LIBERIA: Graduates Urge to Be Fact-checkers, Truth- tellers …As 252 Graduates Earned BA & BSW Degrees from Liberia College

Prof. Moses Gray

The Dean of Liberia College of Social Sciences and Humanities, Prof. Dr. Josephus Moses Gray has admonished the 252 graduates from the College to be responsible fact-checkers, persistent truth-tellers and most of all open-minded scholars. He urged the graduates to use their education to help develop your community, to contribute positively to society’s advancement and to empower your compatriots.

In his welcome address delivered on Monday, 14 March 2022 during the 102nd combined college Commencement Convocation of the University of Liberia in Fendall, Louisiana, Dr. Gray challenged the graduates to take the hard-earned knowledge and skill into the Liberian society, and beyond the borders of Liberia into the world. He reminded the graduates to be aware as they start the next chapter of their journey into the world that there are several special wonderful rules rules to observe.

“Over and over, I have tried to follow these wonderful three rules and want you to observe these three wonderful rules:  Always build on what is best in yourself, and continue to examine who you are and what your interests are.  Respect those things. Remember the people and the values that helped change your lives in a positive way. Always look for what is best in others.  My father repeatedly told me: Life is less trouble if you spend it lifting people up, not putting people down.  Always do your best in whatever you attempt.  Never say I am unable to do this—keep trying. Believe in yourself.”.

“Keep in mind that your actions will have a direct reflection on this great institution. Be aware that you will be judged by the global society based on your opinions on issues and your interpretations of critical situations”, Dr. Gray pinpointed.

During the Monday’s convocation, 252 graduates with BA abd BSW degree from Liberia College, of the University of Liberia.  with 4 in English, 4 in French, 5 in Geography, 17 in Communication and Media Studies, 12 in Political Science, 174 in Sociology, 13 in Social Work and 23 in Populationn Studies (Demography). While 157 graduated from the William V.S. Tubman College of Education of the University of Liberia with BSc degree, with 21 in Primary Education and 136 in Secondary Education. For David A. Straz-Sinje Technical and Vocational College, of the University of Liberia.  I am so thankful to present 252 graduates from the college who earned BA and BSW degrees.

Mrs. Sanudra Berry Hall, the President of the University of Liberia Alumni Association in the Americas, told the graduates that they had just begun to scratch the surface. “I challenge you to aspire to higher education and greater opportunities to accomplish more,” said Madam Hall during the opening of the college-based graduation on UL Fendall Campus on Monday, March 14, 2022.

She reminded the graduates that the University of Liberia needs them, adding, “You are the future movers and shakers of Liberia.” In her address to the three colleges, Madam Hall stressed the pathway to success for these colleges as they perform their respective responsibilities of training and imparting students to make contributions to their country must be anchored on some major pillars.

She listed the pillars as qualified instructional staff, relevant and dynamic curricula and textbooks and other instructional materials, learning resource centers, state-of-the-art technology, and students’ exposure to research and experiential learning.

As President of the University of Liberia Alumni Association in the Americas (ULIBAAA), Madam Hall said the association had asked her to explore ways that ULIBAAA can partner with the University of Liberia and provide some needed assistance.

“I want to assure you that University of Liberia Alumni Association in the Americas, of which I am the President, stands ready to partner with you and our University family, to help in any way possible, incorporating your skills, knowledge, expertise and resources, for us to move the University forward,” Madam Hall said.

In a special statement, UL President, Prof. Dr. Julius Julukon Sarwolo Nelson, Jrsaid as the University of Liberia plays its role in the investment of the human resources, it assures the entire country that it is confident and proud of its products today. “Liberia is faced with numerous challenges as we continue to pick up the pieces, transform our nation into what [it] should be, and play our role amongst the comity of nations,” said President Nelson.

He added that “we are all aware, that the only way this can be done effectively, is when we invest in, and develop our human resources, as we tackle the daunting task on our hands.”   President Nelson thanked the parents and family members who served as support and pillars to the outstanding graduates, as they came from day to day, bettering themselves for the future of mama Liberia, and the world at large.

 

“Be assured that your input and investments are highly appreciated, and will certainly pay off,” President Nelson said. He also appreciated the entire University of Liberia (Lux in Tenebris) family, for brightening the light, and leading the institution to where it is today.

Dr. Nelson said he knows the road has been rough, and the journey has been tough, but through the special Grace and Mercy of the Almighty, the graduates have made it through.

Below is the full text of Liberia College dean message delivered on the convocation.

Message from the Dean

Honorable Matthew Gee Zarzar, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University of Liberia, Prof. Dr. Julius S. Nelson, Jr., President of the University of Liberia; Prof. Dr. Moses M. Zinnah, Vice President for Academic Affairs of UL; Prof. Dr. Jonathan C. Taylor, Vice President for Graduate Education and Research, Vice Presidents and Associate Vice Presidents of the University of Liberia, Honorable Convocation Speaker Mrs. Saundra Berry Hall, National President, U.L Alumni Association in the Americas, Deans and Academic Directors, Chairpersons and Faculty, Platform Guests, Distinguished graduating Class; The Fourth Estate, Family members and friends, Ladies and Gentlemen.

Please observe a moment of silence to pay respect and homage to our fallen faculty members and staffs, some of whom helped to prepare our graduates.

I want to begin by acknowledging the spirit of team work at the University of Liberia.  In the midst of the uncertainty and chaos due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are bound to be successful in our collective and common journey. We are here today to celebrate the remarkable achievements of over 500 brilliant men and women from our three colleges: College of Social Sciences and Humanities, William V.S. Tubman College of Education (formerly Teacher’s College) and David A. Straz Sinje Technical and Vocational College, as they join those first Seven (7) graduates and thousands of other graduates who are occupying key positions in several sectors around the world.

It is my pleasure to bring greetings and acknowledge the presence of our special guests, family member, friends, faculty and staff who have made huge efforts to join us today to celebrate the remarkable achievements of the 102nd graduating class. We are deeply appreciative and offer you our welcome. It is therefore my profound pleasure to welcome everyone to the 102nd commencement convocation of the University of Liberia. I extend our sincere congratulations to all the candidates who will receive degrees today. I also acknowledged the different kinds of support that have helped every member of the graduating class.

Many of our guests, family members and friends have made remarkable efforts to join us today to celebrate the achievements of the graduates. We are deeply appreciative. I also want to use this opportunity to formally welcome our dynamic and student-centered   President of the University of Liberia, Prof. Dr. Julius Julukon Sarwolo Nelson, Jr. under whose stewardship and vision we are all called to serve and contribute meaningfully towards new knowledge, creativity, critical thinking, quality teaching and learning, and research. Mr. President, we are grateful.

Special thanks to the Chairman of the  Convocation Committee, Prof. Dr. Moses M. Zinnah and the dedicated staffs who have worked diligently to make this commencement convocation one of the best in the history of the University. In a special way, I would like to recognize and applaud two of my professional colleagues: Dr. Cecelia Cassell and Professor Adolphus Nippae, Deans of the William V.S. Tubman College of Education (formerly Teacher’s College) and David A. Straz Sinje Technical and Vocational College. This recognition extends beyond the two colleagues to other colleagues of the Council of Deans of the University of Liberia. Your commitment, dedication and hard work to continually improve the quality of learning and teaching remains unquestionable.

In a special way, let me recognize our devoted, committed and dynamic faculty members who have served as teachers and colleagues as well as friends.  I am delighted to give special thanks and recognize the presence of our professional colleagues especially dynamic Chairs and dedicated and committed faculty for their mentorship that has helped members of the 102nd graduating class to achieve their primary goal. I am also very grateful for how the faculty and students across our four campuses have risen to one of the most profound challenges we’ve faced, in many generations. Without doubt, the recent past has been a challenge not only for us but also for the entire world. In due course, history will admire the fortitude of our current generation of students.

Their achievements shall be recorded as an extraordinary future lesson for those who will follow. Let me remind everyone that being a real University of Liberia student is about growing, changing and helping each other. Our students represent the beacon of light shining our path toward this remarkable goal. We are one family united for purpose and bound together in unity to achieve our core goal. Indeed, we are special.

We are here today because members of the 102nd class meet the vigorous requirement-from the day they stepped their feet on this soil to today’s date.  You showed us you are able, willing and ready to go into the world to compete in the job market with your colleagues from the other side of the world. Importantly, every one of you has earned your place here. Don’t lose your nerve. It won’t always be easy out there, but it will be great, and you will love it.  I am excited by this opportunity to participate in this unique occasion and to join others across the Liberian society to celebrate the achievement of our graduates. Indeed, I remain confident of a brighter future ahead; a brighter future of prosperity, happiness and longevity.

We believe our students embody the great moral purpose of higher education we should never forget: both to better our world today and to till the educational soil for tomorrow to enable them contribute meaningfully.  Graduates, as you enter into world, you have much to be grateful for and to celebrate, even in the face of a very challenging future. I am thankful for our collective resilience and determination.

The efforts of so many creative thinkers and others coming together simply to help and contribute meaningfully makes University of Liberia, especially the College of Social Sciences and humanities, William V.S. Tubman College of Education and David A. Straz Sinje Technical and Vocational College, so special and unique. Here on this famous ground, we thrive together.  We believe that future generations must be able to learn from and teach one another, in order to live and thrive together.

It is wonderful to see all that members of the graduating class have accomplished in pursuing their life’s goals. Graduates, your commitment to remain to the cause of achieving quality education in the face of challenging circumstances – committed everyone to celebrate you in a special manner. Every member of this distinguished graduating class desires to be here today to receive your hard earned degrees. Passionately, I request that you keep focus of those values and virtues, the quality of instructions and counsel that you have achieved from our professional and dedicated faculty. Without doubts, take advantage of your praiseworthy education to continually enrich knowledge and be competitive in the job market. Now, you are in a strong position to be of service to you parents, family, community, institution and the state.

The College of Social Sciences, William V.S. Tubman College of Education and David A. Straz Sinje Technical and Vocational College salute the resilience of our graduates extraordinary achievement for which they are here today.  This class deserves praises for their tendency in overcoming the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and the countless factors of uncertainty.

You are here today because you refused to let the pandemic to overcome you, you rose to the occasion, and you’ve overcome uncertainty to reach your goal.   Remember, you will always encounter competition from your major competitors in the market; use all the persuasive tools of your education, and leadership skills acquired to win the academic battles ahead.

I challenge you to take the hard-earned knowledge and skill into the Liberian society, and beyond the borders of Liberia into the world. Graduates, as you start the next chapter of your journey into the world. These are several special golden rules to observe. Over and over, I have tried to follow these wonderful Three “As” rules and want to observe these three “As”

Always build on what is best in yourself and continue to examine who you are and what your interests are.  Respect those things. Remember the people and the values that helped change your lives in a positive way. Always look for what is best in others.  My father repeatedly told me: Life is less trouble if you spend it lifting people up, not putting people down.  Always do your best in whatever you attempt.  Never say I am unable to do this—keep trying. Believe in yourself.

Keep in mind that your actions will have a direct reflection on this great institution. Be aware that you will be judged by the global society based on your opinions on issues and your interpretations of critical situations.  Graduates, I urge you to be responsible fact-checkers, open-minded scholars, and most of all, persistent truth-tellers.   Use your education to help develop your community, to contribute positively to society’s advancement and to empower your compatriots. You have made your parents, family members, friends, communities and faculty proud.  Congratulations!

 

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About Cholo Brooks 17488 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.

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