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Speech Delivered by Rev. Prof. Emmanuel K. Larbi on the Tenth Graduation Ceremony


 

 

Chancellor

Chairman and Members of the University Council

Heads of Affiliate and Sister Institutions here present

Convocation

The Clergy

Nii mε kε naamε

Nananom

Staff, Students and Alumni of this Institution

Members of the Press

Distinguished Invited Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

 

PREAMBLE

It is a great pleasure to welcome all of you to our 10th graduation ceremony.  We extend special welcome to those of you who have travelled all the way to Ghana because of this event.   

I want to recognise Prof. Abraham Yeboah Mensah who is representing the Vice Chancellor of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), our main and oldest mentoring institution, and Prof. J. O. A. Ammah, who is representing the Vice Chancellor of University of Education, Winneba.  We thank you all for coming.

 

THE PURPOSE OF GATHERING

We have gathered here today, to primarily confer various degrees upon some deserving students who have completed all the requirements for the award of various degrees.  We will also honour some of the graduating students who have shown excellence in various ways.       

 

It is also expected that at this gathering I present a report on the state of the University to Convocation.  To this end, a detailed report on the state of the University will be posted on the University’s website.  But for the purpose of this gathering, Mr Chancellor, I would like to highlight some few issues relating to the state of our institution.

 

 

A Government Chartered Institution

Our vision of attaining a government chartered institution has become more urgent than never before.  We will be submitting our application to the National Accreditation Board before the end of this year.

 

To enable us meet this objective, all the necessary efforts are being directed towards:

  1. The completion of the first phase of our campus development project, comprising the Academic Block, the Administration or General Purpose Block, and the landscaping with other ancillary services. We are also expanding our engineering, computing, and other laboratories.
  2. Recruitment of highly qualified international and local academic staff has also been a priority.    

 

Building Partnership for Expansion

Mr Chancellor, our major challenge is trying to do a lot with limited resources vis-à-vis rising cost of operation.  This is a major factor limiting our growth and our ability to expand.  If it had not been this major challenge, we would have completed the first phase of this campus development project more than a year ago.  To overcome this major challenge, the university is in serious discussions with an educational agency which is considering partnering with us.  We are convinced that this new collaboration, when it materialises, will enable the university to build the required financial and technical capacity to accelerate our efforts. 

 

The Tenth Anniversary Lectures

Mr Chancellor, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen: Our institution was set up with a clear vision of making a distinctive mark on tertiary education in our country.  We believe that the tertiary education sector must play a leading role towards Africa’s economic and social emancipation.    

 

Over the past decade we have faithfully tried to pursue our vision to raise highly skilful, visionary, ethical, and God fearing leaders to function as change agents.  Through this single-minded agenda, the University College has shaped the minds of many and influenced segments of the African society, particularly Ghana.

 

To this end, in marking the tenth anniversary of our existence, we scheduled series of lectures for an entire year. 16th June 2016 to June 4, 2017.  The Anniversary Lectures aim at bringing to the fore of public discourse, topical issues that will contribute to the national and continental discourse on the development of this country and our continent.  These lectures are meant to create an opportunity for stimulating thoughts and discussions on key developmental issues. The topics being dealt with cover areas such as: The key factors to the industrialisation of Ghana, the challenges of multi-party politics in Africa, the role of engineering and technology to Africa’s development, the succession challenges of Ghana’s indigenous businesses and organisations.  

 

Our most recent lecture, focused on the “Industrialization of Ghana.” The Guest Lecturer was Dr Kofi Amoah, the C.E.O. of Progeny Ventures Inc.

The content of the lecture and its relevance to the development of this nation, necessitated that we create a forum for the political parties and the independent presidential candidates to speak to the subject matter. We have so far written to the Convention People’s Party (CPP), National Patriotic Party (NPP), National Democratic Congress (NDC), and the Independent Presidential candidate, Honourable Joseph Osei Yeboah, to contribute to the subject matter. We trust these major parties will show interest and respond positively in due course.  We are happy to announce that the Independent Candidate, Honourable Osei Yeboah, immediately he got our letter wrote back to accept to speak to the subject on 4th   November. 

 

Mr Chancellor, our next public lecture is scheduled for next week Monday, October 31st 2016. We will be honoured to have Dr. Trebi-Ollennu Ashitey, Africa’s foremost space engineer, an illustrious son of Ghana, as the Lecturer. He will speak to the topic: The Benefits of Space Exploration to Emerging Economies. The Respondent is Professor Alottey. Dr Ashitey, a Fellow of Regent-Ghana, is currently the Product Delivery Manager, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, USA. We invite all of you to this very important lecture.  I have no doubt at all, that this is going to be an exciting lecture.

 

Mr Chancellor, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen:  After ten years of operation, we have completed a full cycle. It has therefore become needful for some of the current Principal Officers of this institution, namely, the Chancellor, the Chairman of the University Council, and the President, to assume different roles. In line with these changes, a new person will join us, as the Chairman of the University Council. New officers will be sworn into office on 22nd November, and will begin their functions in January 2017.

Mr Chancellor, the foundation of this institution has been firmly laid; growth and expansion are imminent.  Hitherto has the good Lord brought us! We thank Him for bringing us this far.  I believe, by the grace of God, the new Principal Officers will lead the institution to an unprecedented new level of growth and impact.

 

The Regent Advantage

Ladies and Gentlemen: we thank those of you who made a personal decision to make this institution your preferred choice. We are convinced you made the right decision.   So far, 3000 students have graduated. Today, at this special graduation ceremony, there are almost 250 graduants.  This is the first time that we are performing two graduation ceremonies in a single year. In April this year we graduated over 400 students.     

 

Regent University is not just another institution of higher learning; it is an institution with a difference.  Our overriding commitment is to raise highly-skilful, ethical, God-fearing, and visionary leaders.  Thus, the interest of Regent goes beyond giving excellent education to our students.  We are committed to  empowering men and women to become people of influence, agents of change; graduates whose influence, acts and deeds, will outlive them by impacting their own generation, and generations after,  people who will leave an indelible footprint on the soils of history.

 

Our mission, vision, and core values are all informed by our understanding of the African condition, and our conviction that change is possible.  Our passion for change is based upon our belief that God has given each and every member of the human race an unshakable capacity to bring about positive change wherever they see themselves, no matter how difficult that context may be.

The demands that we make of our students and other members of this community are informed by the high value we place on the human potential. 

We expect that those who come to Regent will have a commitment to be trained and mentored through the various activities of the university, in order for them to realise their potential as agents of change. 

 

We believe that the kind of education we need to give to our people should be the education that empowers people to live as full persons; persons who are able to take charge of their own destinies, and also contribute positively to the development of the communities and nations of which they are a part.   

 

As an institution we insist that the interest of our students must go beyond the mere passing of examinations and getting degrees. We expect them to seek for a higher purpose, a desire to be empowered to become people of influence, poised to impact generations.  We believe good education must go beyond the mere acquisition of facts and figures; good education must equip people to be able to use the knowledge acquired, to transform lives, change society and to bring them closer to their maker. This is the kind of leaders Regent is committed to raising.

 

This is because we believe with visionary leadership, discipline, hard-work, courage, perseverance, and selfless dedication to the service of God and humanity, we can transform Ghana and Africa for that matter, from its present state of appalling levels of illiteracy, disease, poverty, and filth. I believe with visionary leadership we can transform Ghana into a state where all of us will live with dignity and pride.

 

It is with this understanding that we charge you, our proud graduands. You are our pride and joy. You will continue to be our pride when you commit yourselves to the ideals and values of this institution. You are therefore to shine in the dark corners of this great continent, where in the midst of abundance, death and decay abound.  See yourself as the Change Agent the world has been waiting for. You must function as the salt of the world by your words and by your deeds.  Go and change your world; go and rewrite the story of your nation, go and rewrite the story of Africa, which the world is waiting to read.  Go and tell the story of Regent, an institution with a national agenda and a global focus. This is your charge!  May the good LORD be with you.

 

National Issues

Mr Chancellor, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen: On 7th December 2016, Ghana will go to the polls, to elect leaders to run the affairs of this nation. Let’s pray for a peaceful election; let’s pray that God will guide us to elect leaders who can take us to our promised land. 

 

We have been in the wilderness for far too long as we battle with the basic necessities of life. We are unable to feed ourselves.  As we battle to keep our currency from wanton depreciation, our nation has become a dumping ground for foreign goods, including basic things like onions and tomatoes.   Our industries are in disarray against rising cost of production and stiff competition. In the midst of these challenges, partisan politics have become self-serving: Me first, party second, and nation third as the bulk of our people wallow in poverty, disease, illiteracy, and filth.  Like the weeping prophet, Jeremiah, the bulk of people are saying:

“The harvest is past, the summer is ended and we are not saved.’’ For the wound of the daughter of my people is my heart wounded; I mourn, and dismay has taken hold on me. Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has the health of the daughter of my people not restored.’’ (Jer. 8:20-22).

 

Oh that my head were waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people! Jer. 9:1.

Mr. Chairman, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen: This is the African condition.

But the encouraging news is that: with visionary and selfless leadership, this nation can be transform within a decade.

So if after the next eight years the situation has not changed, we should quickly look for a system that works for us.

Mr Chancellor, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen: there is hope for Ghana; there is hope for Africa. Let’s work towards it.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH. MAY THE GOOD LORD BLESS US ALL.