberian Vice President Joseph N. Boakai.
According to a dispatch from the Liberian Embassy in Nigeria, GUU conferred on the Liberian Vice President the Doctor of Science in Public Administration (Honoris Causa) during the University’s maiden convocation that held over the weekend in Utura, Abia State.
The dispatch says the Liberian Ambassador to Nigeria, Prof. Al-Hassan Conteh received the honorary degree on behalf of Vice President Boakai on Saturday, October 22.
“Honorable Chancellor, Sir, on mandate by the Senate of the Gregory University, Uturu, I respectfully present a foremost friend of this institution and of Nigeria, a hero, a rock, a giant of the African continent, His Excellency Honorable Joseph Nyumah Boakai, Vice President of the Republic of Liberia, who also doubles as the President of the Senate of that great country”, reads the introductory portion of the citation from the University.
The citation adds: “His Excellency, Joseph Boakai, has excelled in this role, because he epitomizes the serendipitous combination of the qualities of a guru in executive governance engineering and the sagacity of a shred legislative grandmaster. All these paint a picture of a man with gargantuan appetite for hard work.”
Describing the Liberian Vice President as a highly-esteemed friend of the University, it recalled his first visit here in 2013 when he commissioned the College of Social and Management Science.
The University subsequently named that college the Joseph Boakai College of Social and Management Sciences as a tribute to his “unparalleled patriotic commitment to the development of pre and post-war Liberia.”
The University also recalled how the then visiting Liberian Vice President was conferred with an Honorary Chieftaincy Title of Ugomba 1 by Uturu Traditional Rulers Council.
At the same time, the dispatch adds that 76 graduates from various disciplines received their degrees as the University’s pioneer graduates during Saturday’s colorful convocation event.
Earlier on Friday, October 21, the Liberian Vice President delivered the University’s Maiden Convocation Lecture. Ambassador Conteh delivered the lecture on behalf of the Vice President.
Titled: ‘Educational Development in the 21st Century: The Role of Private Universities’, the Vice President stressed the need for private universities to be supported in investing heavily in research, development and Innovation.
“These are the chief drivers of competitiveness of African nations in the 21st Century,” he noted.
“Our nations should consider increasing the funding and capacity building to the most outstanding private universities to bolster their innovation and promote their competiveness. It goes with my previous submission that both Private and Public University deliver the same quality of Educational excellence and service to the Publics,” Vice President Boakai stated.
The GUU, a prestigious private Nigerian university based in the Eastern Nigerian State of Abia, is named after Pope St. Gregory better known as Gregory The Great.
It was established by Chief (Dr.) Gregory IykeIbe, a Nigerian humanitarian and educator.