A high-powered delegation from the family of fallen Liberian statesman and political Scientist, Prof. Dr. Amos C. Sawyer, led by Mrs. Comfort Sawyer, on Wednesday, 25 May 2022 paid a courtesy call on the Dean of Prof. Amos C. Sawyer College of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Liberia, Prof. Dr. Josephus M. Gray at his Fendall office. Mrs. Sawyer expressed the family’s profound gratitude to the administration, faculty, staff and students of the university for naming Liberia College after her husband. She described the gesture as a great honor done the Sawyer family. She was accompanied by Mr. Ibrahain Nyei from the family.
Prof. Dr. Sawyer rendered selfless services and made with profound contributions to the University of Liberia. He served as Dean of Liberia College, professor of Political Science in the Department of Political Science as well as president of Liberia. Dr. Sawyer’s contribution as a dean and professor at the University greatly impacted, shifted and molded the minds of Liberian youth and foreign nationals. He was one of the brightest and intellectual minds of Liberia and is credited for democratization of Liberia.
In his welcome remarks on behalf of the President of the University, Prof. Dr. Julius Julukon Sarwolo Nelson, Jr., the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Prof. Dr. Moses M. Zinnah, the faculty, staffs and students of the university, Dr. Gray said the visit was great honor and highly appreciated. Dr. Gray said: “Our hearts ache with the loss of Dr. Sawyer and we the UL family, send our prayers to the entire Sawyer family, as we honor the life and legacy. He said Dr. Sawyer’s life is a evidence to the notion that public service is a honorable and joyous calling.
Dr. Gray stated that though sad, appreciation must be expressed to the Sawyer family for taking off their precious time to visit the campuses of the university to say thank you to Dr. Nelson and the entire UL family. He told Dr. Sawyer widow that the college would like to keep such strong ties and partnership with the Sawyer family. Dr. Gray said: “The UL family is very sorry and deeply touched about the death of our former professor, dean and president. While we mourn, we also give glory to God to the immense contributions of Dr. Sawyer”.
He expressed the college’s heartfelt condolences to Dr. Sawyer widow, his children and the rest of the Sawyer family for the loss of former President Sawyer. Dr. Gray reminded Mrs. Sawyer that with sound judgement and leadership, Dr. Sawyer guided the Liberian Nation to a peaceful. As Professor, Dr. Sawyer set the stage for good governance and democracy and up to his demise, he remained humble. According to him, Dr. Sawyer will always be remembered for his devotion to his family, state, people, education, democracy and governance — particularly the University of Liberia. He said Dr. Sawyer’s works will continue to stir future Liberians to pursue quality education, love for country and a greater cause.
In her discussions with the Dean of Sawyer College, Mrs. Sawyer thanked Dr. Gray for the warm welcome and courtesy accorded the Sawyer family on the Fendall Campus of the university. Mrs. Comfort Sawyer informed the Dean of Prof. Amos C. Sawyer College of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Liberia, Prof. Dr. Josephus M. Gray that the family and friends of Dr. Sawyer are greatly delighted for the honor extended him by naming Liberia College after him to memorializing the legacy.
Mrs. Sawyer said: “We want Amos C. Sawyer College of Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Liberia to be hosted exclusively in its own building with the college’s name written in front of the building. As long I have life and with the help of our children and the friends of my late husband, the Sawyer College of College of Social Sciences and Humanities with be moved in its own building.
Mrs. Sawyer, also informed Dr. Gray that some faculty members of Indiana University where Dr. Sawyer taught for years as a professor have expressed the need for a sabbatical leave to engage in scholarly works at the University of Liberia, particularly at the Amos C. Sawyer College to contribute towards quality teaching, learning and research. “The Indiana University will underwrite the cost for the sabbatical leave of its faculty members, but would be most grateful if the administration of UL will provide accommodation,” Mrs. Sawyer added.
Speaking further, Mrs. Sawyer told Dr. Gray that the family of her late husband is considering other critical areas of support such as foreign scholarships for faculty and students of Amos C, Sawyer College to undergo studies at Indiana University. According to her, through the instrumentality of the late husband, the faculty of Louse Arthur Grimes School of Law has benefited from similar scholarships from the Indiana University.
She also expressed the Sawyer Family’s desire to donate stationeries and help to produce the college’s letterhead for all the departments and offices in the college. She also expressed the family desire to donate souvenirs including T-shirts and wooding signs with the inscription “Sawyer College” to be used by students of the college and place on the doors of offices.
Dr. Gray requested the family to support for the construction of larger billboard in front of the Fendall Campus t’s new name (Sawyer College) with the photo of Dr. Sawyer on the billboard. He also requested the family for an official portrait Dr. Sawyer and urged the Sawyer family to consider established a local scholarship in the name of Dr. Sawyer for students for honor and distinction graduates to pursue graduate studies at the UL Graduate School in Monrovia as well as overseas.
Dr. Gray later took Mrs. Sawyer and delegation on a guided tour of the UL Academic Complex Building hosting Amos C. Sawyer College and offices of the institution’s authorities, chairpersons and directors, Among places toured were the departments of Art and Crafts, Political Sciences, History, Liberian Studies, Social Work, Geography, Sociology Anthropology and Criminology, Philosophy and Religious Studies, English and Language Studies, Communication and Media Studies and LUX FM. At these departments, she and delegation were warmly by the various chairpersons.
During the tour, Mrs. Sawyer briefly spoke faculty of the Department of English who were attending a workshop and later interacted with the Vice President for Administration, Mrs. Benetta J. Tar and several directors at a directors’ workshop. At LUX FM, she was taken on a guided tour of the station facility including the studio where she and the dean were interviewed and also toured the UL libraries in Fendall.
During the visit, Dr. Gray presented three books published by Assistant Professor Richmond S. Anderson, Chair, Department of Political Science, Dr. Ambruse M. Nebo, Instructor, Department of Political Science and Mr. Benjamin Sumo, Instructor, Department of English and Language Studies. The dean also presented a copy of the Liberia College inaugural Newsletter in printed in Monrovia and Magazine printed in Paris, France.
Recently, President George Weah, Visitor of the University renamed Liberia College of Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Liberia as Prof. Amos Claudius Sawyer College in honor of the late Dr. Sawyer is part of the Liberian Leader’s way of memorializing the legacy of the fallen statesman who once served as Dean of the College and credited for Liberia’s democratization.
President Weah said he was honoring Dr. Sawyer for his selfless services rendered the University as Professor of Political Science and former Dean of the College for years. The citation recounted Dr. Sawyer’s immense contribution to the intellectual development of the Liberian youth, molding the minds of many other young Liberians at the University and elsewhere.