How did you become connected to Ashesi?
I’ve had an intellectual interest in West African culture and politics, and particularly Ghana, since the early sixties when I was a graduate student at UCLA working on a doctorate in Political Science. Over the years since I have maintained an active interest in what was happening in Ghana. In recent years I have made several trips to Ghana. On my first trip to Ghana I visited the original campus of Ashesi and briefly met Patrick Awuah. I had already become aware of him and what he was envisioning for Ashesi. Meeting him and seeing the temporary campus in Cantonments further inspired me to want to support Patrick in his efforts. I became a continuing donor, contributed to the first capital fund for the campus at Berekuso, and attended the opening ceremonies for the new campus.
What about Ashesi’s impact initially resonated with you?
Most of the education in sub-Saharan Africa has historically been predominately rote learning. The Ashesi model, based on the Swarthmore liberal arts philosophy, encourages independent thinking by students. This philosophy, combined with discipline-specific degrees and, very importantly, the emphasis on ethical leadership is the best educational model for the future development of Ghana.
What inspires you to back Ashesi year after year?
I am inspired by the continuing growth of Ashesi, as witnessed the recent creation of the engineering school. Also, I have noticed and been inspired by the large number of Ashesi graduates who have started their own businesses and are viewed as prime candidates for employment by Ghanaian businesses.
Where do you hope to see Ashesi in ten years?
In ten years I hope to see and expect Ashesi to be a much larger, multi-disciplined university with students from all over Africa. I can eventually see Ashesi as being an elite university recognized as such throughout Africa and the rest of the world.
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