In less than one month, two professors of the University of Liberia (UL) have died of various ailments, the university has announced.
Mr. Samuel G. Dahn Sr., an Assistant Professor of Accounting and former chair of the Accountant Department and Mr. Prince Sumo Tolbert, I, who was recently appointed as the associate vice president for Enrolment Services died recently.
Mr. Dahn’s death was officially announced in a communication to the university family by Asst. Prof. Hnady J. Kolenky, Interim Dean of the College of Business and Public Administration. He died on Sunday, March 12, after a period of illness. His remains will be laid to rest on April 8, following a wake keeping at his G.S.A. Road residence on April 7, at 9:00 a.m.
As for Mr. Tolbert, he died on Saturday, March 18, at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital following a period of illness, UL said in a release.
Asst. Prof. Dahn spent 15 years working with the UL. On April 10, 2002, he was employed as a part-time faculty and promoted to the academic rank of Assistant Professor on April 13, 2002. In December 2005, he was elevated to the position of Chair of the Accounting Department and taught Accounting Information Systems (Acct. 403) and Principles of Auditing (Acct. 405).
He was a 1983 graduate of the UL with a BBA in Accounting. In 1985, he graduated from the Southeastern University, in the United States with a Master’s Degree in Accounting.
Apart from serving his alma mater, Alumnus Dahn had an illustrious career in the public sector. He worked with the Agricultural and Cooperative Development Bank as vice president for Operations, Deputy Minister of Finance for Expenditure, Assistant Comptroller, Ministry of Finance, and Financial Comptroller at the National Port Authority in Monrovia. He also taught Accounting at the AME Zion University College in Monrovia. As far back as 1987, he served as Deputy Chief Auditor, Tax Audit Division, Department of Revenues, Ministry of Finance.
In a related development, the news of Mr. Tolbert’s death was announced to the UL family by Dr. Ophelia I. Weeks, vice president for academic affairs.
In a short message to the university, Dr. Weeks wrote: “Dear UL family, it is with great sorrow and sadness that I inform you of the death of Mr. Tolbert. He died at the JFK Memorial Hospital. His death has left us all stunned! Please keep his family in your prayers; and may his soul rest in peace.”
The message sent immediate shockwaves across the corridors of the university and elsewhere, with many paying tribute to Tolbert, including former students.
As expected, UL president Dr. Emmet A. Dennis, who appointed Mr. Tolbert to the position, was the first to express sympathy and remember his death.
“Let us all come together and express our deepest sympathy to his family,” Dr. Dennis said, adding, “When something like this happens to a young, brilliant, friendly and progressive individual, it breeds the deepest kind of grief there is; and this is that which the UL Community should reflect.”
In 2014, Dr. Weeks recommended Mr. Tolbert for appointment to the position of chair for the Department of Mathematics, saying, “Mr. Tolbert has the requisite credentials for the position. As well, his expressed vision and strong commitment to the responsibilities add value to his credentials.”
Mr. Tolbert graduated from the UL on May 28, 2003 with a B.Sc. in Mathematics. He served as a part-time faculty in 2005 and was granted full-time status in the Mathematics Department in 2006.
In January 2012, he was awarded a study leave to attain an MSc Degree in Mathematics Education at Makerere University in Uganda, becoming one of 66 faculty members who were sent abroad by Dr. Dennis for advanced studies. He successfully completed his studies and returned to Liberia in November 2013.