Nearly 50 students at the University of Liberia benefited from the
Mary Antoinette Brown Sherman Scholarship program last Semester. The University
of Liberia Alumni Association in Pennsylvania (ULIBSAA) launched the scholarship
program last year and later re-named it in honor of the late UL President, Dr.
Mary Antoinette Brown Sherman.
Students from all five colleges at the university received the scholarship. Funds
to cover the cost of the scholarship came from money raised by the UL alumni Association
in Pennsylvania (ULIBSAA).
In a recent letter to ULIBSAA President, Abraham G. Massaley, the Controller at
the University, Mrs. Esther H. page said the scholarship bill of more than $83,000.00
Liberian dollars represented tuition and fees for first semester of 2004 which
is about USD $50.00 per student. ULIBSAA has since transmitted the money to the
UL controller in Monrovia.
ULIBSAA in 2004 drafted the scholarship guidelines and constituted a Screening
Committee in Liberia headed by the President of the University of Liberia Faculty
Association (ULFA) to select eligible students to benefit from the program each
semester. Other members of the Screening Committee are the President of the UL
Alumni Association (Liberia), the Dean of Students, the UL Controller and two
representatives of the student body.
ULFA acting president, Mr. Lavela Pewee recently wrote ULIBSAA, expressing their
appreciation for the assistance, and appealed for increment in the number of scholarships.
He said the committee last year received very high volume of applications for
the scholarship, citing the financial difficulties in the country.
Meanwhile, ULIBSAA President, Massaley has announced that he is stepping down
at the end of March, 2005 because of personal reasons, but has promised to remain
active with the organization. Massaley is however appealing to former students
and graduates of the university residing in the United States to support their
Massaley said most UL alumni residing in the United States have shown no interest
in helping their former school, and continue to demonstrate total lack of support
and interest in efforts to organize a viable alumni association in the Americas.
The outgoing president said the Mary Antoinette Brown Sherman Scholarship will
be in limbo if the nearly $4,000.00 outstanding debt owed the UL Alumni Association
in Pennsylvania is not paid.
He said during the launching of the scholarship drive in May 2003, former students
and graduates who attended the program made pledges in the amount of more than
$6,500.00, and despite all frantic efforts to collect the money, very few have
honored their pledges.
Mr. Massaley said the President of the Washington DC chapter of the UL Alumni
Association has also quitted seemingly because of this same lack of support from
people who benefited from the University of Liberia. He said the vice president
of the Pennsylvania chapter, Mr. J. Shiwoh Kamara has also been very reluctant
to take over the organization seemingly because of lack of support and interest
from fellow alumni in Pennsylvania. Mr. Massaley begun discussing with Mr. Kamara
last year to take over the organization but Mr. Kamara is also very concern about
the disinterest shown by many colleagues.
Meanwhile, Mr. Massaley has paid homage to Professor Abraham L. James and former
alumni president Winsley Nyanka as well as his fellow officers for their devotion
to the university. They include Mr. J. Shiwoh Kamara, Vice President, Mr. Joseph
Morlu, Secretary, Mrs. Beatrice Kayne Rosario, Treasurer, Mrs. Murlyne Brown Youboty,
Financial Secretary, Ms Lynda Buesmail, Chairman on Membership, Mr. Charles Coleman,
Chairman on Ways and Means and Ms Sienna Kollie, member of the five member committee
charged with the responsibility of organizing a vibrant alumni association in
the United States.
Mr. Massaley said these people have gone out of their way to encourage former
students and graduates of the university to pay back to their alma mata but regretted
that many just do not want to be bothered. Mr. Massaley appealed to people who
made pledges to the Mary Antoinette Brown Sherman Scholarship to honor their commitment,
and is also urging fellow alumni to contribute to the scholarship so that it cannot
"I have already informed the UL Controller that our continued funding to
the Sherman Scholarship will depend on the support we will get", Mr. Massaley
said, lamenting that "it will be a shame to abandon the scholarship program
which is named in honor of one of our most respected and admired Liberians who
risked everything she owned in order to defend and support students at the University
Mr. Massaley said officers of the Pennsylvania chapter are determined to continue
the scholarship program, in view of appeal from the students and the faculty but
said that "our effort to maintain the Sherman Scholarship will be as good
as the support we get from fellow alumni".
Under the 2003 arrangement, the Pennsylvania chapter is chairing the five-member
committee that was constituted to establish a vibrant UL alumni association in
the United States. But this effort is being undermined because of lack of support.
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