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17 September 2007 11:03 AM EDT

University of William Booth Degree Ceremony for the Academic Year 2006-7

Author: Congo and Angola (Kinshasa) Territory


University of William Booth Degree Ceremony for the Academic Year 2006-7

Saturday 1 September 2007 brought together most of the top government and private sector officials at Salle Centrale Corps in Kinshasa. They were there to attend the graduation day of students of The Salvation Army William Booth University. The hall was packed to capacity by friends, relatives and Salvationists, who had come to witness the culminating event of the William Booth University academic year.

At noon, a procession of officials of William Booth University, supported by the government representative of the Minister of Further Education and Universities, processed into the hall behind the Salvation Army flag to the music of the corps band. The Territorial Commander, as President (Chancellor) of the university, led the procession. The graduands were already seated in their places, dressed in their academic regalia, waiting to collect their degrees.

Mr Paulin Yamba Yamba Munene, one of the academic staff at William Booth University, moderated the programme. He opened the meeting by recognising all invited guests, parents and graduands, before the assembly entered into a spirit of worship and adoration by singing 'How great thou art', filling the hall with exuberant praise to the Lord.

The delivery of the academic report by Mr Roger Bimwala, Vice-Recteur Chargé des Affaires Académiques et de la Coopération, left everyone keen to know how each graduand had performed, but the Chancellor had yet to make his speech. The latter challenged the new graduates to go out and represent William Booth University well by being exceptional in the discharge of their duties. The Chancellor spoke about the aim of The Salvation Army in setting up William Booth University in Congo as one that cannot be separated from the goal of human development. He went on to say that human beings must be developed to be able to deal with the evils that beset man in society. Academic education should result in equipping graduates to combat hunger, disease, war, ignorance and darkness. Governments and the private sector alike have been infiltrated by people with 'slave mentality', according to the Chancellor. Graduates who engage at work but never develop the attitude of ownership of their place of work will have a mindset akin to that of a slave, who does not care about anything. The Chancellor encouraged the graduands to develop a love for their country and stop looking for greener pastures abroad. Congo, he says, needs employers, not job seekers, and is waiting for educated people who can exploit its God-given, abundant natural resources to benefit the suffering masses impoverished by ignorance. In closing his speech, he said that a university degree education without the knowledge of God is empty; real education is knowing the Lord.

The Rector, Professor Dr Gaston Mpiutu ne Mbodi, conferred academic degrees on qualifying students. The hall was filled with shouts of appreciation as each group of graduands was called forward. Eight Economic Science Faculty graduates succeeded in completing their assignments on time and were therefore able to write their end-of-academic-year examinations; the Faculty of Law had 11 graduates who did their work on time. There are no short cuts of any kind at William Booth University, and no compromising of standards, which has given it a country-wide reputation in the eyes of both the public and the government. It is ranked number five out of 46 recognised universities in the country, and its graduates are sought after everywhere because of their high standards. The Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo presented the University of William Booth with a certificate of merit, which was accepted on behalf of the university by the UWB President (Chancellor), Territorial Commander Commissioner Stuart Mungate. The government representative of the Ministry of Universities praised the University of William Booth for its performance and dedication.

The University of William Booth has seen tremendous growth, which has given it a current student population of 1,120, taught by 48 professors and lecturers, with 26 assistants.

 

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 New graduates
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brief description: New graduates show a range of emotions after receiving their degrees
 
 Awarding degrees
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brief description: Professor Dr Gaston Mpiutu ne Mbodi announces the awarding of degrees
 
 Award of Merit
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brief description: Commissioner Stuart Mungate accepts governmental award of merit on behalf of UWB as chancellor of the university
 
 Dignitaries
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brief description: Academic leaders and visiting dignitaries pose after the graduation ceremony
 



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