A fond send-off for Professor Stephen Adei

January 14, 2019
Nearly 20 years ago, when a young Patrick Awuah moved back to Ghana to start a university, he got connected to a handful of mentors; one of whom was Professor Stephen Adei, then the rector of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration.

Already experienced in handling a tertiary institution in Ghana, the relationship with Stephen was one Patrick could depend on to quickly learn the ropes, and one he was hoping would help draw Professor Adei to Ashesi.

Eventually, in 2015, Professor Adei joined the Ashesi team, first as a Professor of Leadership and Economics and then as the Dean of Arts and Sciences.

“I finally was able to convince Professor Adei to join the team,” shared Patrick, heartily, at a reception held to celebrate Professor Adei as he retires from full-time duties on the faculty and becomes Professor Emeritus at Ashesi.

As part of the reception, members of staff and faculty shared stories and memories of the professor’s time at Ashesi that deeply resonated with laughter and applause.

“I knew he was special; he came with all these wonderful experiences,” said Provost Angela Owusu-Ansah. “We’ve been so privileged to have him. We’ve had a treasure here!”

Over his time at Ashesi, Professor Adei taught leadership and economics. He was also particularly influential in designing the building blocks for Ashesi Success, a seminar-style class aimed at helping freshmen transition smoothly into college life.

“I am thankful for my experience at Ashesi,” said Professor Adei who has been invited by the Ghanaian government to chair the National Development Planning Commission. “I was hoping to have a quiet retirement, only to be called to help think about and plan the direction Ghana needs to go. Nevertheless, I am thankful I was invited to be part of the Ashesi vision.”

“Professor Adei is one the few people of high station in this country who truly place the interests of the whole country above partisan considerations,” said Patrick in a closing remark that also involved honoring Professor Adei by naming a new faculty room in his honor in the new Research & Learning Lab. “Stephen Adei is a clear example of what it means to be a patriot. He cares about the country and everybody in it, and he gives advice as he sees it, freely, with confidence and humility. It’s a real honor for us to have his name on the room where faculty here can go to think about important matters for this university and for our country, and where a lot of magical things will hopefully happen. I’m thankful for all that he’s done for me, and for Ashesi as well.”

As Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission, Professor Adei will lead a team that will advise Ghana’s President on development planning policy and strategy. He also remains part of Ashesi faculty in his new role as Professor Emeritus.

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