The University of Liberia yesterday retired over 40 of its employees who have served the institution for ten or more years.
During a program held on the campus in Monrovia, UL President Dr. Emmet A. Dennis congratulated the retirees and admonished the retireees to celebrate their successes.
Dr. Dennis urged them to reflect on how they can still contribute to the university “while in their resting chairs.”
“Some of you, I believe, are still strong and can still offer your services on a part-time basis,” he said and described the retirees as “heroes of positive change in the heart of unending conflict of interests.”
Retired professor, Dr. Thomas G. Koon, 76, expressed delight for the honor saying it could not have come at a better time than now and commended the UL administration for the initiative.
The one time Vice President for Administration who also served as Director of the Graduate Program in Education, appreciated the honor and called on the young work force of the University to be patient, honest and humble.
Dr. Koon served the University of Liberia for 41 years as well as the University of Cape Coast for seven years in administration and also taught Social Sciences. He called on the students of the university to “stop too much bickering” and to study hard to accomplish their ultimate goals.
“Conflicts are not all that bad but whatever tears institutions and society apart should be avoided,” the retired lecturer continued.
He also cautioned that rights, while important, come with equal responsibilities. He advised the students to recognize their limitations and live in the confines of rules and policies conducive to uninterrupted learning.
Major Hilary Q. Scott, 62, served the UL Police for 25 years. He commended the UL administration for giving them their flowers while they are still alive. “We fought a good fight,” he said, adding, “it is my hope that my after job life will be worth living.”
He called on his colleagues still on the job at the University to remain committed and honest to themselves and those they serve.
A female of outstanding profile was also retired. Mrs. Mary D. Ponpon, 64, served the university for 30 years in several capacities, including professor of Demography, Research Assistant to Dr. Al-Hassan Conteh (former president of the University) and part-time secretary to Dr. Amos C. Sayon (former president of the University).
She admonished people seeking jobs to sincerely work for the good of society. “I am involved in real estate,” she said, “which I believe will carry me throughout my life.”
For his part, the acting President of the UL Faculty Association, Professor Mohammed H. Kpoghomu, urged the UL administration to improve the salaries of workers in order for the staff to meet up with the demanding needs of life. “If an employee’s income is reasonable,” he said, “pension becomes rewarding.”
He lauded his outgoing colleagues for their many contributions to the university and called on them to look back and advise those they are leaving behind when necessary.