The Leigh-Sherman Community College and Executive Secretarial School on Sunday, November 17, graduated 23 students in a grand style at the Monrovia City Hall.
The 39th graduation ceremony of the school’s executive secretarial science coincided with the 28th commencement Convocation of the college.
The college was founded some years ago, and named in honor of one of Liberia’s finest educators and administrators, Mrs. Theresa Leigh-Sherman.
Each of the 23 graduates on Sunday received an Associate of Arts (AA) degree in various academic disciplines, a diploma in secretarial and computer sciences respectively.
By that, they have also been prepared to take on the challenges of seeking for jobs in the Liberian society and other parts of the world.
The institution runs on the motto, “There is no Excellence without Labor.”
The graduation ceremony on Sunday became necessary after the students had completed the college’s prescribed courses in disciplines such as Secretarial Science, Accounting, Business Management, Computer Science, etc.
Three students including Ms. Ruth Y. McCritty, Jartu B. Johnson and Dorothy B. Darming received the Charles Dunbar Sherman (highest academic) Award, Best T.W. Duphingy Deportment Award, and Regular Attendance Award, respectively amidst jubilation from their colleagues and well-wishers.
Earlier in her annual message, the president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the institution, Mrs. Theresa Leigh-Sherman informed the audience that after 38 years of existence of the college and the executive secretarial school, the institution now has new academic programs. The programs, which will be included in the curriculum, next academic year, are in Hotel Management and Hospitality.
At the same time also, the college has established a sister-relationship with a United States-based Sinclair Community College. Both colleges are expected to be engage in faculty and exchange program.
In another development, Mrs. Leigh-Sherman disclosed that after 38 years, the college administration feels it is time for it to also move to its own campus and permanent home on Somalia Drive in Paynesville.
At present, the college operates in its rented campus in the Fiama Community in Sinkor, Monrovia.
“The construction of the new campus was made possible with assistance from our many friends and supporters and also from a fund-raising program we hosted. This enabled us to reach at least 80 percent of the construction work,” Mrs. Leigh-Sherman explained.
Not too long ago, the college was granted accreditation by the University of Liberia, the University of Ghana, Legon, and the United Methodist University (UMU) in Monrovia.
The accreditation exercise, she said, was done to upgrade most of the existence academic programs.
Additionally, the president disclosed among other things that from its inception 38 years ago, the college and the Executive Secretarial School have been grounded in a vision of excellence, where the motto, “There is no Excellence without Labor,” became necessary.
Mrs. Leigh-Sherman: “As a pioneering institution in the field of Secretarial Science, we have successfully trained and placed over 5,500 administrative professionals in positions with government, public and private corporations, international organizations and the Liberian diplomatic missions.”
According to her, in the years since Liberia’s civil conflict, Leigh-Sherman has emerged with a renewed sense of purpose and responsibility in her academic programs.
She disclosed that because Liberia has entered a period of tremendous revitalization and progress in which education and professional training are imperative, “Our economic progress and political stability have been driven by our ability to train and prepare our young people to take advantage of opportunities that are already here, as well as those that are on the horizon.”
The college’s task, which is a must, the president declared, is to help the younger generation with the tools necessary for success and upgrade their skills professionally.
In her mind, the prepared young people, who are the future leaders, need to be trained in an environment that is conducive to achieve their goals.
“Today, at Leigh-Sherman,” she said, “they have a staff of highly qualified professionals, who have dedicated their time and efforts to educating and monitoring the progress of our future leaders.”
Encouragingly, the college offers a free-job placement for her graduates, where at present; some of them (graduates) work with government, public and private corporations and also in all sections of the United Nations agencies in the country and abroad.
So true, some of them, too, are being assigned to Liberian embassies and private businesses, while others who gained the needed opportunities are also studying in the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States of America pursuing their Masters and Doctorate degrees.
“We are indeed proud of our students and graduates as they continue to be a beacon of light to youths of our country and graduates of Leigh-Sherman,” Ma Theresa Leigh-Sherman declared to a round of applause.
In her keynote address, Sierra Leonean Ambassador to Liberia, Rev. Dr. Marie Barnett, challenged the graduates to keep pressing and remain fearless in their pursuit of academic advancement.
The astute female diplomat spoke on the theme, “Fear Not,” because, according to her, Jesus Christ inspires His disciples to do likewise since He promised to be with them to the end of this system of things.
As such, she inspired the 23 graduates (all females) to build up their individual career, “because, being an executive secretary places one in the position of the being the backbone of any functional institutions including the banks, diplomatic missions, as well as the three coordinating branches of government and private institutions.”
The female envoy then referred to the graduates as the custodians of Liberia’s transformation drives and or the country’s moving forward arms.
Therefore, she added, “you must keep pressing forward, because the days of using typewriters and or old time inventions are over, but rather, we are in the days of modern technology where digital system is in use.”
“Do not only become computer literates/operators, but be aspired to become one of the inventors too…”
According to Ambassador Barnett, a good and efficient secretary is an asset to any institution. Therefore, she cautioned the graduates to maintain confidentially, “this is the charge.”
“Be trustworthy, dependable, by that you will armed yourselves with dignity, integrity and efficiency.”
She also implored each one of the graduates to be dedicated and love their country and dedicated to it.
Other speakers included a member of the school board, Rev. Dr. Olu Q. Menjay and the Maternal and Reproductive Health Goodwill Ambassador, Miatta Fahnbulleh.
They also urged each of the graduates to press forward as they dedicate themselves to the profession.