Liberia’s President Boakai challenges UMU Graduates

The 19th Graduating Class of the United Methodist University has been requested to join the government in making strategic adjustments that would help in changing the mindset of the Liberian people. Speaking to the students during the 19th Commencement Convocation on January 30, 2024, H.E Joseph Nyuma Boakai said change must first start with individual Liberians including the students before it affects the entire society.

Speaking on the theme; Transforming the Mindset for Societal Change, President Boakai told the students that Liberia citizens need to adopt a new sense of patriotism. “Remember that our mindset informs our behavior, which in turn shapes our society,” he asserted. He also pointed out that Liberians need to hold conversations that will help shift our mindset positively. Though President Boakai acknowledges the bad lessons and other negative behaviors as a result of the war years, the many years of peace, stability, and opportunities are sufficient to help us to reshape the society.

“It is disheartening that very few people now subscribe to values and principles,” Boakai lamented. He called on the 19th Graduating Class and the Liberian people
to do all that they can in changing the vices that are becoming pervasive in society, especially amongst the young people.  “These predominant vices that have overtaken our society and negatively impact our behavior must be handled by the few who subscribed to values and principles,” he cautioned.

Earlier, the President of the United Methodist University, Yah Donlah Gonway-Gono, called on the 19th Graduating Class to be the light that the University has prepared them to be.
“I will urge you not to stop or give up because of your experiences here at the UMU,” she asserted. Gonway-Gono pointed out that as the light and ambassadors for the University the students should be present at the moment, connect to the people and experiences, and engage deeply with the knowledge and ideas they will encounter.

For his part, Bishop Samuel J. Quire, Jr., Resident Bishop of the United Methodist Church in Liberia and the Chairman of the University’s Board of Directors described President Boakai as a leader with a heart that restores instead of a heart that scatters. “The beautiful thing about a servant of the Lord is that God gives him the heart of a shepherd,” Quire concluded.

Photo Credit: Alphonso Cooper Sherman and E Julu Swen