The Presbyterian University, Ghana (PUG) held a valedictory service for Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, the immediate past President of the University at Ramseyer Congregation at Abetifi-Kwahu after his tenure of office ended on 31st July, 2023.
Professor Oduro Owusu took over from Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Adow Obeng on 1st December, 2021 as the Third President of the University (then Presbyterian University College, Ghana) after completing his term as the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana.
In his Valedictory address, Professor Oduro Owusu expressed gratitude to the Council of the University and the Presbyterian Church of Ghana (PCG) for his appointment to the position of President of PUG.
“My life at PUG was very short but fulfilment was made. I hope achievements made will stay and strengthened our resolve to create a unique University based on faith in God,” he stated.
The former President of PUG was delighted that the Integrity Campaign instituted during his tenure of office has caught up with Ghanaian institutions and the international community.
Some dignitaries at the Valedictory Service
He said the Integrity Campaign was designed to ensure high moral and ethical standards of students and staff “making our graduates unique.”
As a result of the drive of the Integrity Campaign, Professor Oduro Owusu has been charged with the duty in Ghana, which starts from October 2023, to ensure that students understand and conform to integrity before entering a University.
He revealed that he has been invited by the International Association of Universities to speak to sister Universities Worldwide in Qatar.
According to Professor Oduro Owusu, the efforts are meant to influence the culture and political landscape of African institutions at all levels of national development. “I am happy to leave this legacy,” he said.
Professor Oduro Owusu in handshake with Nana Okra Boadu III, Gyaasehene of Obo Kwahu as the University Chaplain, Rev Dr Frank Adu looked on
Under his leadership, Professor Oduro Owusu oversaw the attainment of full-fledged university status as a result of the award of Presidential Charter in August, 2022; the completion of the Premier Hostel and the Graduate Block at Okwahu and Akuapem Campuses, respectively.
He also led and completed the construction of the fence wall at the Okwahu Campus; the establishment of the Obo Site (Satellite Campus) for Engineering based on the philosophy “Project in Mind, Product in Hand”; introduction of new Graduate programmes including a PhD programme; migration of the PUG Credit Union onto the University of Ghana Credit Union, among others.
Some staff at the service
The former President of PUG called on the University community to forge ahead in assistance, re-orientation in respect to contemporary corporate management, exhibit resilience in the face of challenges, manifest excellence in all aspects of life, work to sustain the institution, and have faith in God in spite of global adversity.
Delivering the Valedictory sermon, Rev. Gideon B. Puplampu, the Director of the Ramseyer Training Centre congratulated Professor Oduro Owusu for his contribution to the development of the University noting “given the challenges, troubles, limitations, opportunities and resources available, Professor Oduro, you could not do more you can do, you can only do what you can do.”
“As you step back from PUG, be at peace with yourself for you have done what you could do,” he assured Professor Oduro Owusu.
Rev Gideon Puplampu delivering the Valedictory sermon at the service
Rev. Puplampu charged the staff of the University to commit themselves to the interest and growth of the University while pledging allegiance to the head of the University to ensure its growth is sustained.
Rev. Dr. G. N. N. Odonkor, the Clerk of the General Assembly of the PCG who represented the Chancellor of PUG and Moderator of the General Assembly of the PCG, Rt. Rev. Professor J. O. Y. Mante thanked Professor Oduro Owusu for accepting his appointment to take over leadership of PUG after exiting the University of Ghana as Vice-Chancellor.
Rev. Dr. Odonkor said the former President of PUG’s name will forever be mentioned in the annals of the Presbyterian University, Ghana and the Presbyterian Church of Ghana for his contributions to the development of both institutions.
“You have spent about two years as President of the PUG, and I must say that the two years will forever remain indelible in the history books of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana and for that matter, the Presbyterian University, Ghana.”
Rev Dr G. N. N. Odonkor, Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana addressing the gathering
The Clerk of General Assembly of the PCG thanked Professor Oduro Owusu for fostering good relations between the University and the Church, as well as his efforts that ensured that the University was awarded the Presidential Charter making PUG a full-fledged University.
Rev. Dr. Odonkor also expressed gratitude to Mrs. Monica Oduro Owusu for her enormous support to her husband during challenging times as the President of PUG and wished them peace as they bowed out from the University.
Recounting the achievements of the University under Professor Oduro Owusu’s leadership, the Chairman of the University Council, His Lordship Justice Professor Emmanuel Nii Ashie Kotey said the former President improved both Undergraduate and Graduate enrolment, substantial reduction of legacy debt, growth in Graduate academic programmes including the introduction of PhD programme, the construction of the Okwahu Campus fence wall among others.
His Lordship Justice Professor Emmanuel Nii Ashie Kotey, the Chairperson of the University
Council making a presentation to Professor and Mrs Oduro Owusu
Though the former President brought about substantial improvement in the area of finance, academic and infrastructure, “but for me and the Council, the single most important contribution is not brick, mortar or money but changing the culture of the University with the Integrity Campaign initiative.”
He said the University Chaplaincy has been elevated, the cherished Presbyterian Values are being imparted to the students, and the integrity initiative that seek to organise examinations without invigilators.
He expressed gratitude to Professor Oduro Owusu and Mrs. Monica Oduro Owusu for their contributions towards the growth and the development of the University.
Professor John Ofosu-Anim, the Vice-Chancellor of PUG addressing the gathering
In his closing remarks, the new Vice-Chancellor of PUG, Professor John Ofosu-Anim assured the University community that he has not come to destroy what Professor Oduro Owusu has established, rather he sees it as an “opportunity to build on the good works by the good professor.”