-Says Weah, charges CU graduates to think big
President George Weah has admonished graduates of the Cuttington University to remain consistent and persistent in whatever endeavor they undertake. Calling to mind the popular saying “quitters never win and winners never quit,” President Weah urged hundreds of graduates from the Cuttington University (CU) to persist in whatever they venture into as doing so would lead them to success.
President Weah’s admonition was contained in his speech delivered over the weekend at the 57th Commencement Convocation at the CU’s Suakoko campus, near Gbarnga, in Bong County.
He told the over 700 graduates, who had converged to receive their degrees (masters, undergraduates and associates) in various fields that quitting should be no option as they enter into the larger society.
The President told the graduates that persistency brings the desired results that eventually lead to success. “Therefore”, he cautioned, “you should be persistent in what you do and do it to the best of your abilities.”
Narrating his struggles in life, especially his political journey prior to ascending to the pinnacle of political authority in the country, as an example, the President told them not to give up in whatever they venture into as they pursue a new life after walking out of college while at the same time charging them to think big.
He told the graduates to look at his life, a poor boy born in despicable life conditions in the slum of Gibraltar, Clara Town, and who has transformed into what he is now, as an example that anything is possible in life if one is determined, focused and persistent. President Weah noted that his life has been all about dreaming, thinking, planning, commitment and hard work, trying, learning and trying again before success is achieved.
The President spoke on the theme: “The Path Will Not Always Be Clear.” In his message, he urged them to be resilient and committed to whatever they choose to do because “people fail not because they are not good, but because they are not patient.”
“You have a well laid out plan with a very clear goal, but life will introduce challenges and obstacles along the way. Whether it is lack of resources, maybe illness, death of a loved one, or a business deal gone bad, or the failure of something that you started… remember my message to you, the Path will not always be clear.”
The commencement address was mostly characterized by admonitions to the graduates. President Weah noted that there are different tedious challenges and tasks ahead of them after college, but they should remain steadfast, and try again whenever they fail in their first attempt at something.
“You need to think bigger than you have ever done. Look beyond what you have known and seen; what others before you have done and believe that you can do better and greater things.
“I challenge each of you that wherever you go next, to always think about ways to innovate in your chosen profession, ways to get over obstacles that have stopped others, ways to create new things, and ways to solve problems and serve others,” President Weah urged.
According to him, the graduates should endeavor to create avenues for themselves, and not to be complacent, and reminded them also of the saying of Philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson — “Do not follow where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
He indicated that his CDC government is embarking on a development drive that will need the smartest and the brightest who can contribute meaningfully. “We are building a stronger, better Liberia and it will take people with new ideas, new ways of approaching issues, people who are determined not only to just talk, but to take new, different and even radical actions.”
The occasion brought together students of the three CU campuses—the main Suakoko campus where most of its students are enrolled and where its undergraduate programs are offered; the Monrovia campus that offers the master degree programs and its Kakata campus where the associate degree programs are offered.
Weah Receives Honorary Doctorate Degree
Prior to his address, an honorary Doctorate Degree of Humane Letter (L.H.D) – Honoris Causa was conferred upon the President by the CU administration.
The honorary degree, according to the CU authorities, is in recognition of Weah’s accomplishments in many fields including humanity, football, peace-building and education.
CU, in the citation, enumerated the impact the honoree has made over the years on the world stage, as the only African to reach the apex of football glory, winning European and FIFA best player of the year, as well as the endeavors he made to bring peace to Liberia through sports.
The University also recalled President Weah’s role as peace ambassador during the administration of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, at which time he “promoted national reconciliation and peace-building, impacted and informed the decision to confer the doctorate Degree on him.”
His recent intervention in resolving the recent impasse at the University, which received high acclaim, was also noted.
In his acceptance remarks, President Weah said, “I accept this accolade with deep humility, bearing in mind that it represents, in part, a recognition and acknowledgement of the modest role that I have been privileged to play, in giving care and support to many people less fortunate than me,” he acknowledged.
Giving an overview of the academic year, CU Interim President Rev. Ft. James Tamba noted that the 2017-2018 semester was a difficult one for the university as its staff and students endured unbearable hardships because of the lack of funding.
He called on the President to help improve the financial status of the university noting that if that is not done, the university will be in a precarious state. CU has since started experiencing financial problems since subsidies from government were being cut drastically. Two years back, CU was receiving US$1M but now gets US$300K—an amount that Interim President Tamba noted is very insufficient.
This year’s commencement convocation was graced by several top government officials including Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor, who is also a former student of CU; Finance Minister, Samuel Tweah, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Nathaniel McGill and several others.
The occasion was also graced by hundreds of parents, guardians, loved ones and friends of the graduates.