Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai yesterday urged the 367 students who graduated from the African Methodist Episcopal University (AMEU) to remain focused while pursuing their respective goals in life, rather than resorting to acts that are inimical to society.
Ambassador Boakai told the graduates that in order to effectively contribute to the rebuilding of Liberia, and make the country a land where their children and children’s children can blossom and not just “survive” in, they must drive away lazy mindedness, hatred and envy, lack of patriotism and hate of country as well as disunity.
He said it is not uncommon to see that, in the drive to succeed, some of the youths resort to “Black Money” business, while others when given the opportunity to serve, place their personal interests above their institution or above national interests and shortchange their institutions or the nation at every available opportunity.
“Based on these principles,” the Vice President observed that several banking institutions in the country have complained that a number of their young recruits have occasionally been caught in fraudulent acts, only to satisfy their immediate desires.
Some of their desires, he said include the purchase of flashy vehicles; to travel abroad; while others abandon members of their family and resort to unceasing prayers and fasting in the hope that a miracle or what they call a “breakthrough” will eventually land their way.
He said many of the youths, among them some recent college graduates also have the belief that by going to church and making generous offering (or sowing seeds), they will become wealthy or attain instant success without lifting a finger to work.
“Don’t get me wrong; it is indeed a good thing to pray and to do so diligently. But prayer alone is insufficient if we do not properly utilize the gifts that God has given each of us,” VP Boakai charged the graduates.
He gave the admonition at the 15th Commencement Convocation of the AMEU held at the sanctuary of Winner’s Chapel International, in Congo Town, outside Monrovia.
He added: “As humans, we can only utilize our country’s natural endowments through honest work. As it is said in the Bible, “Faith without works is dead.”
VP Boakai admonished the graduates further that in order to succeed in life, they must do away with the “Jackpot mentality,” which leads one to believe that by a single stroke of luck, they would strike gold.
He then called on the graduates to arm themselves with the might of knowledge and authority conferred by their individual degrees.
“I urge you to match your expectations with reality, because I would imagine that most of you have the desire to enter the job market, which is so highly constricted,” the Vice President reiterated to the graduates to a round of applause.
Yesterday’s ceremony was attended by several high profile individuals including Dr. Michael P. Slawon, Director-general, National Commission on Higher Education as well as the entire AMEU faculty and staff, headed by Dr. Joseph T. Isaac, president of the university, among others.
As of 2009, the school had 3,432 students enrolled, with 1,516 of those being males and 1,916 females. The total enrollment placed the school as the second largest student population in the country, second only to the University of Liberia. It was established in 1995 by members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and chartered by the Liberian Legislature in 1996. It was organized by Bishop Cornal Garnett Henning Sr., during his administration as presiding prelate. Bryant Theological Seminary was the first component school of the university.