31 Foreign Ministry Employees Earn Degrees

Assistant Foreign Minister for Public Affairs, Josephus M. Gray, recieving Master degree at the ceremony
Assistant Foreign Minister for Public Affairs, Josephus M. Gray, recieving Master degree at the ceremony
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Thirty-one employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday, April 29, 2009, completed their studies at the nation’s highest institution of learning, the University of Liberia, with degrees in various disciplines following their satisfactory completion of all the academic requirements.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs tops various government ministries and agencies by producing the highest number of graduates from the University of Liberia among government institutions. A total of 11 females and 20 males are recorded for the Ministry of foreign Affairs which is headed by Her Excellency Mrs. Olubanke King-Akerele.

 The 31 employees are from the various bureaux including Foreign Service Institute, Public Affairs, Afro-Asian Affairs, International Cooperation, Legal Affairs, Protocol, Publication Administration and Liberian Diplomatic Mission in Addis Ababa, among others.

 A statistical breakdown shows that ten females and 13 males obtained Bachelor Degrees in various disciplines from the Under-graduate Colleges at the University of Liberia, while one female and five males earned various degrees and certificates from the Professional Schools, and additional males also received Master of Arts Degrees in International Relations.

Two of the 31 Foreign Ministry employees earned a Master of Arts Degree in International Relations from the Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida Graduate School of International Studies (IBB), University of Liberia while the rest obtained their various degrees from the Under-graduate Colleges at the University of Liberia.

The two employees are Assistant Foreign Minister for Public Affairs, Mr. Josephus M. Gray and Mr. George S. W. Pattern of the Liberian Diplomatic Mission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Assistant Minister Gray is an author of a 185-page thesis entitled: The Liberian Civil War-1989-2003: The Major Causes and ECOWAS Intervention.

Meanwhile, the 87th Commencement of the University of Liberia produced the largest graduates in the history of the university, with the total 2,437 persons graduating from the Under-graduate, Professional and Graduate Schools.

According to the statistical breakdown of the graduates, the Graduate Program in Educational Administration produced 51 graduates; Graduate Program in Business and Public Administration, 28, while 42 persons obtained master degree from the Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida Graduate School of International Studies (IBB). Also the Graduate Program in Regional Science conferred master degree on 43.

   A statistical breakdown published in the UL Souvenir Programme for 87th Commencement indicates that 294 graduated from the Graduate Programs and Professional Schools while 2,143 of the of the total 2437 has been recorded for the Under-graduate Colleges which include Liberia College (College of Social Sciences & Humanities), College of Business and Public Administration, William R. Toblert, Jr. College of Agriculture & Forestry, T. J. R. Faulkner College of Science & Technology and William V.S. Tubman Teachers College are all expected to put out graduates.

According to the statistical of the graduates, the Graduate Program in Educational Administration produced 51 graduates; Graduate Program in Business and Public Administration, 28, while 42 persons obtained master degree from the Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida Graduate School of International Studies (IBB). Also the Graduate Program in Regional Science conferred master degree on 43.

The various Professional Schools also produced graduates with the School of Pharmacy conferring degree on five person, Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law, 60; A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine, four and 55 from the  Kofi Annan Institute of Conflict Studies.

 For the Under-Graduate level, the Liberia College (College of Social Sciences & Humanities) graduated the total number of 516, with Mass Communication Department producing 48 graduates, History, two; French Department, three; English and Literature, two; Department of Political Science, 36 while the Sociology and Anthropology Department graduated 395.

 The College of Business and Public Administration produced 1,338 graduates, with the Department of Accounting graduating 586; Department of Economics, 281; Management Department, 396; while the Department of Public Administration produced 116.

  The T. J. R. Faulkner College of Science & Technology 185 graduates, with Biology Department graduating 119; Chemistry Department, 9; Mathematics, 17; Physics, three; Zoology, 13; Civil Engineering, 12; Electrical Engineering, 18; Mining Engineering, One and Geology, one.

The William R. Toblert, Jr. College of Agriculture & Forestry produced the total of 74  graduate, with 38 persons graduating from the Department of General Agriculture, Agronomy, four and General Forestry, 34 graduates. The William V.S. Tubman Teachers College produced 86 graduates, with 28 persons graduating from the Department of Primary Education and 60 persons obtaining degree from Secondary Education.

The 87th Commencement Convocation was epitomized by poignant feeling, joy and tears with bulk of the graduates and their family members bopping and celebrating, while other alumnae and their relations were seen visibly weeping at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville where the April 29, 2009 historic occasion was held.

  The colorful event was well planned unlike Baccalaureate Service which was poorly-planned. The major routes and feeder ones leading to the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex, the suburb of Paynesville experienced awful congested traffic as thousands of love-ones and well-wishers flocked the SKD Sports Complex to share their joy with the graduates.

Many had to stop their vehicles as far as the SKD Boulevard (few miles away from the main venue) due to the heavy traffic. The inconveniences were visible on the faces of those traveling to and from the commercial district of Red-light in vehicles that moved at a snail's pace.

The stadium was crowded with joyous graduates and their well-wishers, professor and journalists that went to cover the occasion.

The occasion at SKD Sports Complex commenced informally with thousands of dancers and singing groups who patiently waited for the formal commencement procession of graduates with whom they had gone to celebrate into the commencement hall.

 Entertainment centers were overcrowded with both graduates and well wishers while other petty businesses within the vicinity of the SKD enjoyed at least “a better day.

Describing the graduating class as the “real graduates”  in the history  of the University of Liberia, the President of the University, Dr. Emmett Denies, said in the midst of all ‘the rocky hills’ in obtaining their education, the graduates were determine in obtaining their degrees, adding that they successfully completed the prescribed academic curriculum of the university. 

 “You are the real graduates of our institution”, sounded proud Dr. Dennis who was especially touched by the non-relenting spirit of most the graduates who proved not to fall victims to some the inherent inadequacies and malpractices of the contemporary world.

  He re-emphasized previous response made to a question as to whether he could ‘beat his chest’ (if he is too proud) for the graduates, to which he said: “I am very proud that they have successfully completed the prescribed academic curriculum of the University.

 He said: I can beat my chest if a graduate has made a significant contribution to society or is renowned by his or her accomplishment. Therefore as graduates your significance in life is definitely not synonymous with the accumulated grade point average, but that which you make of it.

The University of Liberia was established in 1862 as Liberia College and became a University in 1951. UL as the oldest degree-granting institution in West Africa, it has trained leaders of states including Liberia and other African countries, churches, industries, and commerce.

    During Africa's colonial period, the university provided higher education for many Africans for whom such education was unavailable in their colonies. The University of Liberia has continued to provide higher education for many Africans even during postcolonial times. Liberia College was incorporated by an Act of the Legislature of Liberia in December, 1851.

     The cornerstone for the first building, financed by the Trustees of Donations for Education in Liberia, was laid on January 25, 1858. Consequently, in 1951, the Legislature of the Republic chartered the University of Liberia.

   The Charter granted the University of Liberia by the Legislature merged its constituent elements: Liberia College (by then, the Liberal & Fine Arts College) and the William V.S. Tub man Teachers College. Many other colleges were created over the years of its existence.