UGMS Class of 2000 Hands Over Refurbished Clinical Lecture Theatre to Medical School

The Clinical Lecture Theatre (CLT), which was recently renovated and outfitted with state-of-the-art audio-visual and video conferencing facilities to aid in the training of clinical students, has been handed over to the University of Ghana Medical School (UGMS), during a give-back project ceremony on July 3, 2023, by the UGMS Class of 2000.

Dr. Albert Opoku, Class Head, who joined the ceremony through zoom from Doha, Qatar, said in his welcome speech that during their 20th Anniversary ceremony, the Class decided to undertake a project as their way of giving back to their alma mater. He explained the components of the project which were; the renovation of the Clinical Lecture Theatre (CLT) at the Medical Block of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital and the establishment of an alumni office to oversee alumni programmes, as well as help the institution make the most of its alumni.  He expressed gratitude to his classmates for their commitment and help in seeing the project through to completion.

Dr. Ray Kakrabah-Quarshie class coordinator for the project, gave a background of the project.  According to him, the class began discussing ways to give back to their alumni mater in 2019. He hinted that Professor Margaret Lartey, the previous Dean of the UGMS, was approached by the class, who in turn gave them a prioritized list of the School’s needs. He stated that the class chose the top-ranked project on the list and each member was levied $1,000.

Dr. Kakrabah-Quarshie indicated that though the fundraising was challenging, he took the initiative to engage two architects to assess the project, after which he wrote to Stanbic Bank for assistance.  He added that, fortunately, the bank accepted the proposal and paid the amount requested into the project account even before the class started paying their contributions. With the necessary financial backing, they commenced the project and it garnered sponsorship from other sponsors.  He said that although there were some delays along the way, the collective efforts and contributions of various individuals and organisations made the completion of the project possible.

During the event, Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, planted a tree at a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a UGMS Alumni office, to be situated near the School’s administration block. She was assisted by Dr. Stephen Akaffo, representing the UGMS alumni. The tree planting marked the beginning of the construction of the alumni office building.

Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, planting a tree

In recognition of the generous support and contributions of sponsors, the Vice-Chancellor with the assistance of Professor Patrick Adjei, Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, presented wooden artefacts to all the sponsors, as a token of appreciation.  

As a first step, the Class of 2000 handed over a big give-back baton to the Dean, UGMS, who also handed it over to the Ultimate Class of 2001 represented by Dr. Yaw Mensah.  Additionally, a smaller give-back baton was given to the Dean, UGMS to be passed onto the Penultimate Class of 2002, represented by Professor Benedict Calys-Tagoe. According to Dr. Kakrabah-Quarshie, the big baton symbolizes that the bearers have now been given the responsibility of completing the next project for the School.  

Guest Speaker for the event, Dr. Naa Alhassan Andani, former Chief Executive Director, Stanbic Bank, in his remarks, congratulated the class for successfully completing the project.  He expressed his gratitude and appreciation to Dr. Kakrabah-Quarshie for his exceptional leadership in coordinating the give-back project. 

He mentioned that at the time the class approached Stanbic Bank, the Bank was already considering how it could assist the University.  He stated that Stanbic Bank would be delighted to collaborate with the University of Ghana in crowdfunding particularly from its alumni.

Furthermore, Dr. Alhassan Andani extended his gratitude to the Class Head and all other doctors who returned to Ghana to support their alma mater.  He urged the Vice-Chancellor, Provost and the Dean, to keep engaging alumni, while entreating alumni to seek support from corporate bodies, as other institutions were also willing to sponsor such projects.  He concluded by expressing his appreciation on behalf of the sponsors , for the opportunity to serve in a capacity that would ultimately save lives.

The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, expressed her appreciation to the class of 2000 for the successful delivery of the project conceived in 2019, which aligns perfectly with one of her flagship projects launched in April, 2022, to enhance the UG Students’ experience through digitalization. She added that the UGMS Class of 2000 has supported the University to deliver on the classroom modernization aspect.  She expressed her gratitude to the corporate institutions and individual sponsors who supported the Class of 2000 in remodeling and refurbishing the clinical lecture theatre.  She stated that it is her belief that the facility will greatly benefit medical students who are well-acquainted with the technological advancement of our time.

Professor Amfo further stated that the commissioning coincides with the 75th Anniversary of the University of Ghana themed: Nurturing Resilience: Adopting Technology and Embracing Humanism.   

Subsequently, the Vice-Chancellor charged the Dean with a responsibility of ensuring the maintenance of the classroom.  She also charged the next group of sword bearers and those who had already executed projects to roll out and implement initiatives that will be equally beneficial to current and future students of the University of Ghana.

‘As Vice-Chancellor, I will ensure to remain resolute in my commitment to engage both our internal and external stakeholders and mobilize other individuals and institutions to support University of Ghana in her quest to embrace technology, as we endeavour to create an enabling environment that makes the University increasingly relevant to national and global development, through cutting edge research as well as high quality of teaching and learning’, she added. 

Prof. Julius Fobil, Provost, College of Health Sciences (CHS), in his remarks, thanked the Class of 2000, for their unshakable dedication and relentlessness in completing such an important project. He was impressed by their extraordinary perseverance in raising the funds and commended them for being trailblazers, innovators, and creators.

The Dean, UGMS, Prof. Alfred Edwin Yawson, praised the alumni for their commitment and labor of love in completing the project. He expressed how fortunate the UGMS was to have the support of the alumni and expressed gratitude for their efforts in forming the alumni group. He also commended Dr. Kakrabah-Quarshie for his steadfast support, leadership and his enthusiastic promotion of the alumni's agenda outside of his class. He stated that the project would be used right away since the school had limited classrooms.

At the end of the ceremony a plaque commemorating the contribution by the Class of 2000 towards the remodeling and refurbishing of the Clinical Lecture Theatre (CLT) was unveiled. The group then took a short tour of refurbished facility. A group photograph was taken at the end of the tour.