July 10, 2018
It so easy to get caught up in the euphoria at Ashesi’s Commencement ceremonies.
The resounding applause, stirring speeches and many accolades — all these give color to the ceremony. On his part, however, Casper Annie, the Chief Marshall, with his excitable orchestration gives the ceremony that extra oomph!
From leading the ceremony’s procession to welcoming speakers and guests, to hailing the many accomplishments of the graduates, guests can’t help but be stirred by his energy: it’s palpable and contagious.
“The opportunity to lead the ceremony is a very exciting one,” he says. “Every year has a unique set of students with unique stories, and that is what makes the ceremony even more special. Celebrating their accomplishments and sending them off to the world is such a warm feeling.”
Over the last 12 years, Casper, who is the Director of Logistics and Facilities at Ashesi, has played the role of Chief Marshall at Ashesi’s Commencement ceremonies. Always clad in his traditional cloth and staff in hand, Casper stands out among the sea of academic robes. “Years ago, when I was asked to be the Chief Marshall, I decided to do things slightly differently,” he explained. “Rather than wear a robe, I decided to wear a traditional Ghanaian cloth, as a way to share the story of the class. So every year, I choose a cloth that shares the story of the class, and gives meaning to the occasion.”
While every graduation has been unique, Ashesi’s 14th Commencement ceremony was a historic one. Not only was the occasion a celebration of the accomplishments of the students, but also, it marked Ashesi’s official outdooring as a fully-fledged university. At the ceremony, Ghana’s President, H.E. Nana Akuffo Addo, made the official presentation of the Presidential Charter to Ashesi, making the institution an autonomous degree-awarding institution. At sixteen years old, Ashesi is the youngest university in Ghana to be awarded a Presidential Charter.
“This year is both special and historic,” said Casper who was clad in a bright white cloth on the Commencement Day. “Ashesi has finally been awarded its Presidential Charter, and this must be celebrated. In Ghana, on such occasions, one wears white to show that you’re victorious. After many years of long, hard work, Ashesi is victorious. And that is why for this graduation ceremony I chose to wear white.”
While this ceremony will forever be one of Casper’s most memorable, there’s one he can hardly wait for. In a couple of years, Casper will not only be the Chief Marshal at graduation but also, he will be a proud parent of an Ashesi graduate.
“Very soon, I’ll be watching my daughter climb the stage to receive Ashesi university degree,” he says. “It’s a feeling of accomplishment. For that day, I’ll have to wear another very special cloth.”
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