“A Very Distinguished Class”

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Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Y. Best (far left) take Mr. Alexander B. Cummings (3rd from left) on a tour of the Stanton B. Peabody Memorial Library at the Daily Observer. Ms. Satta C. Sonie (right) a professional librarian, gives a brief introduction about the library.

Cummings describes BWI Class of ’59

Alexander B. Cummings, the political leader of the opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC) described Booker Washington Institute (BWI) Class of ’59 as a very distinguished class that produced many great people, some them now living in the diaspora, while others, among them, Dr. Kenneth Y. Best, a veteran journalist, are in the country contributing to the Liberia’s development.

Mr. Cummings made the statement on Thursday, April 25, 2019, when he paid a courtesy visit to the Stanton B. Peabody Library at the Daily Observer newspaper in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.

His description of the BWI Class of ’59 came about when he was informed about e-book Dr. Best recently published, entitled, “The Melting Pot: History of the BWI Class of ’59.”

He said not only are the members of the class of ’59 making headways, but their children too are also emulating their parents’ examples by significantly impacting the society.

Mr. Cummings named Richelieu Dennis Jr., and Nyema N. Tubman, two children of the BWI Class of ’59 as the highest contributors to his development objective.

Richelieu Dennis Jr. is the son of the late Richelieu Dennis Sr., and Nyema N. Tubman, the son of Cllr. Robert Tubman, who married a Swedish woman and lives in Sweden with his family.

In a related development, Mr. Cummings has pledged to help digitize the Liberian Observer’s library for the benefit of the students, and the public to do research.

Dr. Best e-book, The History of the Class of ’59, was launched Thursday, April 18, 2019 on the Daily Observer newspaper’s website.

The e-book recounts the most memorable events of BWI Class of 1959 in a riveting story-telling fashion.

It highlights the most distinguished accomplishments of the members of this unique and extraordinary class. Even their children went on to accomplish greater feats as is also recounted in the book.

Members of the class hailed from across the Liberian landscape. As such, the old “Country-Congau divide” is rendered null and void in this e-book – which is why the class is described as a “melting pot., but for Mr. Cummings, it was “a very distinguished class.”

Members of the class did not only represent their various counties, but also distinguished themselves, and excelled in their various academic and professional careers that included architects, lawyers, businessmen and women, engineers of various kinds, pilots, distinguished military personnel, and even a presidential candidate, Cllr. Winston Tubman, were born out of the BWI Class of ’59.

Several Liberian academics have commented on the book. In a moving foreword to the book, Sister Mary Laurene Browne, President of Stella Maris Polytechnic in Monrovia, writes:

The Melting Pot: History of the Class of’59 should be in the hands of today’s Liberian students so that the implications of scholarship can be thoroughly valued.

As an educator, it is my desire to see our education system to sit on the old mat to effectively plait the new.”

African Methodist Episcopal University President, Joseph T. Isaac, also a BWI alumnus (Class of 1982), describes the Class of ‘59 as one of the nation builders:

“Everyone with interest in vocational education in Liberia, who wishes to understand the specific blend of academic formula employed by the BWI in teaching, training and creating top leaders for Liberia’s national development agenda, wish no more; because in this book, KYB has unpacked the density and unmasked the mystery with this story of the Class of 1959… Kenneth Best, in his classic storytelling posture, describes how this group of intelligent and committed students from various backgrounds went from being complete strangers to each other at BWI in 1956, to become lifetime friends and colleagues, and major actors on the national stage.

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