Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 12, 2016 (SKNIS): Enthusiastic graduates who completed studies at the University of West Indies (UWI) Open Campus, especially those in St. Kitts and Nevis were given the opportunity to attend their commencement ceremony on Saturday, October 08, at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort.
For the second time, St. Kitts and Nevis hosted the UWI Open Campus Graduates Ceremony, the first ceremony hosted in 2012.
Sir George Alleyne, Chancellor of UWI, offered congratulatory remarks to the class of 2016, as well as the Faculty for making sure that the students were present for such auspicious occasion.
“It is a delight to see not only the graduands and their love ones but also such a goodly cross-section of the community. Your presence is an affirmation of the value placed on what we do as an institution,” said Sir Alleyne. “My colleagues and I are absolutely delighted to see you and we trust that you enjoy what for us is one of the most important events on our university calendar.”
Chancellor Alleyne saluted the many men and women who bear the indelible mark of the “Pelican Pride” from the University of the West Indies, referring to the pelican that is embedded in the institution’s Coat of Arms.
“Our pelican have soared in multiple fields. We frequently boast of the many Governors General who have graduated from our university. We boast of the many prime ministers or captains of industry,” said the Chancellor. [We also boast] of those thousands of individuals often unsung whose patience and persistence in this daily task contribute to the life of the Caribbean as we know it today. But now, I must recognize one special pelican who has soared higher than any other has.”
Sir Alleyne made mention of the special pelican in the person of Sir Dr. Kennedy Simmonds and noted that he was thrilled to learn that Sir Kennedy is St. Kitts and Nevis’ first living National Hero, the highest honour to be bestowed on a national. Chancellor Alleyne noted that Sir Kennedy was a graduate of the UWI and he used the occasion to publicly congratulate him on behalf of their Alma Mater.
“And I trust that he will not be the last of our graduates to be singled out for some truly extraordinary contribution to national development,” he said.
Dr. Sir Prince Ramsey, Antiguan Physician, was conferred with an honorary doctorate for his work in the field of HIV/AIDS. Rone Alexis of St. Lucia emerged Valedictorian. She obtained a Bachelors of Education (BEd) in Early Childhood Development and Family studies with first class honors.
Seven hundred (700) persons from around the region graduated from the Open Campus with Master’s, Bachelor’s and Associate degrees, as well as Certificates and Diplomas in a wide range of subject areas. One hundred and fifteen (115) of these attended the presentation of Graduates Ceremony at the St. Kitts Marriot Resort of which 15 were nationals of St. Kitts and Nevis.
The ceremony was attended by the Honourable Shawn Richards, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Governor General, His Excellency Sir Tapley Seaton, Former Governors General, His Excellency Sir Cuthbert Sebastian and His Excellency Sir Edmund Lawrence, and Lady Lawrence, Governor General’s Deputy of Antigua and Barbuda, His Excellency Sir Clare Roberts, officials from the Ministry of Education and UWI Open Campus St. Kitts.
The Academic procession was made up of Lecturers, Deans and Faculty of the UWI Open Campus. The Chancellors procession consisted of the following professors: the Honourable Sir George Alleyne, Chancellor; Dale Webber, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Graduate Studies Research; Densil Williams, Pro Vice-Chancellor Planning and Development; V. Eudine Barriteau, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Cave Hill Campus; Rhoda Reddock, Principal’s Representative, St. Augustine Campus; Ishenkumba Kahwa, Principal’s Representative, Mona Campus; and Julie Meeks-Gardner, Deputy-Principal, Open Campus. Dr. Sir Prince Ramsey, Honorary Graduand and Guest Speaker; Dr. Luz Longsworth, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal Open Campus; Dr. Francis Severin, Public Orator; Mrs. Karen Lequay, University Librarian; Mr. C William Iton, University Registrar; Mrs. Karen Ford-Warner, Campus Registrar; and Mr. Craig Tucket, Representative, the UWI Alumni Association (St. Kitts and Nevis Chapter) was also a part of the Chancellors procession.