The Tubman University in Harper City, Maryland County, on Tuesday May 31, graduated 218 students, who successfully completed their undergraduate studies covering a period of four years.
Agriculture, among the five colleges, tops the number with 44 graduates.
The university, which is the second government run tertiary institution in Liberia, is operating five colleges including Health Sciences, Education, Agriculture and Food Science, Management and Administration, and Engineering and Technology.
This graduation exercise is the third since the institution began operation in September 2009, after the war that damaged all facilities on the campus.
According to the Chairman of the Board of Trustee of the University, Dr. Emmet Dennis, the university started with 287 students in September 2009 and presently, it has an enrollment of about 1,195 students.
He explained that this third commencement brought the number of graduates to 428 since 2009.
Dr. Dennis praised outgoing president Dr. Elizabeth Davis Russell for her passion and dedication to uplifting the university from what he described as “ashes to excellence.”
“In spite of infrastructural damage, Dr. Russell started classes with 287 students, renovated 13 of the 15 damaged buildings and constructed six new buildings, with 28 units,” he said.
The institution was once known as “William V. S. Tubman College of Technology,” but upon the appointment of Dr. Russell as president, she lobbied for its elevation; and in 2010, it was enacted by the National Legislature as the second state run university.
The orator, Dr. Bernice Bass De Martinez urged the graduating class to remain focused as graduation is only a stepping stone that leads to the next phase of learning.
She explained that as graduates of the Tubman University, they are now charged with helping to make a positive difference in their own and the lives of others.
“Support and contribute to all that make a positive advancement and bountiful future for Liberia regardless of where you go from here, where you work and where find yourselves,” she said.
Dr. Bernice Bass Martinez, who served as the founding chair of the Tubman University Board, cautioned the graduates to make plans that will guide them in the next stage of their lives and set goals that they hope to achieve.
“You need to establish a road map for yourselves, how you will travel throughout your lives, how you’re going to use the talents you acquired,” she added.
“Life is like a journey, it includes planning a road map and planning to reach a destination.
“What you have in your mind cannot be taken or stolen; you have the key and only you can share it. One could lose all of his or her earthly possessions, but cannot be robbed of his/her education.”
She encouraged the graduates to focus and take their education seriously, adding, “Your education is and will always remain your greatest asset of possession.”
Historically, Tubman University was the William V.S. Tubman College of Technology, but because the county lacked a higher institution of learning and many students found it difficult to leave Maryland to go to Monrovia, political leaders and other prominent citizens advocated for the establishment of a university in the region.
Construction of the college began after the celebration of President Tubman’s 75th birth anniversary during the regime of President William R. Tolbert.
TC began operation in August 1978 with the enrollment of 87 students.