Ashesi Graduation 2012 - Class Speaker Diana Dayaka Osei '12Saturday, 30th June 2012 – Ashesi University celebrated its 8th graduating class at a short ceremony held at the Burma Camp Hall in Accra. Over 1,000 family, friends, students and alumni joined the Class of 2012 to celebrate their four years at Ashesi, and welcome them to the Ashesi alumni community. Kwaku Sintim-Misa, CEO of Sapphire Ghana Limited, was guest speaker at this year’s graduation. In the usual Ashesi tradition, Chief Marshal Casper Annie led a procession of faculty, dignitaries and graduating students, and welcomed the congregation.

In her opening address, Dean of Academic Affairs Professor Nana Apt read an excerpt from the “New Frontier” – Khalil Gibran’s letter to his countrymen that inspired the words, “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” It marked the tone for the day’s ceremony, as each of the following speakers called on the class to take a stand for their continent.

Congratulating her class for their hard work leading up to graduation day, Class Speaker Diana Dayaka Osei ’12 shared a great tribute to Ashesi for the lessons the university had taught them, and also to the Class of 2012 for their impact on Ashesi’s community. “The Class of 2012 would like to acknowledge the efforts of the donor community, the Trustees and the Board, and our faculty and staff members,” she added. “As this class joins Ashesi’s alumni community, we bear in mind our responsibility to humanity and excellence in leadership.”

Ashesi Graduation 2012 - President Dr. Awuah delivers his addressWith its usual excitement and emotion, Saturday’s graduation ceremony also served as a period of reflection not only for the Class of 2012, but also for the entire Ashesi community – 2012 being the year of our tenth anniversary. During his speech, Ashesi’s President, Dr. Patrick Awuah, acknowledged the progress the university had made in its 10-year transition from rented buildings to its permanent campus in Berekuso. “What a year it has been,” he said. “What a thrill to have finally moved to our permanent campus. What joy for you, Class of 2012, to have spent your final year in a place we can call our home.”

Dr. Awuah encouraged the class to stay hopeful about and committed to a better future for their continent. “The Africa that you inherit, no doubt, has its problems. But this is a continent that is on the cusp of achieving enormous progress if we set our minds to it. A lot has changed already. Month by month, year by year, we see steady growth.”

Ashesi Graduation 2012 - Guest Speaker Kwaku Sintim-Misa deliver his addressIn his address, Guest Speaker Kwaku Sintim-Misa (KSM) told the Class of 2012 that it had been difficult for him to prepare a graduation speech. “I was not ready. I was struggling with what to say,” he confessed.

“You are Ashesi graduates. I would have loved to talk to you about striving for excellence. I would have loved to tell you to redefine the standards. I would have loved to tell you to shun mediocrity. But there is no point preaching to the converted.”

Reading from the opening lines of “A Tale of Two Cities”, KSM argued that “it is the best of times, and the worst of times” for the Class of 2012 and for Ghana. “On one hand it is the best of times for Ghana, an emerging middle income nation. […] Strangely, it is also the worst of times for a country polarized by infantile partisan politics. With this in mind, this is what I have to tell you Ashesi graduates: Ghana needs you.”

During the ceremony, Dr. Patrick Awuah presented awards to three students – Ahmed Moughrabi ’12, Bernard Ghartey ’12 and Class Speaker Diana Dayaka Osei ’12 – for their exemplary commitment to living Ashesi’s core values of “Scholarship, Leadership and Citizenship.” A special mention was also given to Festus Akaateba Agoabasa ’12 who, from being a janitor at Ashesi, had successfully graduated after receiving a full scholarship from the university.

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In his parting advice, Dr. Awuah said to the Class of 2012: “You have come a long way, and you now head out into a world that has made significant progress over the years. But there is yet a lot more work to done, and we look forward to your contributions in the years to come.“

Ashesi Graduation 2012 - Festus Agoabasa 12 receives his degreeFestus A. Agoabasa '12, once a gardener at Ashesi, earns his degree after receiving a full scholarship at Ashesi.