President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has praised the level of transformation at the State-run University of Liberia. She said she remains proud of the institution even after her administration particularly the general stability, remarkable improvement and the overall quality services provided at the University of Liberia.
“Today is a wonderful day; It is a, day we can all be proud of as I reflect on 2006, the first convocation in which I participated as visitor, the University had gone through some very difficult times: not sufficient budgetary appropriation, students sometimes staying at the University 4 years, 5 years and 6 years because the University was always closed; violence protest, difficulties in admission because of impropriety in the process :All of those; quality of work, quality of instruction, all requiring some efforts on the part of everybody to make this University what it supposed to be, Today am proud of all of you who have graduated, am proud of this University family-going back to Dr. Dennis, now Dr. Weeks with the progressive transformation that we now see,” President Sirleaf noted.
According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf made the statement on Wednesday, December 13, 2017 at the University of Liberia 98th Commencement Convocation at UL Fendell Campus in Louisiana –Montserrado County. The Liberian leader who is also the Visitor to the University recalled in 2006 when the University of Liberia was in an appalling condition with persistent students’ demonstration something she said caused major setbacks to the University calendar of events among others.
She lauded the collective efforts of past and present leaderships, members of the University of Liberia including students for their noteworthy efforts over the years in transforming the University at different levels. She congratulated the graduates and recognized their many sponsors, parents, and guidance and family members for the support given them and the high studies among others. Some 3,448 students graduated in various disciplines.
Delivering his commencement address, Ghanaian President, Nana Ado-Dankwa Akufo Addo thanked the University of Liberia for the invitation to serve as the 98th Commencement Speaker of the University of Liberia and for honor bestowed on him. He noted the December 7 recent ruling made by the Supreme Court of Liberia on the presidential election, must ensure that Liberia will have its first peaceful handover of power from one democratically elected leader to another in 73 years.
“The work undertaken by that truly historic figure, the first elected female leader of an African nation, President Sirleaf, in stabilizing the country, after a bitter and protracted civil war has been very solid and commendable,” he said. He continued: “I am anticipating that, at the end of the day, Liberia’s institutions, particularly the Supreme Court and the Electoral Commission, will be up to the task, and shepherd the country through a successful transition.” He used the occasion to congratulate the graduates for their academic achievements. Meanwhile, President Akufo Addo departed Liberia on Thursday for Ghana.
Earlier, Dr. Ophelia Weeks, President of the University of Liberia commended President Sirleaf for the support given to the University over the years and the maintenance of peace, progress and stability in Liberia and described her as a great leader. Dr. Weeks, in appreciation of President Sirleaf’s contribution to the University of Liberia and excellent leadership skills exhibited presented a Certificate of Appreciation to President Sirleaf.
She used the occasion to praise the UL Administration and students for their involvement in dialogue in moving the university forward.Dr. Weeks stared at acts of violence at the university campuses that almost created unhealthy situation for the 98th Commencement convocation. She named peaceful dialogue as a possible means of addressing critical situation confronting students who feel disenchantment and not violence. “Today we celebrate all our graduates and say well done,” Dr. Weeks intoned.
The ceremony was graced by several senior government officials, international partners, members of diplomatic missions accredited to Liberia, family members, among others.