Celebrate: Commencement at UPU

August 14 was a great day of celebration–the first graduation of students from Ubangi Protestant University, UPU! There were 1,220 people in attendance for the 2-1/2 hour service in town as this 2-year old university conferred Masters in Theology degrees on 8 men. Ten men were granted Bachelors in Theology. The bachelors level of the univeristy has been at Goyongo for over 25 years, but previously was not called a university. UPU opened its doors in 2008 and has 2 campuses: the Goyongo campus for the bachelors level and a campus at IPOC just outside of Gemena for the masters level. In 2009 the university added an economics and social sciences section and this fall it will add agriculture. They plan to add a medical section in 2011.

Ubangui Protestant University (UPU)

The commencement was a great event. The wives of all the graduates processed in alongside their husbands. They had matching dresses, one style for those whose husbands received Masters degrees and another for those receiving their Bachelors. There is a unique practice at graduation here when it comes to the actual granting of the degrees themselves. Before the graduates were announced and walked across the stage, someone went along and sprinkled powder on their hats and shoulders. This is a sign of their joy. When we greeted the graduates afterwards several times we ended up with some of the powder on us.

Powdering Graduates as a Sign of Joy

Following the graduation ceremony there was a meal at the church where graduation was held. That afternoon back at each person’s residence there was another party and meal. And the next day, Sunday, the local church was invited over for a celebratory meal. Our neighbor, Vice-President Liwawa Elenga, received his masters so we were invited to all the parties.

The serving line

Fellowship over food

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Report This Post

Comments are closed.

See also:

Report This Blog