L-R: Dean of Science College, Dr. Peter S. Humphrey; Commencement Speaker, Tolbert Nyenswah, and UL President, Dr. Ophelia Inez Weeks
The Director General of the National Public Health Institute of Liberia or NPHIL, Tolbert Nyenswah, calls on the Government of Liberia (GoL) to utilize expertise of Liberian technocrats and scholars in moving the country forward.
He extols the University of Liberia (UL) for embracing its responsibility by focusing on critical areas in the country’s development. Director Nyenswah however commends the Government for “Placing education at the peak of its Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development, urging Liberians of various stripes to rally around the Government for the good of the country.”
Serving as commencement speaker at the graduation of the T.J.R. College of Science and Technology of the University of Liberia, as part of the University’s 99th Commencement Convocation on Wednesday, 5 December Director Nyenswah notes, “This Pillar clearly states as goal number one: to empower Liberians with tools to gain control of their lives through the more equitable provision of opportunities in education, health, youth development, and social project.”
He lauds the graduates for their fortitude and hopes they will make significant contributions in moving Liberia forward in the areas of science, technology, and research, noting that a scientifically unsophisticated society ruins in poor quality in all sectors.
Speaking on the theme, “The Role of Science and Technology in National Development”, the NPHIL boss continues; “The world of tomorrow is about thinking ahead, creativity, technology, entrepreneurship, and innovation. These are important facts that should be easily recognizable benchmarks of educated persons.”
He says developing a nation requires much of a human development index and the capacity to be at a much higher level, citing that educated Liberians are needed to drive the development of the country.
He praises this year’s graduates as the nation’s greatest assets desirous of support as they endeavor to further their studies to make an impact on the global stage.Nyenswah commends the T.J.R. College of Science and Technology for its immense contribution in the lives of individual families and Liberia at large in the field of the sciences.
“It is satisfying to know that the State University can now train young Liberians in the field of prevention and contribute more to better health outcomes,” adding that the cultivation and facilitation of science and technology in order to foster infrastructural development and boost the economy of Liberia is cardinal.
During the commencement, a total of 386 students received diplomas; 293 in Biological Sciences, 43 in Chemistry, 12 in Mathematics, two in Physics , 23 in Nursing, and eight in Midwifery, respectively.
According to the UL Administration, a total of 191 females graduated compared to 195 males, a trend that began few years ago which shows a significant shrinking of the male and female graduation gap, and now places the T.J.R. College of Science and Technology in a pole position to become the first college at the university where women could surpass men in terms of graduation.
The Dean of the College, Dr. Peter S. Humphrey, applauds his faculty for their selfless approach to duty in the preparation of the students.
Dr. Humphrey charges the graduates to see themselves as valuable assets that could positively impact the economy of the country. Paying tribute to the founder of the science college, Dr. Humphery notes the University of Liberia’s College of Science and Technology will only mount, considering the man in whose honor it is named.
“Born in North Carolina in 1869, Thomas Jefferson Richelieu Faulkner was a scholar in the field of engineering,” he said. “He is credited to be the first person to introduce electricity, telephone and the ice factory in Liberia. As a public figure, he also served as Mayor of the City of Monrovia. This is the man the President of the University of Liberia is urging graduates of the College to emulate.”
The President of the University of Liberia, Dr. Ophelia Inez Weeks discloses that plans have been approved to add Computer Science and Information and Communication Technology division to the College of Science and Technology, adding that the University has signed a memorandum of understanding with Obafemi Awolowo University, in Nigeria, to provide support for this latest development at the state-run University.
She implores the government and other partners for the requisite support needed in making the approved plan a reality, stressing that science and technology are critical drivers for the development of any country.
The valedictorian for graduating class, Julian Cooke, encourages his peers to live the motto of the University with integrity to bring dignity to themselves and the UL family.Mr. Cooke, a product of the Biology Department, reflects on the rigors of learning he endured at UL and challenges students of the University not to be deterred by the difficulties they faced during their academic sojourn.
–Editing by Jonathan Browne