June 24, 2017 – Amid heavy drizzle and loud cheers, Ashesi celebrated its 13th graduating class at a memorable ceremony held in the Archer Cornfield Courtyard on campus this weekend. Nearly 2,000 family, friends, students and alumni joined the Class of 2017 to celebrate their years of work at Ashesi, and welcome them to the Ashesi alumni community. Mike Nyinaku, CEO of BEIGE, was guest speaker at this year’s commencement ceremony.
Other guests of honour included the Chief of Berekuso, Nana Oteng Korankye II, Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, Vice Chancellor University of Ghana, Professor Jerry Samuel Kuma, Vice Chancellor, University of Mines and Technology, Professor Joseph Ghartey Ampiah, Vice Chancellor, University of Cape Coast, Robert P. Jackson, American Ambassador to Ghana and Tove Degnbol, Danish Ambassador to Ghana. 167 members of the class were awarded Bachelor of Science degrees in Business Administration, Computer Science and Management Information Systems.
A Growing community of ethical leaders
With the graduation of the Class of 2017, Ashesi’s alumni community eclipses the 1000-member mark. Not only was this the largest graduating class yet, the Class of 2017 also raised the bar for academic excellence with 34% of the Class graduating with Honours.
Greatness, a matter of conscious choice and discipline
In her opening reading taken from Jim Collins’ Great By Choice, Ashesi's Provost, Dr. Suzanne Buchele, encouraged the class to aspire to make impact in a world that seems to treasure luck over excellence. “Do we really believe that our actions count for little, that those who create something great are merely lucky, that our circumstances imprison us?” she read. “Greatness is not primarily a matter of circumstance; greatness is first and foremost a matter of conscious choice and discipline.”
Class of 2017, Here we are!
In a stirring speech, Class speaker Maame Aba Wilmot’17, a MasterCard Foundation Scholar, shared the class’ story with the gathering, highlighting highs, lows and lessons learned carried through the four years. “The class of 2017 is one colourful thread intricately woven into the tapestry, called the Ashesi community. In our vibrancy, we have stood out,” she shared. “To the world: Here we are; ready to leave you a better place than we found you. We are ready to give you the best of what we have become. We will be doing all we can to make your big picture a little more beautiful, even if our jobs will be just washing the paint brushes. The strokes on your canvas will be a whole lot better with the class of 2017.”
Seek Perfection, Be Faithful, Endeavour
In his address to the Class, Ashesi President, Dr. Patrick Awuah, shared lessons he has picked up from over 25 years of Shotokan-Karate, with the class.  “We come here today as an expression of our connectedness. We come here to celebrate your accomplishments. We come here as an expression of our belief in your promise as a force for good in the world,” he said. “When I felt fear and hesitated to take on the task of starting a new university in Ghana, I eventually decided to just try, as my sensei had asked us to do for years. I urge you, Class of 2017 to endeavour in the coming years.”
Do what you’ve got to do
Guest Speaker, CEO of BEIGE, Mike Nyinaku, in his address to the class, encouraged them to take advantage of opportunities and fight through setbacks.
“The world out there is like a jungle. It could be fun if you have all your cards right but for most of us, it remains a tough place and I cannot guarantee you any less,” he said. “There are no shortcuts in this life and if you desire true success then be prepared to earn your keep. So brace yourselves and start dreaming now ‘cos you’ve got no time! Dream wild because dreams can come true! And dreams are not a preserve of the rich or poor only. Nor are dreams for people of a particular colour, race or background.”
See all the Updates from Commencement 2017
Watch a replay of the Commencement Ceremony livestream on our Facebook page, or see all the updates on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, using the hashtags, #AshesiGrad or #Ashesi2017
Congratulations Class of 2017!