JEFFREY ELAPA in MADANG
PRIME Minister Sir Michael Somare officially opened the state-of-the-art student services building named after him at the Divine Word University during the Independence Day celebrations in Madang on Wednesday.
The building, shaped like a mini Parliament House, was designed by university president Fr Jan Czuba and cost more than K1 million.
It will house the office of the Student Representative Council, student services director, deans, student counselling office, and board and conference rooms equipped with electronic overhead projection equipment and video-conferencing facilities.
Fr Czuba said during the opening the building was shaped like Parliament House to indicate that “the university trains and grooms young leaders” of the nation.
He said DWU not only contributed to the social and academic life but also contributed to the spiritual, political and economic development of the country through teaching and learning.
Sir Michael said that although there were many things named after him in the country, he was honoured to have the DWU building named after him. Sir Michael said that he accepted the honour because he had high respect for and trust in DWU as an institution which had come from nowhere, from being a high school and institute, to a university.
DWU was declared as a university by the National Executive Council in 1996 under then prime minister Sir Julius Chan and has expanded tremendously and gained in popularity since then.
Sir Michael said that during his political career, he had seen the kind of developments taking place at DWU and he was proud of its great contributions to the development of the country.
“I speak highly of DWU,” the Prime Minister said.
“This is a distinguished university which is a symbol of significant development in Madang and the Momase region.”
Student services director Steven Namosa told The National that it was a significance occasion for his department as the design and work on the building takes the university to another level of achievement for the benefit of its students.
A former student, who wanted anonymity, applauded Fr Czuba for his vision in seeing the needs of the students and making the university an ideal location to live and study.