University of Liberia Will Remains Weak, If… Says LNBA boss

Cllr. Tiawon Gongloe, President LNBA

The President of the Liberian National Bar Association or LNBA says the capacity of the University of Liberia as the oldest institution in Liberia for the training of Liberian leaders will remain weak.

And this could happen if a large percentage of its funding continues to come from the government and foreign donors, such as the Trustees of Donations for education in Liberia.

Counselor Tiawan Gongloe said Liberians need to learn from the example set by the First President of the Republic of Liberia who was also the first president of Liberia College, the precursor to the University of Liberia. He, for me, is the greatest past president of Liberia by every standard.

He said the late President Joseph Jenkins Roberts was a nationalistic, patriotic, committed to the success of Liberia and a humble leader as shown by the fact after serving as President of Liberia.

Gongloe stated the late President agreed at the time to serve as President of Liberia College and thereby brought his leadership experience and skill in order to make the idea of establishing a higher institution of learning for the future leaders become a reality. Above all Joseph Jenkins Roberts was a generous leader.

He made these comments Friday, 19 February, when served as guest lecturer during the University of Liberia’s Alumni Hundredth Homecoming Day Celebration which brought to former graduates from all walks of life.

The LNBA boss said Roberts set an example that on other President of Liberia has ever followed. “He willed his coffee farm then located at the Mamba Point to the Methodist Church for the education of the children of Liberia.”

Up to present, he continued more than hundred years after his death, the children of Liberia continue to benefit from the generosity President Joseph Jenkins Roberts through the JJ Roberts Educational Foundation that the United Methodist Church has managed so well.

Gongloe therefore commended the United Methodist Church for being a good executor of the will of President Joseph Jenkins Roberts. “If all of our past presidents had donated or willed a portion of their properties to the University of Liberia, our Alma Mater would have been in a better position today, financially.”

A lecturer of Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure Law and Human Rights Law at the Louise Arthur Grimes School of Law at the University of Liberia, is by the same time appealing to former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and current President George M. Weah, to follow the example set by the first President of Liberia, by willing a portion their life-holdings to the University of Liberia.

“I urged all former students and graduates of the University of Liberia as well as friends of the University of Liberia to donate or make provisions in their wills for the support of the University of Liberia,” Gongloe noted.

He believes that another source of raising money for a university is the naming of buildings, halls, classrooms, departments in honor of donors or persons of interest to donors.

“I am appeal to families of those whose parents were honored by the University of Liberia by placing their names on departments, halls and buildings, to make generous donations for the upkeep of those departments, halls, and buildings by either giving money, buildings, farms, parcels of town and farmlands to the University of Liberia,” Gongloe suggested.

He pointed out that if the alumni association or even the University of Liberia administration wants to name a building, a department, hall or hallway in honor of Mary Antoinette Brown, then a group of donors must raise money to support that effort.

During the programme, a rally was held where with several alumni made cash donation. Amongst them were Counselor Tiawan Gongloe and family US$200, UL’s President Julius Nelson and family US$200, Moses Zinnah and family US$200 and many others.

At the ceremony, a moment of silence to the memory of those alumni who, over the last hundred years have transitioned from life to death, especially those who were made to forcibly transition during the Liberian civil conflict was observed.

Amongst them were alumni Victor Ward, Albert Senwah, Tonia Richardson, Wiwi Debbah, Mbolay N’dorbor, David Momolu Lavala,  as well as former President Stephen Yekerson and many more.

These alumni and others were butchered by members of Independent National Patriotic Front and National Patriotic Front of Liberia on the Fendell Campus of the University of Liberia, and the Special Anti-Terrorist Unit or SATU of the Armed Forces of Liberia.

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