African Champion of Education to Visit SUU

Published: September 22, 2010 | Read Time: 2 minutes

In support of Southern Utah University's Global Engagement initiative, Senegal President Abdoulaye Wade will visit SUU this Sunday, September 26, to accept an honorary doctorate degree in public service in recognition of his ongoing efforts to bring about improved education and democracy for the Senegalese people.

Wade’s election as Senegal’s third president ended 40 years of one-party rule in the fledgling nation. His unique perspective promises an insightful discussion when Wade addresses the campus community on the topic of ethics and values during the Sunday evening ceremony at 7:15 p.m. in the Great Hall.

This is the first time in history Southern Utah University has welcomed a sitting international head of state to campus. Of this unique opportunity, SUU Provost Brad Cook said, “This is a significant measure of the direction and reputation of SUU in its emerging global outreach."

Of the University’s commitment to global outreach, Cook explained, “Expanding SUU's international activities is truly an effort to influence our students’ cultural understanding, improve their global competitiveness, and help them identify themselves as part of a larger global community with complex technological, economic, political, ecological, and cultural interdependencies.”

The Provost continued, “In our fast-changing and complex world, students need to understand the value of multiple perspectives that cut across national boundaries, and about the interconnectedness of systems.”

Wade’s experiences provide a fitting example of the power and success that can come through education and broadened worldviews.

Wade’s vision has been to improve Senegal through education and to implement democratic reform at the pinnacle of power: a peaceful and noble revolution through the ballot box. Twice unjustly imprisoned for his challenges to repressive practices and government policies, Wade has waged an honorable and legitimate battle for true democracy in his country. Once elected as president in 2000, Wade has transformed Senegal into a model of democracy and accomplishment in Africa.

In addition to building thousands of miles of roads interconnecting the republic, a string of rural university campuses and hundreds of kindergartens throughout the country, Wade has also championed the widespread mechanization of agriculture and the institution of free-market reforms and literacy, public health and antipoverty measures.

In such an effort, Wade will also meet with faculty and students from SUU’s construction management program while in Cedar City, to glean information about affordable housing.

For their part, SUU’s construction management faculty have been taking students to Mexico every year over holiday breaks to construct dome housing that is both inexpensive and seismically sound. Our faculty and students will share their expertise about these low cost plans and practices with Wade, who is looking for housing ideas to implement in Senegal.

The degree-granting ceremony where Wade will address the southern Utah community is open to the public.

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