Monrovia — The Director General of the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL), Mr. Tolbert Nyenswah, has extolled the administration of University of Liberia (UL) for embracing its responsibility by focusing on critical areas in the development of Liberia.
But while extolling the UL administration, he called on Government of Liberia (GoL) to lean on the expertise of Liberian technocrats and scholars to move the country forward.
Mr. Nyenswah commended Government for he what he described as "Placing education at the peak of its Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development, urging Liberia ns of various stripes Liberians to rally around the Government for the good of the country."
"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," said Nyenswah, when he served as the commencement speaker at the graduation of T.J.R. College of Science and Technology.
Mr. Nyenswah lauded the graduates for their fortitude and expressed hope that 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.
He spoke on the theme, "The Role of Science and Technology in National Development."
"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 asserted.
The keynote speaker said that 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 praised 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.
He commended the college 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," Nyenswah noted, saying 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 ad eight in Midwifery.
But what is remarkable about this year's class is the number of female graduates: A total of 191 females graduated compared to 195 males. This has continued 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. And this, many believe could happen as early as next graduation, when the university celebrates its centennial anniversary.
Convening the third-day convocation of the UL college-based graduation, the Dean of the College, Dr. Peter S. Humphrey applauded his faculty for their selfless approach to duty in the preparation of the students.
Dr. Humphrey charged 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 said the University of Liberia's College of Science and Technology will only mount, considering the man in whose honor the college was 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."
In her routine special greetings to attendants and graduates, the President of the University, Dr. Ophelia Inez Weeks disclosed that plans have been approved add Computer Science and Information and Communication Technology division to the College of Science and Technology, adding that the University of Liberia 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 implored the government and other partners for the requisite support needed to make the approved plan a reality, noting that science and technology are critical drivers for the development of any country.
For his part, the valedictorian of thec, Julian Cooke encouraged 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, reflected on the rigors of learning he endured at UL and challenged students of the state-run University to not be deterred by the challenges they faced during their academic sojourn.
The college is named after a renowned engineer and politician, Thomas Jefferson Richelieu Faulkner. It was annexed to the University of Liberia on June 1, 1974, and it has since been the preparer of Liberia's leading Scientists.