From far and near was the creative work of destiny that brought us together. Nature, surely, was not in a hurry. Many in the class of 2009, once upon a time, for some reason after completing Senior High School had to stay home for one or more years to gain admission, or they had to travel abroad, repeat a class or gather money for school, but all in all they gracefully formed part of the composition of the 2009 class.
Towing down memory lane was that great day in each person's life when we received the news of our admission into Ashesi. One cannot imagine the excitement that roared over that phone conversation. Some could not hide their feelings but to broadcast it with a thousand tongues. Filled with passion, strong ambition, and a mixed feeling of hope and fear, we all converged to respond to this “high calling”. Four years down the road, so much has changed but Ashesi's values of scholarship, leadership and citizenship has not changed.
Our minds ran wild when we think of the great moments we have shared these four years. Each moment was unique and special to us. We cannot forget the many quizzes, projects, deadlines and assignments, which gave us sleepless nights and always came in quick successions at particular periods in the semester. Each pressure exerted on us by our courses was a platform grooming us for the future; so that we can be able to manage and handle the demands that may arise from work, family and friends.
We cannot also forget the numerous beach trips and secret parties that were organized at the end of the semester or during the semester so we could spend time together as a class. These trips united us and deepened the bond we already shared. The bond we shared as a class pushed us to bring out the very best in us. Words like, “does daddy knows he's here”, “I forget things”, “did you take me photo”, “shows and tells”, “display”, “We no go do”, “we go no do” and many more cannot be forgotten. How can we forget the people who made us laugh, those who made us cry, and those who assisted us during those difficult problem days?
These four years exposed us to numerous challenges that gave us varied opportunities to look at Ashesi differently from various viewpoints. Many events in which the class of 2009 was the center of concern created some uneasiness. We cannot deny the fact that at some point we almost lost hope, ALMOST. But men and women among us gave us that beacon of hope to press on to the end, in order to achieve our goals. Moments such as – true, misheard as chok, the exit of almost ten members of the class, the examination rewrite, the Honor Code, amongst others are but a few of such moments. Remember the in-class squabbles; all these moments remind me of how dirty rocks are polished to become real priceless gems. Such is what has become of the class of 2009, priceless in our worth.
Seated before you today are the remnants of the class of 2009. Out of the ninety-two students who made up the class, only fifty-four of us are graduating. As the Latin saying goes – “Veni Vidi Vici” - I came, I saw, I conquered. We lost some along the way. Our deepest regret is that we could not save our friends. We could have done more than just see them go. Not that they are not doing well wherever they are, but they were supposed to be part of the graduating class of 2009. Memories of these people will always stay fresh in our minds and heart; especially of one, who departed from this world to be with our Maker.
Despite the circumstances, our dreams of being musicians, farmers, financial analysts, preachers, computer programmers, female presidents, entrepreneurs are still alive. Backing these expectations is faith. Faith- that it is not too late to be whom we want to be. Faith- that we are powerful beyond measure.
The Class of 2009 is leaving behind trails of being the first to successfully organize a corporate dinner off campus, the class with the most students on the Dean's list in a particular semester, international internships to Goldman Sachs, organizing the Val's day Math Program, Crazy day celebrations, and also coming up with the "Ashesi at Five" video. We are proud of those among us who despite the work load at Ashesi took the bold step to register for professional courses such as the ACCA. We are also proud of our friends who initiated the community water project, the clothes drive project, and the great final projects worked on by the CS and MIS students. We also acknowledge the great work done by our friends who modified the MIT software for mobile phones. Kudos! to you all.
Today, the 30th May, 2009 marks another milestone in our lives. We have assembled again to respond to another 'high calling'. Our dreams, passions and ambitions have been well molded and refined. We are ready to pursue them, and make a mark in our generation. Today, some will be sad to see us go because our absence will be well felt, but others will be 'relieved' to see us go. Whatever your stand, I would like to borrow words from the 2008 Class Speaker, that 'in the near future, you would wish you had known us better', and not given up on us easily. We are excited of this day, but sad at the same time because not all of our mates are graduating with us. We Thank the Almighty God for how far He has brought us. Without WHOM, we are nothing, and we would not have come this far.
We extend our gratitude to all staff who made our stay at Ashesi wonderful. We are also grateful to our parents for wanting the best for us. We want to say that, your selflessness, encouragement and trust has made us who we are today. You have given us a powerful tool, a tool that would forever be treasured.
Our sincerest appreciation goes to our lecturers, especially Mr. Torvinyo, Dr. Esi Ansah and Dr. Kodzi of the BA department, and to Dr. Amanquah, Mr. Dafla and Mr. Osafo-Maafo of the CS and MIS department for believing in us and teaching us what is right. We will forever remember them for their hard work and dedication to duty. Also to Mr. Ben Barth for his contribution in stirring up the passion of entrepreneurship in us. Memories of Dr. Princess Awoonor-Williams will be a lamp in our hearts that will never go dim.
Mr. Chairman, I thank my colleagues for granting me this honor of being their representative. I will forever cherish this moment greatly. Ladies and gentlemen, wouldn’t you rather ride with us.