Dr. Yar Donlah Gonway-Gono, President of the United Methodist University of Liberia (UMU), on Friday, March 31, 2023, left Monrovia for an official visit to the Gbason Town Campus of the University in Sinoe County. Accompanied by the Chairman of the University Board of Directors, Bishop Samuel J. Quire, Jr., and other senior staff of the UMU, the visiting team toured the campus accessing the facilities and the grounds along with staff of the Bishop Arthur F. Kulah College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resource Management.
In a meeting with the staff, Dr. Gonway-Gono, told staff of the college that her administration was driving a plan that would seek to upgrade the Associate Degree program of Gbason Town to that of a bachelor of science degree in addition to other disciplines. “We will add education and business to the college of agriculture as part of the expansion program of the UMU,” Dr. Gonway-Gono said. She pointed out that upgrading the programs of the UMU Gbason Town campus would be the best way for the UMU to sustain its operations. Also in another meeting with the leadership of the Gbason Town community, the University President assured them that the University presented a perfect opportunity for job creation for citizens of Gbason Town.
“We can team up on several agriculture projects that would make this community a beacon of development in this part of Liberia,” she concluded.
For his part, Bishop Samuel J. Quire, Jr. said the Gbason Town facilities is a gold mine that can help to sustain not only the University, but also the Southeastern districts of the United Methodist Church in Liberia. “This place can support the mission and ministries of the entire church in Liberia,” Quire asserted. He stressed that some intentional agriculture activities on the 500 acres of land would make the church financially independent, adding, “the church and the University need to secure this property through proper land demarcation to avoid encroachment.”
The delegation to the UMU Gbason Town campus were, Bishop Samuel J. Quire, Jr., Chairman of the UMU Board of Directors, Dr. Yar Donlah Gonway-Gono, President of the UMU, Edmond Forh, Internal Auditor of the UMU, A. Otto Nabie, Chief Financial Officer of the UMU, E Julu Swen, Director of Media Relations of the UMU, Marolyn Elliott, Chief of Office Staff to the President, and Sylvester Trinity, Chief of Security to the President.
The UMU Gbason Town campus was initially the Gbason Town Mission Station of the United Methodist Church in Liberia. the facilities were constructed and operated by the Norwegian United Methodist Church in partnership with the Liberia Annual Conference prior to the Liberia civil war. The Late Bishop Stephen Trowen Nagbe and Pastor Sarah Gbason were instrumental in bringing missionaries of the United Methodist Church of Norway to this part of Liberia in the 1970s. Though their presence there and activities were disrupted by the civil war, the long absence of the Norwegian partners is what the University is now seeking to rekindle through its Agriculture college which is located in Gbason Town, Sinoe County, Liberia.
The visitation to the UMU Gbason Town campus started on March 31, 2023 to April 3, 2023.