A total of 2,446 graduands who completed various programmes in the 2009/2010 academic year were presented at a well-attended graduation ceremony over the weekend.
The graduands were from the College of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences, the School of Graduate Studies, University of Ghana Business School as well as the faculties of Law, Science and Engineering Sciences.
Of the total number of graduands, 1,050 were post-graduates, including 15 doctoral graduates, 1,040 undergraduates, and 356 diplomates.
The Chairman of the University Council, Justice Dr. Samuel Kofi Date-Bah who conferred the various degrees on the graduands on behalf of the Chancellor of the University, His Excellency Mr. Kofi Annan, earlier expressed Council’s appreciation to His Excellency the President of the Republic of Ghana, Professor J.E.A. Mills, the Parliament of Ghana, the Minister for Education, and the Attorney-General’s Office for the various roles they played in ensuring the enactment of the new University of Ghana Act, that has recently entered into force. He reiterated his earlier statement that Council would do all it could to defend relentlessly the institutional autonomy and academic freedom of the University.
Justice Date-Bah noted that as an academic community, the University owes an obligation to the country, continent and the society, and to humanity in general, to advance the learning and knowledge that will enhance societal well being and development, considering that the University operates with funds largely generated from taxpayers.
In his inaugural address to Congregation as Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ernest Aryeetey touched on issues of governance, academic and student affairs, issues relating to research and policy matters. He reiterated his vision of a world-class university articulated in his Induction Address, and outlined ways in which the university would work to achieve these goals.
While acknowledging the support of parents and guardians towards the eventual completion and graduation of their wards, the Vice-Chancellor entreated graduands to inculcate values of hard work and discipline, which he said should be their benchmarks as they enter the world of work. “Let truth and honesty be your trademarks, and while these may not necessarily make your lives any easier, they will definitely ensure that you can stand up to any test or challenge that may come your way.”
The Vice-Chancellor wished the graduands well, and challenged them not to see the event as marking the end of their education, but rather as the beginning. He was hopeful that many of those graduating will consider further studies, with some taking up careers in academia, to impart knowledge to future generations.
The Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana, Her Ladyship Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, an alumna of the University, was the Guest of Honour.
Addressing the graduands, she said that tertiary institutions like the University of Ghana are great nursery grounds for leadership. She noted that roles students play while at the University have very often presented them with golden opportunities in the world of work. She argued however that such roles have occasionally been abused or perverted to the detriment of students. “Let’s not forget that an undisciplined student eventually becomes an undisciplined public servant; and a corrupt student leader betrays the malpractice and stigma wherever he/she goes.” she said.
She called on the graduands to neither pervert the new laurels they have sacrificed to obtain nor be tempted to descend into arrogance, looking down on the base heights by which they have ascended to the top. “Education is meaningless unless it helps to mitigate the canker of poverty, ignorance and disease afflicting mankind; and you, as ambassadors should lead the crusade of using education to transform the destiny of Africa.”, she added.
Mr. Evans Adjei Ashong from the College of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences who graduated with a First Class Bachelor of Science degree was the Valedictorian for the graduating class of 2010.
The occasion brought together government officials, traditional leaders, among them the Deputy Minister of Education, Dr. J. S. Annan and the Chairman of the GETFund, Dr. Kwabena Adjei.