Founded by Quakers in 1873, William Penn University celebrated its largest graduating class to date. With over 300 students, William Penn University celebrated its largest graduating class to date on this sunny Saturday afternoon in Oskaloosa, Iowa.

In her opening remarks, the first female President of the College Dr. Ann Fields reminded the graduating class of Rwanda’s remarkable achievement in the past decades pointing out its high number of women parliamentarians.


“Under President Kagame who is known as a public advocate for socio-economic development and self reliance, Rwanda has been cited as an African success story.”


Dr. Ann Fields cited gender equity, women’s right to own property and girl’s education among many of the   successes of President Kagame’s leadership. It was in recognition of these accomplishment and the partnership between William Penn University and Rwanda that Dr. Ann Fields presented President Kagame with the Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters.

“I accept it with deep humility, knowing that in actual fact, it is a recognition of the collective effort of Rwandans to work for a better and brighter future,” President Kagame said upon receiving the Honorary Doctorate. Addressing the over 300 students gathered, he reminded them that “leadership is not about a single individual, no matter how gifted; it centers on the ability to inspire others to move together in the right direction, towards a common good.”

“I have no doubt that among the 2012 Class of William Penn University there are outstanding leaders ready to step into the future and make the world a better home for all its citizens,” President Kagame added.


As one of William Penn University first Rwandan graduate, Jean Chrysostome Bikomeye demonstrated in his address to the William Penn University graduating class, Rwanda’s youth is well on its way to meaningful leadership. “We all have different backgrounds but today we have one thing in common, we are graduating,”he told fellow students.


Jean Chrysostome Bikomeye concluded his address by thanking President Kagame and the Rwandan leadership for their support of the Presidential scholarship program and reminded all present to“never lose the opportunity to make a difference.”