Commencement 2015 - President's Scholarship, Leadership & Citizenship Awards

The Scholarship, Leadership & Citizenship Award is given on an annual basis to graduates who have lived out Ashesi’s core values during their time at the university. The award is presented by the President of the University, and students who receive the award are those that have contributed in outstanding ways to Ashesi’s mission, and have had a strong impact on the Ashesi Community. This is the highest award a student can receive at Ashesi.

Kpetermeni T. Siakor

From the moment he set foot on campus, he has been selfless, and dedicated to improvement, both on and off campus. In his very first year on campus, he built software tools that aimed to expand access to learning material for students with little Internet access; tools he would later deploy back in his home country, Liberia, with funding support from generous donors, including Google.

He helped build and deploy transaction software for our canteens, that allowed students to make purchases with their ID cards, and that helped reduce cash handling on campus. After deployment, he continued to remain on call around the clock, to guarantee the system was up and running always.

In his junior year he stepped up to a stronger leadership role on campus, winning elections to become the Head of the student government Judicial and Electoral Committee. In this role, he defended the Ashesi Honour Code with passion, and encouraged everyone on campus to assign the highest importance to it, from faculty, to his classmates. 

In 2014, as the Ebola virus swept through parts of West Africa, he reached out to his colleagues back home in Liberia, asking for ways to help. Together, they deployed software that helped the Ministry of Health effectively track Ebola outbreaks, boosting their response ability, and helping drive down infections.

In his four years here at Ashesi, this student has been an ultimate citizen; of Ashesi, of Liberia, of Africa, of the world. Building hope, building bridges for the disadvantaged and serving as inspiration in a time when young people are constantly challenged to help mend the world they will lead one day.

Well done, Kpetermeni.


Sela Kwaku Agbakpe (accepted on his behalf by Class Speaker Omar Khadi '15)

From his freshman year, till now, this student was known for his thoughtful leadership. As often as he could, he made efforts to stay sensitive to the needs of people around him, all while maintaining a strong core of doing things right.

From a small volunteer project started from the classrooms here at Ashesi, he and his co-founder won $10,000 in funding to build a strong curriculum to bring literacy skills to adults in Berekuso. From not knowing a word of English, their “students” were reading speeches by their graduation day. The project added a new layer of strength to the relationship Ashesi shares with the town of Berekuso, and allowed many students to contribute their skills in a meaningful way to helping the townspeople.

He always maintained a calm demeanor, but his ambition was very visible. In his junior year, he served as Vice-President of Ashesi’s student government, helping lead the way for the student community. That same year, he was accepted into the Yale University pre-MBA programme, a 2-week training programme for exceptional students from all over the world interested in exploring an advanced business degree. He came back brimming with energy, telling students on campus, “there is so much more that our colleagues around the world our doing; we need to step up!”

And step up he did. After successfully making it through various rounds of interviews, he was one of ten Ashesi students selected for internships at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in London, where he currently is, working with one of the largest investment banking teams in the world. As an Ashesi alum, he will undoubtedly remain a pillar for his peers and future generations of students to come. A warm spirit, an entertainer, a friend, a leader; standing tall amongst his peers.

Congratulations, Sela. 

Richard Odame

There’s not enough you can say about this student, that would do him justice. As a Freshman at Ashesi, he was immediately recognizable. He was always eager to play a role, always eager to join a team, and always searching for opportunities that allowed him to pursue his passions.

His unending energy kept him going, day after day. He was the first student at Ashesi, and the only student in Ghana at the time, to have been selected to join Google’s 2013 Ad Camp programme in Ireland. The programme was made up of a highly selective group of students who demonstrated strong interest in sales and advertising. In his junior year, he would be again chosen to represent Ashesi and Ghana at the Babson Global Leadership Development Programme in the United States, to join his peers in creating real solutions to some of the world’s challenges.

In his Junior year at Ashesi also, he acted on a long-held dream and was elected President of student government. Under his leadership the student government would raise over GHs100,000 to build a football stadium on campus, that will boost student activity immensely. When he handed over the Presidency, he took up an active role in the Private University Students Association of Ghana, helping promote the welfare of Private University students across Ghana.  

“Presido!” his mates call him. The speech master. The fundraiser. The hustler who has done everything from selling Papaye to helping run fitness programmes on campus. His ideas were often met with surprise, by people who thought he couldn’t possibly do more. And yet he did – for Ashesi. A true leader, he worked for Ashesi, and he worked beyond Ashesi.

Congratulations, Richard.