Suffolk’s Dakar Campus to Hold Fifth Commencement Ceremony


The Suffolk University campus in Dakar, Senegal, will hold its commencement ceremony for the 2003-2004 academic year today, presenting certificates of completion to 18 sophomores and awarding an honorary doctor of laws degree to His Excellence, Me. Abdoulaye Wade, President of the Republic of Senegal.

Gabriel Lopes, County Director, Citigroup-Senegal, will deliver the commencement address, while Marieme Sav Sow of Senegal will fill the role of student speaker representing the sophomore class.

The ceremony will take place on the new soccer field located on the Suffolk-Dakar campus, and numerous family members and friends of the graduates are expected to attend, as well as many Senegalese dignitaries and ambassadors of the United States and several African countries.

"Academically, it was a great year," said Lew Shaw, a veteran assistant professor in the accounting department at Suffolk, who just completed his first year as Executive Director of Suffolk University-Dakar. "Everyone has worked hard and deserves a lot of credit for a job well done."

The Suffolk University-Boston contingent joining Shaw in Senegal on this special occasion include: Marguerite Dennis, Vice President of Enrollment and International Programs; William J. O’Neill, Dean, Sawyer School of Management; James Sintros, International Project Manager; and Moussa Diouf, Director of the ELI (English Language Institute) Program.

Vice President Dennis and Dean O’Neill will present President Wade with his honorary degree.

"It is an incredible accomplishment to have President Wade participate in our commencement ceremony and it really shows his support for our presence in Senegal," said Shaw, who will deliver the welcome address and introduce all of the guests and speakers. "He is a very popular and respected figure in Senegal and having him here is a great honor and wonderful exposure for our school. He will be just returning from attending the G-8 summit and former President Ronald Regan’s funeral."

Suffolk University-Dakar, which just completed its fifth year of existence, provides an opportunity for Senegalese and other African students to pursue the first two years of an American undergraduate business education in their home region. In addition to courses leading to a BSBA, BS or BA degree, there is an emphasis on intensive English-language training.

Students successfully completing the first 54 credits of the degree program receive a certificate, and credits may be transferred to Suffolk University in Boston or to other accredited institutions of higher education in the United States. Of the 18 students receiving certificates of completion this year, 10 are planning to transfer to Suffolk in Boston, six are scheduled to attend other American universities, and two of them are still undecided.

"I feel good about the school and its future here in Senegal," explained Shaw. "We’ve made some huge steps over the years and we’re continuing to move forward. Some of our students who have become educated at Suffolk-Dakar go on to become among the top students at our Boston campus, which is a real tribute to how successful our program here in Senegal has become."

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