Rochon discusses future plans with president of Liberia


MONROVIA, Liberia (June 27, 2012) — Tuskegee University President Gilbert L. Rochon sought to strengthen ties between the university and Liberia during a visit with Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on June 22 in the Foreign Ministry Office. During his first visit to the West African nation, Rochon and a delegation from Liberia’s Booker Washington Institute spoke to Sirleaf about the long-standing relationship between the university and the institute that was named after Tuskegee’s founder.

Rochon told Sirleaf that Tuskegee University’s relations with the institute started in 1924 and that the university would like to be part of efforts to help the institute improve. Sirleaf expressed disappointment at the negative impact that years of civil war in Liberia had on the institute, but shared her administration’s efforts and plans to restore the technical institute.

Tuskegee University has partnerships with universities in several African countries including:Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Morocco and South Africa. And, Rochon would like to extend the chance to work together to Liberia as well. He said he will work toward establishing joint research opportunities, student exchange programs and help to strengthen architecture programs at Liberian universities. To that end, he told Sirleaf he has approached the president of the University of Liberia, Emmet A. Dennis, the administration and board of governors of Booker Washington Institute and representatives from Tubman University in Liberia.

Sirleaf told Rochon and the visiting delegation that Liberia is getting support from members of the international community and welcomes future training and exchange program efforts with Tuskegee and other institutions.

Other members of the delegation that accompanied Rochon: Bishop Sumowood E. Harris, former bishop of the Lutheran Church in Liberia and now chair of the Booker Washington Institute Board of Governors; Bishop Seyen Kulo, bishop of the Lutheran Church; Mulbah Jackollie, principal of the institute; Jonathan Paye-Layleh, president of the Booker Washington Institute Alumni Association; John S. Fahnbutu, president of the Maryland-USA Chapter of the Booker Washington Institute Alumni Association; and Joseph T. Isaac, vice president of William V. S Tubman University and member of the institute’sboard of governors.

© 2012 Tuskegee University

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