Ahead of the centenary graduation of the University of Liberia (UL), the administration has earmarked two major projects; a printing press and a time capsule.
The state-owned flagship university was founded in 1862 as Liberia College, and became a full university in 1951. It is a public institution funded mainly by the Government of Liberia (GoL). The University currently has a campus on Capitol Hill, Fendall, Medical School-AM Dogliotti in Congo Town, and Starz-Sinji campus in Sinji, Grand Cape Mount County.
UL vice president for Academic Affairs, Dr. William Ezra Allen, told a news conference on Monday, August 12, 2019 on the Capitol Hill campus that the administration will break grounds for the construction of the printing press on Thursday, August 22.
Dr. Allen: "August has been set aside by the school as a communication week."
The printing press, according to Dr. Allen, will be constructed on the Fendall Campus to supplement government's support towards the university.
"This is a business venture, and it is intended to buttress the support provided by the GoL," he said.
Dr. Allen said that the printing press, which cost is estimated at US$700,000, when completed, will provide high quality services for UL and the public.
Though getting the required funding could appear somewhat difficult, the UL administration remains optimistic that the goal will be achieved through contribution from the public. Therefore, Dr. Allen wants the public, especially the alumni to support the project through its Liberian Dollars account #6101652192 and the United States Dollars account #6101669741.
"We are soliciting support from the public as we earmark this project, which is geared to augment government's financing," said Dr. Allen.
He said that the time capsule (project) is intended to preserve the history of the UL, and other renowned institutions for the next generation.
"We will put in pieces of our own history into the time capsule. We will liaise with other institutions like Orange, and LoneStar, as well as other public and privately-run institutions to get some important documents on them. It could be their payroll, staff listing or other important information. We will put it in a box, and that will be unlocked within the 100 years-in 2119. Remember, as I said earlier, the major goal of this idea is to preserve and transmit historical information for the future," Dr. Allen said.
On the ensuing graduation, he said that unlike previous years, in which programs were held at the college level, the much-awaited 100th graduation convocation will take place on December 11, so that everybody celebrates together.
"We are doing this not because of financial constraints, but want everyone to celebrate the centenary together for that day," he added.
The centennial graduation will be held under the theme, "Memory, Preservation, and the Way Forward."
At the same time, the Vice President for UL Relations, Atty. Norris Tweah, said the school is seeking the support from a number of alumni from several countries, including those residing in the United States, Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya, some of who have already pledged to support the printing house project.