With first cohort of Engineering graduates, Ashesi’s Class of 2019 celebrates milestone Commencement

June 1, 2019

Ashesi’s 15th commencement was an exciting mix of memorable moments, bringing yet another milestone and chapter to Ashesi’s history. Held for the first time on Ashesi’s recently completed sports center, nearly 2,000 guests – family, friends, and alumni – were present to celebrate the Class of 2019’s Commencement. It was the largest commencement ceremony Ashesi has ever hosted and was a fitting tribute to the Class that brought Ashesi’s pioneering cohort of Engineering students. And for the first time in a long time, the rains held back and gave way to sunny blue skies as the ceremony went on.


“Class of 2019, in so many ways, your arrival heralded a lot of new beginnings here,” read Ashesi President, Patrick Awuah. “During your time here, we successfully completed fifteen new campus construction projects spanning classrooms, labs and workshops; recreation spaces; faculty research spaces, faculty and administrative offices, and on-campus student housing. Our recognition has continued to grow around the world; and this year, for the first time, Ashesi made it into a global Times Higher Education ranking of universities that are making an impact in the world. […] And of course, your Class has the honor of hosting Ashesi’s very first Engineering students; who brought a lot of new intellectual energy and excitement to campus. For what you have contributed towards making Ashesi a more excellent institution for future generations of students, I think you deserve an A+.”

With 23% being international students, and 59% of students receiving scholarships, the Class of 2019 is Ashesi’s most diverse yet. Countries represented in this Class included Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gambia, Rwanda, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. Approximately 85% of the graduated in four years, and some 20% graduated with academic honors – an impressive accomplishment.


Class donates GHs5000 for mental health awareness at Ashesi
As beneficiaries of the generous philanthropy of others, the Class of 2019 took a graduating class tradition to heart, with 100% of members giving towards the class gift. Collectively, the Class decided to give their donation of GHs5000 towards strengthening mental health awareness on campus.“Since joining this community, we have seen the progressive effort that has been made by both faculty and staff to strengthen social and mental health support on this campus,” shared class representative, Samuel Agyemang-Prempeh ’19. “As students who have seen the importance of such support first-hand, the Class of 2019 would like to present a donation of GHs5,000 towards supporting mental health resources at Ashesi. 100% of the Class contributed to this gift, and the decision to donate it to mental health resources was a collective decision by the Class. As alumni of Ashesi, we look forward to continuing to give back to this home of ours, and to make this a stronger institution for decades to come.”


The magic of new beginnings at Ashesi
Addressing courage and the need for ethical leadership, to the power of relationships, and the spirit of being life-long learners, remarks for today’s ceremony were met with applause and agreement. For Class Speaker, Jean Quarcopoome ’19, Ashesi was a place where anything could happen.

“In many ways, Ashesi is a different world,” he shared in his address. “A place where anything is possible, as long as you are prepared to work hard for it. There is a magic here that turns the wildest dreams into realities. The magic that first began when Patrick’s dream to transform our continent one student at a time, became a reality called Ashesi. […] My two-zero-one-nine family and I, know all about the magic of crazy dreams becoming realities. […] Each of these dreams now exist as realities, thanks to the magic of Ashesi; a world where hard work meets opportunity, to make the impossible possible. To donors, partners, and staff of Ashesi, and to Dr. Awuah, we are grateful to you for creating the perfect setting where our story could come to life.”

What Next for the Class of 2019?
As members of the Class of 2019 move on to the next stage of their lives and careers, with many having already made choices around their next steps, speakers at the ceremony encouraged them to embrace their responsibility.

“What we see around us today in our communities, in our societies, in our countries and our continent are what they are as a result of the actions, the decisions and the choices that were made by those ahead of us,” shared Commencement Speaker, Samuel Attah-Mensah. “But it’s time for us to write our own stories, to create our own pathways and to devise our own legacies. Your families are looking up to you, your community is looking up to you, and your country is looking up to you.”

Speaker for the Class of 2009, celebrating a decennium since their graduation, also reminded the Class to be inspired by the high expectations the world has of them.

“Make your time spent here count,” Joseph Hanson ’09 shared with the Class. “People remain amazed that exams here are written in the absence of invigilators; demonstrate to them that our commitment to doing the right thing lives beyond exams. They get amazed at our knowledge and attention to detail; demonstrate to them that it can be done. They get amazed at our willingness to embrace the unknown, try the untried, and face challenges head-on; demonstrate to them that we share a spirit of adventure and possibility. Never mind that you will be called too-known. Never mind that expectations will be higher for you than others. Be inspired and driven by it.”

Congratulations, Class of 2019. Welcome to the Ashesi alumni community, and we look forward to seeing who you become and what you accomplish in the years ahead!


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