The Stella Maris Polytechnic University, backed by the Catholic Archdiocese of Monrovia, has embarked upon the erection of a landmark project in memory of Archbishop Michael Kpakala Francis.
The project is the erection of the Archbishop Michael K. Francis Human Rights, Justice and Peace Center, located on the Bomi County Highway.
According to Stella Maris President, Sister Mary Laurene Brown, the purpose of the center is to keep the memory of Archbishop Francis alive. She described the archbishop as “the voice of the voiceless in Liberia” and spoke of his determination, love and fortitude, which led to the establishment of Stella Maris in Monrovia. This institution currently provides Bachelor’s degrees in a number of technical fields, including Accounting, Architecture, Civil Engineering and Economics. The new institution, currently under construction on the Bomi Highway, will offer degrees in various Liberal Arts disciplines.
We consider this undertaking a noble one indeed, which memorializes a man who, during two of the most difficult and critical administrations in Liberian history—those of President Samuel K. Doe and Charles G. Taylor, gave his life in the gallant pursuit of human and constitutional rights, good governance and peace. Archbishop Francis also played a major role in Liberia’s higher education by creating the Stella Maris University.
Now the Stella Maris leadership, in the person of Sister Laurene, in collaboration with the Catholic Archdiocese of Monrovia, has to create a new institution in memory of Archbishop Francis, to extend the frontiers of education in Liberia, focusing particularly on peace and human rights, in addition to Liberal Arts and the other professional disciplines in which Stella Maris already awards the Bachelor’s.
Sister Laurene hinted that the new institution will also show an interest in the vital field of Agriculture, being located in a rural area where land is plentiful and grossly underutilized.
We pray that the students and scholars who enroll in this new facility in higher education will take the fullest advantage of the opportunities it provides and prepare themselves for efficient and productive service to Liberia.
The library and museum which Sister Laurene promises will be included in the new educational complex will be the first of its kind in that part of the country. The Bomi, Gbarpolu and Grand Cape Mount counties, being among the centers of Liberian traditional culture, should constitute an added asset to the museum and encourage cultural and artistic enterprise and productions to feed the museum.
We commend Sister Mary Laurene Browne for her remarkable display of vision in conceiving and organizing this great educational innovation; and Archbishop Lewis Jerome Zeigler for his encouragement of it.
We further thank all those who showed up for the groundbreaking ceremony and pledged their support in money and kind for its completion.