Conquer world, UWI graduates told
NEARLY 1400 crossed the red carpet yesterday at the Garfield Sobers Gymnasium as years of hard work paid off for students attending the University of the West Indies (UWI).
The graduation, one of the most anticipated events on the calendar of the UWI, was however slightly marred by the passing of the late Prime Minister David Thompson, who died yesterday at 2:10 a.m.
Vice-Chancellor Professor E. Nigel Harris, who told the graduands it was their day, recalled Thompson as being an honorary graduate of the Cave Hill Campus, but said his life would be later celebrated, before announcing one moment of silence in his honour.
The undergraduate class of 2010 comprised 1 197 graduates, of whom 76 earned first class honours. Upper second class honours were awarded to another 237 students, while lower second class honours were awarded to 546 graduands.
The event saw graduands from the Faculties of Humanities and Education, Medicine and Pure Applied Sciences graduating in the morning, while those from Social Sciences and the Law Faculties boldly accepted their awards in the evening.
Valedictorian Kizzy Henry, who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (first class honours), said for many when the going got rough, their prized consolation was that the finish line was right ahead.
“Graduates, we have made it! We have climbed the rugged mountains, crossed the gushing rivers, meandered around the twists and turns to arrive victoriously at this juncture!” she exulted.
She reminded them that success was a journey and not a destination, and told fellow colleagues the journey had just begun.
Henry, a Grenadian, said her personal journey through the halls of UWI, had been one of the most enlightening and enriching experiences of her life, and impressed upon other graduands to be the best that they can be, adding that the world was theirs to conquer.
She said “for too long we have placed our destiny in the hands of the superpowers”, adding that the time was ripe to join leaders and assist in implementing progressive economic and social policies to propel the development of the region, and break the shackles that continued to hold people in bondage.
“Unless this is done, the Caribbean will continue to export its intellectuals as it did sugar,” Henry noted.