UL Announces Academic Excellence Journalism Award in Memory of Philip N. Wesseh

Faculty members of the University of Liberia paying their tribute

The authorities of the University of Liberia (UL) have announced the establishment of Academic Excellence Journalism Award in memory of a statesman, illustrious Liberian and an icon of Print Journalism in Liberia, Mr. Philip N. Wesseh. The fallen media hero, an alumnus and a part-time instructor of the University of Liberia earned his BA degree in Mass Communication in 2002 and a LLB degree in Law. He practiced as a professional journalist for over 40 unbroken years and rose from reporter to managing editor.

Members of the Liberian media community also paid their tribute

Indeed, he was one of the “academic stars” at the Department of Communication and Media Studies (formerly Department of Mass Communication) having demonstrated his ability to perform, achieve and meaningfully excel in scholastic activities, evidenced by achieving high grades and superior performance in his class.

Mr.Ledgerhood Julius Rennie. Minister of Information paid tribute on behalf of the Liberian government

The annual award: “Philip N. Wesseh Academic Excellence Journalism Award” has been established in the Department of Communication and Media Studies at the Prof. Amos C. Sawyer College of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Liberia. Annually, the Dean of the College will bestow on student who academically perform, achieve high distinction and excel in scholastic works the “Philip N. Wesseh Academic Excellence Journalism Award”.

Casket bearing the remains of the late Philip N. Wesseh

Since 1862, the College has traditionally served students pursuing a full, four-year undergraduate bachelor’s degrees in the most exceedingly respected professional academic disciplines. The College has emerged as a center of instruction for undergraduate students in humanities and social sciences education. The college seeks to achieve excellence levels of distinction in teaching, learning and research by transmitting knowledge and understanding that are needed to transform the Liberian society and in the service of the world. The College assists students to stay in the institution and realize their full potential and pays close attention to the progression of students from admission to graduation.

The official pronouncement regarding the establishment of the Philip N. Wesseh Academic Excellence Journalism Award” was made by the Dean of Prof. Amos C. Sawyer College of Social Sciences and Humanities (formerly Liberia College), Prof. Dr. Josephus M. Gray who was authorized by the President of the University, Prof. Dr. Julius Julukon Sarwolo Nelson, Jr. (Due to the UL president official visit trip to the United States of America) to officially represent him at the funeral of the fallen Liberia media icon, Mr. Philip N. Wesseh, a part-time instructor and alumnus of the University of Liberia.

Mourners at the funeral of the late Wesseh at the Trinity United Methodist Church last Friday in New Kru Town

According to Dr. Gray, the academic award is intended to uphold the legacy of an illustrious journalist and an icon of Print Journalism in Africa, particularly Liberia. He said one way of remembering an illustrious Liberian who impacts have practically changed millions of people and preserving his legacy is through the establishment of an award.

Also, Prof.. Gray delivered an emotional tribute on behalf of the entire University of Liberia family including the Board of Trustees, President, Vice Presidents and Associate Vice Presidents, Faculty Senate, Alumni, Council of Deans, staffs and the entire students’ population at the University of Liberia. He extended the UL President Dr. Nelson and the entire University of Liberia family deepest condolences to the family of the fallen Liberian media hero. He described Mr. Wesseh’s death as a irreparable loss to the nation and state especially the noble journalism profession.

Dr. Gray further stated: “Our hearts ache with the loss of Mr. Wesseh and we the UL family, send our prayers to the entire Wesseh family, as we honor the life and legacy. “Philip meant so much to the University of Liberia”, Dr. Gray noted. It is quite painful to say goodbye not because he is going far away but because he is are no more. Philip is celebrated today because of his exemplify life on earth. He was a GOOD man, a man with a great heart of service

The tribute reads:  “Indeed, Philip N. Wesseh was Iconic of journalism in post war Liberia. He had helped elevate the status of journalism from the rather shady and dumping ground for job seekers to a respectable profession.” Dr. Gray told the congregation and the Wesseh’s family that the academic excellence award in journalism is given to an outstanding journalist who contributes to journalism, free press, academia, open society, the University, the community, and human development.

According to Prof. Gray, the late Philip N. Wesseh has left a great stamp in the hearts of many persons. He described Mr. Wesseh as a good man, and added that late Philip N. Wesseh has won the respect of thousands of Liberians for his adherence to his professionalism, objectivity, balance and facts and above all was trustworthy.  He took his role seriously, and practically changed everyone who pass through his arms at The INQUIRER newspaper. His life was well spent, and his influence everyone will forever remain.

You may be gone but you have left a great legacy for us… Rest on boss.

It is difficult for me to come to terms with the fact that you are gone.. Rest on boss.

Thank you for always encouraging and challenging us to do more. Rest on boss

Thank you Philip    for being the kind of good boss you were Thank you for a life well lived

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About Cholo Brooks 13043 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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