Bowen University of Nigeria Honors the Late President Tolbert with a Doctorate Degree

Embassy of Liberia, Abuja

(Abuja, November 8, 2022):    It has been more than four decades since the late Liberian  President Dr. William R. Tolbert, Jr., was assassinated in a bloody coup d’état. To commemorate his stewardship to the Liberian Nation and contributions to Africa and humanity, Bowen University of the Nigerian Baptist Convention located in Iwo, Osun State Nigeria,  honored him with a post-humous doctorate degree at its 17th Convocation on November 5, 2022.

According to a Press Release from the Embassy of Liberia in Abuja, Nigeria, the University also awarded Nigeria’s Former President Dr. Goodluck E. Jonathan with an honorary degree.

A communication to the family of the late Liberian leader announced that “The University, through its Senate and Governing Council, found it worthy to approve His Excellency’s nomination having met the GEL Benchmark, to be awarded a Posthumous Doctoral Degree (Honoris Causa) of Bowen University at its next Convocation”  According to the university’s missive, GEL means Godliness, Excellence and Leadership.

Liberia’s Ambassador to the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire, Her Excellency Willye Mae Tolbert King, accompanied by family members, attended the auspicious occasion, and received the Degree on behalf of her late father.

President William R. Tolbert, Jr. served as President of Liberia between 1971 to 1980. He was the first Black person to serve as President of the Baptist World Alliance from 1965 to 1970.

Among his many international accolades was a Doctor of Divinity degree (Honoris Causa) from his Alma mater, the University of Liberia, in 1966. He was also the first Black recipient of the 12th Annual Gold Medallion “Family of Man” Award from the Council of Churches of the City of New York.

One of his famous sayings was : “If we must rise as a nation, the masses of our people must be raised from the mats on the floors to the mattresses on the beds.”

Founded in 2001, Bowen University is the largest Baptist University in Africa. Its current enrollment is five thousand with a Main Campus in Iwo, Osun State. Its vision is to be a foremost Christian institution of excellence, and a mission of creating a conducive and dynamic teaching, learning and research environment that equips graduates with Christ-like character, positive attitude, and sterling leadership qualities.

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