President Sirleaf Challenges ABCU Graduates
The twenty-six students who graduated from the African Bible College University (ABCU) in the mining town of Yekepa, Nimba County have been challenged not to keep what they’ve learned over the years to themselves, but to rather share the knowledge to benefit others.
The graduates obtained degrees in various academic disciplines including mass communication, religious studies, liberal arts and education.
And because of the value of their respective disciplines, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf challenged them to share the knowledge they have acquired in order to transform the country.
The President said quality education is the greatest gift anyone can give his or her children, as it is critical to the foundation of national development and transformation. She encouraged all Liberians to make it their responsibility to provide quality education for their children, an Executive Mansion release said.
President Sirleaf, giving the keynote address at the 15th Commencement Convocation of the ABCU last Saturday, urged the graduates to widen their horizons and find their places in society, while at the same time using their talents to contribute to the national development agenda and participating in the transformation of Liberia.
She among other things challenged the graduates to reach out and share their knowledge acquired and develop community service projects for safe and improved public places, which she said, will enhance productivity.
She further admonished the graduates to find their voices and use their skills for the upliftment of values, especially the ones cherished by Christians.
The President called on the instructors to appreciate quality education by providing basic skills training and quality education for young Liberians to help decrease the hardships they encounter in urban and rural communities.
She told the graduates to value what they have learned, to better position themselves for the job market. She also cautioned the graduates to be steadfast and faithful in their deeds.
“I know that there were times when the burden was beyond you and your family afar seemed more than you could bear; when the spirit of collegiality weakened as you sought only to be alone; when the mountains around you seemed no longer to provide the serenity for thought. I know that there may have been times when you felt like giving up.
“But you labored on, your eyes set on the goal that is today. You were helped in this journey by the philosophy of your institution, the ABCU, a philosophy engrained in the firm belief that quality education with God’s word at the center will make you a quality leader for Christ,” the President intoned.
She said quality education, by definition is education that is nationally relevant and globally competitive, built upon a foundation of clearly articulated values and ethics, and presents the learner with deserved opportunities.
The commencement speaker observed that: “Its goal is to transform the learner, who is then able to demonstrate new knowledge, skills and attitudes in readiness to serve humankind.”
President Sirleaf commended Dr. John and Mrs. Nell Chinchen, the administration and sponsors of the ABCU for their commitment to contributing to education in Liberia. She also lauded the efforts of the parents for supporting their children.
She praised the persistence of the Chinchens and the goodwill of Samaritan Purse that helped to restore ABCU, adding, “Liberia owes much to you, John and Nell, for the vision and the determination to meet the unfulfilled need for the blending of knowledge with the values of Christianity.”
Dr. Buz David Beauchamp, ABCU president, thanked President Sirleaf for accepting the invitation to serve as the commencement speaker, and thanked the President for her exemplary leadership and commitment to providing quality education for all.
ABC University is nestled at the base of the beautiful East Nimba Range, which makes the learning environment conducive for study and reflection. The ABCU was opened in Liberia for classes in March 1979 with an initial enrollment of 22 students. The college entered a sad period of history as a result of the Liberian civil war in 1989.
The campus was restored in 2003 and classes resumed in 2008.
Saturday’s ceremony was graced by several personalities including J. Carney Johnson, chairman, ABCU Board; Senator George T. Tengbeh of Lofa County; Nimba County Superintendent Dorr Cooper; and others.