Escape from Liberia—with God's help

Dr. Patrick Seyon is one of the framers of the Liberian constitution and is often mistaken for a man with political ambition. Earlier this year, while president of the University of Liberia, he escaped from his homeland as it erupted in one of its periodic bursts of internecine violence. It wasn't the first time he had left Liberia to seek refuge in the United States. In 1984 he had eluded the clutches of the military government of Samuel Doe and become a visiting scholar in the Center for International Affairs at Harvard University. Now he is taking time to step away and consider how he can best serve a country and a continent that he loves deeply.

We spoke with him in Boston.

Dr. Seyon attributes two dramatic escapes from military dictators in Liberia to his firm faith in God. This faith was established during his teenage years at an Episcopal boarding school in Western Liberia, and sustained through the turmoil of American college campuses in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He studied at Stanford University, California, and at the University of Michigan, before returning home to a post as vice-president for administration at the University of Liberia.

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Loving and respecting little children
November 11, 1996

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