Liberia’s Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) on Sunday donated four computers and three scholarships to Ricks Institute in Virginia, outside Monrovia.
Ambassador Dudley McKinley Thomas awarded two of the scholarships to members of the faculty to do their graduate studies at any university in the PRC, while he awarded another to the dux of the 2017 graduating class, Dyziah Koboi, to attend any institution of higher learning in Liberia.
In his keynote address at the graduation ceremony last Sunday on the main campus of the school in Virginia, Ambassador Thomas, a Ricks alumnus, challenged the graduates to remain strong to survive whatever life throws at them during their academic pursuits.
Thomas, who described the graduates as ‘dragons,’ later asked each of them to always bear in mind that they are the institution’s assets.
He told them that ‘dragons’ are fantastic creatures that will always endure, whether experiencing great growth or crushing tragedies.
“By the end of it all, however, a dragon remains strong and is always able to survive whatever life throws its way,” said Ambassador Thomas. He was accompanied by his wife Hannah.
He added that in light of all their struggles, dragons are also blessed with the greatest capacity for love, which allows the creatures to accomplish great deeds as members of a team, and to share their lives with friends and family members.
He then cautioned the graduates, six of whom were leaving kindergarten, to incorporate dynamism and nationalism as part of their daily activities.
He also called on them to display ‘cultural elegance’ in behavior or manner and show selfless concern for the well-being of others without seeking to benefit.
The Liberian diplomat stressed the need for the graduates to show kindness and be pleasant toward others, even if they feel that they have realized their academic potential.
He encouraged the graduates to be open-minded by being willing to consider new ideas.
Sunday’s ceremony witnessed the graduation of 40 students, who successfully completed their studies at the institute.
Thomas lauded Ricks principal and chief administrative officer Olu Q. Menjay for the level of transformation he has made at the school. Dr. Menjay responded by thanking Ambassador Thomas for the computers and the scholarships.
The graduates were awarded diplomas, as they await their West African Examination Council (WAEC) certificates later this year.
Ricks has announced the commencement of registration for the 2017/18 academic year from Tuesday, August 1, to Friday, August 25, 2017. The first semester will start on Monday, September 4.