VINCENT TOWN, Bomi – More than 8,000 students were conferred degrees this past Tuesday after they completed courses in various disciplines at the African Methodist Episcopal Zion University.
The 26th commencement ceremony was headlined by former President Pro-Tempore of the Liberian Senate and current chairman of the Board of the Liberia Airport Authority, Gbehzohngar Findley, who challenged graduates to be wise in their future decisions, especially in light of the upcoming elections.
He said the 2017 elections could not only offer great opportunities but it could also pose a great threat to the economic viability and the sustained peace and democracy the country currently enjoys.
“Be wise! Choose knowledge over ignorance, choose wisdom over experience,” Findley said.
He stressed that the institutionalization of the culture of strong academic excellence was the hallmark of post-war growth and development.
Findley further told the graduates that education is a process that does not stop after graduation, and reminded them of troubling times while trying to build networks to contribute positively to the growth and development of their nation.
The university, which was founded only 30 years ago, received praise from the former Grand Bassa senator for continuing to provide what he described as academic excellence. “The need to continue in this path can’t be overemphasized, considering the current state of affairs of the educational sector,” he noted.
Findley told the graduates that the rebuilding of Liberia depended on them. He at the same time also challenged the “older generation” to create opportunities for the “younger generation” to explore the job market.
He said for too long the younger generation has been left with decades of academic engagements and lack of practical working experiences which according to him makes it difficult for them to enter the job market.
He said, “Our country has had two decades of civil conflict, and it’s irrational to think that striving young graduates must have 5-10 years of working experience before getting a job opportunity.”
He thanked the graduates for their diligence in achieving the academic milestone.
“As you leave here today and moving into the communities and society to work, use your disciplines with integrity to improve the lives of people in our communities, society, and the nation,” Findley said. “You don’t want to look back and wonder why did I go to college and can’t use the discipline that I have acquired.”
Featured photo by Gbatemah Senah