Saturday, 21st June 2014 – Ashesi celebrated its 10th graduating class at a ceremony held in the Cornfield & Archer Courtyard on campus. Over 1,000 family, friends, students and alumni joined the Class of 2014 to celebrate their four years at Ashesi, and welcome them to the Ashesi alumni community. Kwaku Sakyi-Addo, CEO of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, was guest speaker at this year’s commencement ceremony.
In the usual Ashesi tradition, Chief Marshal Casper Annie led a procession of faculty, dignitaries and graduating students, and welcomed the congregation.
In her opening address, Provost, Dr. Marcia Grant read a note on friendship from Aung San Suu Kyi, reminding the class about the importance of holding on to the friendships they had forged during their time at Ashesi.
Reading a tribute to the graduates, Class Speaker Jeffrey Odame-Koranteng ’14 shared stories about the contributions the Class of 2014 had made to Ashesi, and how they would learn from that to affect the world.
“We speak with such conviction because it has been done before. We have changed the world- our world, Ashesi - in more ways than one. [...] Today we sit here as men! Women! And leaders. Like the Black Stars of Ghana, we are ready to take on the world. We might falter, we might fall, we might complain, but rest assured we will not rest until we’ve made our mark.”
Saturday’s ceremony was the first time we held commencement on our Berekuso campus. It was the tenth commencement ceremony in Ashesi’s history, and marked another turning point in the university’s timeline.
“With the support of the Class of 2014, we finally decided to brave the unpredictable weather on campus and host our commencement ceremony here, come rain or shine. That was a brave decision,” said Dr. Patrick Awuah, Ashesi’s President, during his speech. “And you, Class of 2014, have done some remarkably bold things. [...] You have dared to do a lot of interesting things, and in so doing, are making the world a better place. As you prepare to become Ashesi alumni, do not forget the satisfaction of daring to act and making your dreams real.”
“As Ashesi’s 10th Graduating Class, I feel the same energy and hope for you, that I felt for our first graduating class,” he told the class. “10 years from now, I will be learning about all the amazing things you are doing for Ghana and Africa; they will be as unique and remarkable as the stories I hear about Ashesi’s pioneer class of 2005. “
In a remarkable address to the graduating students, Guest Speaker Mr. Kweku Sakyi-Addo, reminded the class that despite all their hard work, more was still required of them.
“We have work to do. Ghana, has work to do. But if anybody can and must do it, if anyone can make things happen, then it’s you! It’s you because you didn’t drop out. It’s you because you are young and unencumbered and invincible. It’s you because you have been through Ashesi. And Ashesi has been through you.”
“Our country needs people who are not just out to make a living but are living to make a difference,” he told the class. “We need people who go to work, to work. Where work is not a noun, but a verb; a doing word, not a place!”
Sharing grim data about inequality gaps in Ghana, Sakyi-Addo charged the graduates to remember that “our society is sick and the cure is people like you (Class of 2014)!”
During the ceremony, Dr. Patrick Awuah also presented awards to three students – George S. Neequaye ’14, Ruweidatu Salifu ’14 and Francis D. Vogbe ‘14 – for their exemplary commitment to representing Ashesi’s core values of “Scholarship, Leadership and Citizenship.” The awards are the highest that could be given to a student at Ashesi.
The Class of 2014 also presented a gift of GHs2,400 to Ashesi’s President and Board Chairman, towards helping start the university’s new Engineering programme.
Presenting the gift on behalf of the Class, Andrew Bimpong ’14 said, “Ashesi will remain our own, and we hope you accept this as a symbol of the support it will always receive from us, and the commitment we have made towards its growth.”
You will be missed on campus, Class of 2014!