The keynote Speaker at the Seventh Commencement Convocation of 2019-2020 of William V. S. Tubman University (TU) in Harper, Maryland County, Dr. Laurence K. Bropleh has candidly advanced that, if a beachhead of cooperation may push back the jungle of suspicion, it is incumbent for all sides to join in creating a new endeavor – not a new balance of power, but a new Liberia of law – where the strong are just, the weak secure, and the peace preserved.
Dr. Bropleh Special Envoy and Advisor to President George Manneh Weah who is Visitor at TU and delivering a speech on behalf of the Visitor, Dr. Weah on Saturday, November 28, 2020 reminded the graduates of the many challenges-some may be negatives, that will confront them as they leave the walls of TU, and with caution, provided some ways and means on how to weather the storm as they strive for success and excellence with unshakeable interest, and exclusive believe in themselves.
The former Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism also informed the graduates to know one thing that is of great importance and it is discovering who you are beyond these ceremonies. It is about discovering the little part of you that seeks to do right, and building on it for excellence.
He told the graduates that while “you may carve all the “WANTS” that you desire, life gives you no guarantee that you’ll get all the “WANTS”. However, it has proven that you do get what you believe, with actions; because a major aspect of the success equation has to do with believing in yourself as I call it, self-believability”.
According to him, discovering who you are is to begin, from right here and now, to utilize every capacity you have acquired not just for your personal growth, but for the growth and development of your neighborhood, your community, and most importantly your country.
Dr. Bropleh also intoned, “Do not allow your education to push your shoulders high above society, make-believing that you have arrived”, adding, “with the growing wave of change in society, some negative, you are required to use your education to avert the negativity thrown at society for the wrong reasons.
Reinforcing their futuristic arsenal, Dr. Bropleh keenly pointed out that “let no one make you believe that you’re good for nothing; or that your education is a waste; because you may not have control over what people say or do to you, but you have control over your reaction to what they say or do to you”.
In the process of strengthening their academic hope he noted that though our education system may be challenged, you still remain our cherished diamonds poised to lead the change and transformation that Liberia so desires, adding, “do not stop here! For the journey of excellence has just begun” and, like in the words of Leonardo da Vinci, “learning never exhausts the mind”.
At the same time, regarding success, the promising lawyer explains that “success is not something that we ARRIVE at one day. Success has everything to do with your individualistic choices, actions and experiences – no matter how massive or meager they are”.
He said success has to do with being true to who YOU are and how you choose to respond to every circumstance that confronts your life.
As you leave these walls, I entreat you to be grateful for who YOU are and fully appreciate your individuality and all that you have in your life now, Do the very best that you can with what you have NOW, while at the same time striving toward becoming an even better version of yourself. Be an optimist; believe in yourself that you can achieve anything you set out to do, Dr. Borpleh challenges graduates.
Reminding the graduates of the humble background where of President Weah has come from and where he is today, THE Special Envoy stated that he is equally so aware that arriving where they are was never on a silver platter; “I am sure it didn’t come out of patronage, but immense sacrifices. But hey, you were never promised that excellence and success would come easily”?
Absolutely not! Because academic excellence, leadership, and success are all defined as a mark of true faithfulness and dedication, he noted.
Extolling the University’s authorities for a job well done in the preparation of the future transformers Dr. Bropleh with deep admiration, observes that, “today, TU elects to increase the labor force in the formal sector of Liberia by a number of enterprising young men and women who have, by all standards, fulfilled all of the requirements prescribed by the University’s authorities”.
Touching on the obligations of the governor and the expectations of the governed, the Special Envoy pointed out, “let me say to you, dear graduates as President John F. Kennedy said to the Americans as he assumed the office of President in 1961: ‘Into your hands more than President Weah’s, will rest the final success or failure of our nation’s course. Since this country was founded, each generation of Liberians has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty”.
The graves, known and unknown of over 250,000 Liberians, many young as you are who lost their lives during Liberia’s darkest period still loom around the country because as Liberians, instead of pushing education, we took up arms against each other for selfish gains.
Now, however, the trumpet summons us again – not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need – not as a call to battle, though embattled we are – but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, a struggle against the common enemies of humankind, tyranny, poverty, disease and war itself, for we must at all times keep the peace.
As you leave these walls as educated young and promising Liberians, I urge you to forge against these enemies a grand and national alliance, using your education to become passionate torch bearers to promote peace, harmony and tranquility in Liberia.
Speaking further, Dr. Bropleh said President Weah believes as President John F. Kennedy said in his Inaugural Address on January 20, 1961 in Washington DC that, in the new Liberia as espoused by him, we must all seek to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors. Together, let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depths, and encourage the arts and commerce.
He said the intent of President Weah, like President Kennedy is for all to unite, opposition and ruling party, to heed in all corners of Liberia, the command of the Prophet Isaiah – to ‘undo the heavy burdens….and let the oppressed go free.’ When parents and guardians don’t have to pay exorbitant fees for WASSCE and tuition in public schools, the President is undoing the heavy burdens and setting the economically oppressed free, he stated.
He maintains that when modern low-cost homes are constructed in the Southeast of Liberia for the first time in its history, the President is undoing the heavy burdens and setting the oppressed free.
Moreover, Dr. Bropleh showcases the developmental achievements of the government by stressing that when the road from Pleebo to Fish Town does not get abandoned, but continued by the Weah’s Administration with dedicated plans to continue the road to Zwedru, Tappita, Saclepea and connected to Ganta, the President is undoing the heavy burdens borne by citizens in the Southeast for years and setting those oppressed citizens free from bad roads.
Again, it became particularly shocking upon hearing some time ago that every semester at the University of Liberia in Monrovia, about 20,000 students would process their billings, yet only about 12,000 students would attend and pay Bropleh stated.
Furthermore, he said, about 5,000 of the 12,000 students who would be in attendance are dependent on some form of financial aid or scholarship. The rest of the students do not attend due to the lack of financial means.
Certainly, Dr. Bropleh noted that this situation cuts across public Universities and colleges across the country, and TU is of no exception. One of the biggest challenges confronting our human resource development drive by making undergraduate education free at the University of Liberia and all public universities and colleges across the country.
Conveying esteemed greetings and best wishes from President Weah, the Visitor to this University and Mrs. Weah; the President also asked me (Bropleh) to, in a special way, express his love to all especially the graduates.
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