A 501 C3 Non Profit Organization supporting education on BWI
MAY 22, 2012
(L-R)-BWI Administrative Manager, Isaac Stevens, Mr. John Fahnbutu, Dr. & Mrs. Patricia Rochon, President, Tuskegee University - USA, Principal Jackollie and BWI Board Member, Joe Isaac in a group photo shortly after the Rochons were gowned.
U.S-based Tuskegee University has re-assured the Administration of the Booker Washington Institute (BWI) in Kakata, Margibi County of the its continuous support for BWI.

Reflecting on the historic ties between the two institutions, Tuskegee University’s president, Dr. Gilbert Rochon emphasized the urgent need of the two “sisterly institutions” to renew the long existing traditional ties between them.

Dr. Rockon, in a dispatch indicated that his initial contacts with representatives of the Phelps-Stoke Foundation for the re-establishment of its support to the Booker Washington Institute was rewarding.

Dr. Rochon made the statement over the weekend on the main campus of BWI in Kakata during a stopover visit at the institution, while on a visit to conflict prone Liberia, a release from the Liberia News Agency has said.

The Phelps-Stokes Foundation was originally the main source of funding that led to the establishment of the BWI in 1929 as a result of a question posed to Liberia former president Charles Dunbar Burgess King by an American journalist at the end of his state visit. The journalist’s question to President King was: “What could be the best thing to take back home?” and the Liberian President replied: “If I could take Tuskegee University to Africa, I would love to see it in my home country, Liberia.”

In a meeting between Dr. Rochon and the Phelps Stokes Foundation, the foundation also indicated their willingness and interest to assist Tuskegee and BWI to re-establish ties.

They also discussed the establishment of a community college and  a “matriculating agreement” that will allow students from BWI and the community college to go on to matriculate to the Tuskegee University to obtain their post graduate degrees.

Dr. Rochon is quoted by LINA as saying, “Dr. Booker T. Washington, in whose name the BWI is named, was also the founder of the Tuskegee University. He was the sixth president of that university in 1881.”

During his meeting with the Administration of BWI, Dr. Rochon further revealed that he grew keen interest after he read a newspaper article in a local American daily about President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s ardent desire to strengthen vocational institutions in Liberia and specifically mentioning BWI, which he had come to see and have a first hand information about the institution. He added that Tuskegee University and BWI were both founded by Dr. Booker T. Washington.

According to Dr. Rochon, following the founding of the Tuskegee University, Dr. Booker T. Washington served as president of Tuskegee University for 34 unbroken years, before passing away.

Earlier in his welcome and special statement, the Principal of BWI, Mulbah Jackollie expressed profound gratitude to Dr. Rochon for championing the cause to re-link and renew the long existing relationships between the BWI and the Tuskegee University.

Mr. Jackollie indicated that the visit of the Dr. Rochon was a day worth celebrating, “because the visit has already linked the two institutions.”
Dr. Rochon’s visit, Mr. Jackollie recalled, was the first in fifty or more years since the founding of BWI to have a sitting president of the Tuskegee University to visit the school besides the founding father.

He said BWI’s renewal of its historic ties with the Tuskegee University is important to re-ignite the missing link between the two institutions especially in post war Liberia where BWI like any learning institutions was greatly affected by the war.

From its founding in 1929, BWI was operated by Americans until 1957, when it got its first Liberian principal, Moses Klonyon  Weefur.

Earlier, during President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s brief meeting with Dr. Rochon at her office in Monrovia, she re-echoed her call for more capacity building from the Tuskegee University to the BWI.

Meanwhile, students and faculty of BWI have appealed to the Dr. Rochon to provide the institution with instructional materials and scholarships.

Courtesy of the