By: Jerromie S. Walters

As the University of Liberia recently celebrated her 103rd commencement convocation, it displayed the vivid fact that women are working extremely hard to make a real place for themselves, especially considering the likes of three astute and brilliant young women who emerged as duxes of their respective departments among at least 1,500 candidates from undergraduate colleges and professional schools.
If records are to be believed, the names Nedia G. Warner-Valedictorian, Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law; Chelsea Rena Doe-Valedictorian, School of Public Health; and Benetta V. Davies-Valedictorian, A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine, will be remembered for their brilliance, as the emergence of a female as dux in that number is literally not usual in the history of the University of Liberia.

Unarguably, this also heightens the fact that women in Liberia are demonstrating in every necessary way their unmatched ability to do the unexpected, especially with the welcoming grade points from these females in their respective departments.
Ms. Nedia Gbalee Warner emerged as DUX with a GPA of 3.62 and a Bachelor of Law Degree (LLB) from the prestigious Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law.
Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law is the law school of the University of Liberia in Monrovia, Liberia. Founded in 1951, it is named after the former Chief Justice of the Liberian Supreme Court, Louis Arthur Grimes. The school offers a three-year program leading to the granting of the Bachelor of Laws degree.
Simultaneously, Ms. Chelsea Rena Doe graduated as the valedictorian of her department (the Department of Public Health) with a Master’s degree and an accumulated grade point average of 3.83.
The University of Liberia Master in Public Health Program is a two-year program within the College of Health Sciences. It is designed to meet a critical workforce gap in the Liberian public health sector.
Consequently, the curriculum emphasizes the acquisition of workforce-ready skills, research, and technical competencies and offers learners the option of focusing on one of four tracks: applied epidemiology, environmental health, health systems management, or public health lab. All courses are led by Liberian faculty with doctoral-level credentials.
Like Nedia and Chelsea, Ms. Benetta V. Davies, Dux, graduated from the A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine with eight (8) distinct awards and emerged top of her class in Anatomy, Public Health and Community Medicine, Biochemistry, Pharmacology, Pediatrics, Pre-Clinical Subjects, Physiology, and the Dean’s Award (Overall Dux).
Benetta visited India for medical experience during her studies after topping her ophthalmology class. It is also important to share that she is an alumnus of the prestigious Mandela Washington Fellowship, inspiring thousands of young girls to excellence through this feat.
She walked in the footstep of Hawa Lamin Zahn, the 2021 Dux, who also clinched eight (8) awards in physiology and neuroscience, pharmacology, surgery, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, preclinical subjects,
Clinical Subjects and the Dean’s Award
The A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine and Pharmacy is a branch of the University of Liberia. The purpose of this college is to accommodate students who have an interest in studying medicine in Liberia.
Meanwhile, the young women have been venerated for their brilliance by scores of Liberians, as many see it as a significant achievement and motivation for several other women.
The three female valedictorians proudly marched out of the halls of the University of Liberia on Friday, June 2, 2023, in what prominent women in Liberia have hailed and described as a demonstration of the next generation breaking the glass ceiling.
There is absolutely no exception to this thought when taking into consideration their achievements and strivings lately and how they continue to break barriers, cross boundaries, and conquer borders.
It can be referenced that at least 1,500 candidates from undergraduate colleges and professional schools at the University of Liberia recently graduated in this year’s commencement convocation, which started on May 29, 2023, in a college-based graduation format on the Fendall Campus of the University in Louisiana, Montserrado County.
A series of activities to commemorate the 103rd Commencement commenced on Monday, May 22, 2023, with an arts and crafts exhibition by the newly established Department of Fine and Performing Arts (formerly the Department of Arts and Crafts) in the Amos C. Sawyer College of Social Sciences and Humanities.
An unveiling of two portraits in honor of President George Manneh Weah of Liberia and UL President, Dr. Julius J.S. Nelson, Jr., was held in the refurbished Department of Fine and Performing Arts.
It was followed by the Annual Faculty and Staff Retirement and Honors Program for 27 faculty and staff members who served the UL.
The retired eighteen faculty and nine staff were accompanied by scores of family members, friends, and their UL counterparts to recognize and honor them for their service to the university.
Earlier, a Special Faculty Senate Meeting was held to receive from academic deans the last batch of candidates who met all requirements and qualified for graduation.
Dr. Julius Nelson presided over those special sessions that climaxed on Monday, May 22, 2023.
The Faculty Senate comprises academic deans, chairpersons, and heads of academic units. It is the highest decision-making body in all academic matters at the University of Liberia.
Meanwhile, activities continued on Tuesday, May 23, with the College of Health Sciences Oaths and Honor Program, and on Wednesday, with the Lux-in-TENEBRIS Honors Scholars Graduating Class Research Symposium.
On Thursday, May 25, the Faculty Scholastic Recognition and Honoring Program were held, while on Friday, the University of Liberia Faculty Association, ULFA, celebrated its day.
The main commencement exercises began on Monday, May 29, 2023, with candidates from the Amos C. Sawyer and David Stratz-Sinje Colleges.
On Tuesday, May 30, 2023, the joint commencement for candidates from the Colleges of Agriculture and Forestry, Science, and Engineering was held.
Commencement for the A. Romeo Horton College of Business and Public Administration was held on Wednesday, May 31, 2023.
The 103rd Commencement Convocation concluded with the commencement of candidates from the Graduate and Professional Schools on Friday, June 2, 2023.
Student Clinton Paye, a mathematics major from the T.J.R. Faulkner College of Science and Technology, emerged as the valediction and torchbearer of the “Halakehmeni” (God’s Doing) graduating class of 2023.
He graduated with the distinction of Magna Cumlaude with a grade point average (GPA) of 3.633.

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