Goodbyes and hellos, as Ashesi's Class of 2016 moves in to campus
This past weekend over a hundred students took their first steps to becoming members of Ashesi’s community, as they showed up at campus for freshman move-in. As students and parents drove in to campus, upperclassmen offered a helping hand in unloading bags full of clothes and supplies, helping Ashesi’s new community members move into their new rooms.
“It was like reliving our own freshman year,” said Michael Quansah ’14, Academic Chairperson of the Ashesi Student Council and one of eight Residential Assistants in Ashesi’s dorms. “These students however, are moving into an actual campus, and it is great seeing their excitement and that of their parents.”
“I was not very excited about coming here initially,” said Emmanuel Manuela Adu ‘16, who is of Ghanaian-Mexican heritage, and moved from the United States to Ghana to attend Ashesi. “After my dad mentioned it to me however, I read about Ashesi’s community, and eventually decided to be here. I am excited because not only will I get a great education, but I will also connect with and learn about my Ghanaian heritage. Right now, I’m really looking forward to learning to eat kenkey.
The Dean and Associate Dean of Student and Community Affairs, Ruth Kwakwa and Salome Okoh, were also on campus to welcome students and help ease the anxiety of moving away from home.
“This represents a turning point for the students because they are breaking free and will be making a lot of decisions for themselves,” said Ruth. “For me, this is one of the first points where choices, actions and consequences come together for young people. That’s why I love it when parents come to me and ask questions about their children, because I get to tell them why they have to ‘let go’!”
“Ashesi is a very different environment than most of you are usually used to,” said Dr. Patrick Awuah, President of Ashesi, as he met the parents of the Class of 2016. “A lot of parents are surprised when their children come home and refer to me as ‘Patrick’, for example. But at Ashesi, we don’t really care if students refer to us by our first name or by our titles, ‘Doctor’ or ‘Professor’. What we are serious about is whether they are learning and not skipping classes, or cheating.”
President of the Ashesi Student Council, Kwadwo Owusu-Adjei, also explained that “Ashesi is one of the best decisions you can make for your children. The people, activities, and opportunities here are wonderful, and it is exciting to have you all become a part of this community.”
Between meeting members of Ashesi’s community, and sharing last-hour advice with their children, parents also shared sentiments about Ashesi, and what it meant for them to see their children enrolled here.
“Ashesi is one of the best things to have happened to my daughter and I,” said Gilbert Hagan, who already has a daughter in her senior year at Ashesi. “Being here has really transformed my older daughter, and I am certain my second daughter, who is coming in this year, will have the same great experience.”
“The transparency in Ashesi’s admissions process was wonderful, and it would be great if the world worked this way.” said Rev. Prosper Asamoah, who came with his daughter from Takoradi, in Ghana’s Western Region. “Our conversations with Ashesi’s staff and faculty this weekend have given me a great perspective of what the next four years will be like for my daughter. This is really going to make it a lot easier for me to connect with her and help her manage difficulties she might face here.”
“The Ashesi community seems like the kind I want to spend my next four years with,” said Michael Annor ’16, who said he arrived at Ashesi with a lot of expectations for his stay here. “It all feels like an inspiring experience. I am already meeting a lot of great people, and sharing experiences with people from Gambia, Nigeria, Cote d'Ivoire and other African countries. I am really looking forward to orientation week to cushion my first days here before the actual work starts.”