Commencement 2017 - President's Award Winners

The Scholarship, Leadership & Citizenship Award is given on an annual basis to three 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 who 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.

Prince Kennedy Kwarase '17

There is something special about a student who carries a journal and a pen in the front pocket every day, never missing an opportunity to learn. Very highly respected, he checks the boxes for principled, meticulous, sharp and sound in judgement. He is not your average charismatic leader but his words are rich with meaning and his actions are full of concern for his community. He is quick to stand up for what is right.

He has shown exemplary leadership by serving as class representative in the 2013-2014 school year, Academic Committee for the 2014-2015 school year, and served as the chair of the Judicial Electoral Committee of the Ashesi Student Council for the 2015-2016 school year.

With a passion for education, he always created opportunities to invite his peers to serve and give back to their communities. In his first year at Ashesi, he led a team of students to the Central Region of Ghana to mentor high school students living in underprivileged communities. 

He is a firm believer that no young person should be left behind. He founded “The Mentors Network” to connect high school students from nearby villages of Ayim and Agyemente with role models at Ashesi. He has inspired lives beyond the hills of Ashesi, and was named an Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society in 2015.

For so strongly representing the Ashesi ideals of Scholarship, Leadership and Citizenship, we present this award to Prince Kennedy Kwarase.

Melissa Akita '17

Personable, thoughtful, well-prepared and comfortable. These were the first impressions this student created when she first walked into Ashesi, as an applicant.

A proud alumnus of Aburi Girls’ High School, she may be graduating today with one of the highest academic records in Ashesi's history; but beyond the classroom, she demonstrated a sound balance between her scholastic prowess and service to her community.  Her peers describe her as trustworthy and of good character. Which is why during her time as Outreach Chairperson, she was successful in leading a campaign to provide a modest facelift for the Berekuso School, bringing together staff, faculty and students from the Ashesi Community to volunteer in repainting the school’s facilities.

When asked to reflect on her experiences at Ashesi, and share a few words with younger generations of students, she wrote:

“Your Ashesi experience is one you will always treasure. Participate in activities, join clubs, and if you have any creative idea, go ahead, do it! Don’t wait for people’s approval before you start anything you want to do. Use your time at Ashesi to explore, make mistakes and above all remember your God.”

A quiet achiever, this student will be remembered for her ability to help others achieve more and do better, without feeling the need to be in the spotlight.

For so strongly representing the Ashesi ideals of Scholarship, Leadership and Citizenship, we present this award to Melissa Akita.

Anna Serwa Addei '17

This student steps up in places where many others shrink. She has a knack for keeping calm and in control even when the odds are uneven. She is extremely hardworking, firm and decisive. Whenever you need help, just look outside the window and there she is, smiling, always ready to help.

As a Resident Assistant, she went above her call of duties in caring for her fellow students. She inspired her peers to step up and lead change in multiple contexts around campus. As a member of the Ashesi Student Council, she served two terms as Welfare Chairperson; in this time, she led a successful campaign to ban Styrofoam packs on campus, to help cut down non-biodegrable waste and protect the environment. This student proudly represented Ashesi and Ghana at the semester at sea program where she sailed from South Africa, sharing her culture and experiences with International students.

In her final year, she made an unusual decision, for a Computer Science senior, to take on an Entrepreneurship project as her capstone project; the decision meant that she took on extra work to meet graduation requirements. With recognition for multiple competitions won during her time as a student, this student will be a role model for many generations of Ashesi women.

For so strongly representing the Ashesi ideals of Scholarship, Leadership and Citizenship, we present this award to Anna Serwa Addei.