The President of the University of Liberia (UL), Rev. Dr. Julius Sarwolo Nelson has listed major development undertaken by the University in the past year, while also reporting that from 1866 to 2019, the Institution has graduated 41,805 individuals from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, South Africa, Nigeria other countries.
In his message at UL's Centennial Commencement Convocation in Paynesville Wednesday, 11 December, Dr. says some of UL's major developments this past year include the launching into a full fledge college, the Honors and Research College with its first dean Mrs. Mamawa Freeman-Moore, and its first graduands of the College of 22 Honor students.
Dr. Nelson notes the inauguration of the School of Environmental Studies and Climate Change; the establishment of the Public Health Programs (at Master, Bachelor and certificate levels); the integration of the e-portal system to the bank statement with the University's Business and Finance Office with the United Bank for Africa and Ecobank, with technical support from Mwetana.
Further, Dr. Nelson cites the hosting of the Regional Universities for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) meeting in April 2019; contribution of a new marching band set and uniform, and the uniform and equipment for the Varsity Sports team by the Alumni Association of the University of Liberia (USA and Liberia).
He indicates that external grant acquisition and partnership with external universities and organizations have led to an increase in faculty qualitative academic profile and curricular transformation.
Dr. Nelson reveals the beginning of classes for students enrolled in the Master Degree in Clinical Research Program in the College of Health Sciences.
Further, he says the University of Liberia's approved budget for FY 2019/2020 amounts to US$18,659.883, with the Government's contribution to the University's budget amounting to US$16,060,150 or 86% of the total budget.
Dr. Nelson announces the return of a total of 10 faculty members from studies with masters' degrees this year in various disciplines, while also reporting that a total of 14 left this past year for studies including six PhD's and eight Masters.
To date, Dr. Nelson says UL has a total of 28 faculty perusing studies abroad from 2013 to present, including 11 doing Ph.Ds., 15 doing Masters, and two doing Bachelors.
Addressing the University's Centennial Graduating Class of 3,673 members, Dr. Nelson expresses appreciation, saying "We are aware that the challenges have ranged far and wide for all including faculty, staff, administrators, students, and all."
"Today being the one hundredth (100th) Commencement Convocation exercise of the University of Liberia, we are proud to have supplied the Liberian work force yea the world, with professionals, leaders, entrepreneurs, and the rest, and we honor the memories of those very outstanding among the crowd during these years," he says.
He encourages the graduates that as they transition outside the walls of Lux in Tenebris, they must do their utmost and shine their light wherever they are.
"For Liberia can only, and will only be a better place when we roll up our sleeves, and get busy with nation building. Please continue to play your role as you transition into the Alumni Association, and give back to your alma mater as the years go by. Let your light so shine in Liberia, let your light shine in Africa and the world at large," he adds.
Dr. Nelson indicates the celebration is very historic owing to the fact that it is the 100th graduation exercise by UL, beginning from one graduate, Mr. James Henry Evans, in 1866, to a present highest record number of 3,673. He details that 54.62% of the graduates are males, while 45.37% are females.