The occasion was the institution’s 98th Commencement Exercises on Wednesday, December 13, 2017.
The Honorary Doctorate degree conferred on President Akufo-Addo by the Board of Trustees of the University of Liberia, and upon the recommendation of the President of the university, Professor Ophelia Weeks, is “in recognition of your substantive contribution to strengthening the rule of law in Ghana, and also in recognition of your substantive contributions in Liberia’s peace building process, coupled with your invaluable service to the Ghana State over the years, as a veritable patriot.”
Receiving the award, President Akufo-Addo stated, “I am honoured by the award of the Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree, and assure you that I will do my best not to disgrace the award.”
This is the second honour President Akufo-Addo has received from famous African universities.
The first was an Honorary Doctor of Law Degree, in May 2016, from the celebrated Fort Hare University of South Africa, which has been the cradle of African nationalism, having churned out graduates such as Nelson Mandela, Julius Nyerere, Desmond Tutu, Oliver Tambo, Govan Mbeki, Seretse Khama, Herbert Chitepo, Robert Sobukwe, Joshua Nkomo, Chris Hani, Kenneth Kaunda, Robert Mugabe and Mangosuthu Buthelezi.
“I am lucky, as the first was received during my time as leader of Ghana’s opposition, and this in my period as President of Ghana,” he said to a rousing applause from the gathering.
Whilst congratulating the president, vice chancellor, lecturers, students and all alumni at the 98th Commencement Exercises of the institution, President Akufo-Addo stated that the University of Liberia had done more than most in shaping the intellectual, moral and political outlook of Liberia.
“And I must confess that I feel so proud to be part of such a seminal moment. I feel very keenly the weight of history and the burden of the aspirations of the men and women who passed through these gates, especially in its early years. They had to believe in themselves and in the African race, when all around them said they counted for nothing,” he recalled.
The president continued, “They had to believe in the capacity of the African to conduct his or her own affairs, and be a respected member of the global community, when all around them said they were not up to it. The University of Liberia, from its opening in 1863, to becoming a full-fledged university in 1951, told the young people, who came to study here, that they had the same capabilities as every other young person of every colour, language or race.”
A Freelance Journalist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A contributory writer for Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. He is a 2018 Mandela Washington Fellow (YALI) who studied at Clark Atlanta University on the Business and Entrepreneurship track. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morganview all posts by: Nana Kwesi Coomson
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