“I am a living breathing example of God’s grace” UG’s valedictorian

DPI, GUYANA, Sunday, November 12, 2017

“I am a living breathing example of God’s grace.” These were the stirring words of the University of Guyana’s (Turkeyen Campus) valedictorian Elsie Harry, who was at the time addressing her fellow students at the second graduation ceremony of the University’s 51st Convocation.

University of Guyana’s 2017 valedictorian, Elsie Harry.

The ceremony held at the Sophia Exhibition Centre on Saturday evening, saw over one thousand students graduating from various faculties. These included the Faculties of Education and Humanities, Health Sciences, and Social Sciences.

Harry graduated with an astonishing grade point average (GPA) of 4.0 and attained her Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations from the Faculty of Social Sciences. In her address to her colleagues, Harry reminded that they are in the middle of what Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ivelaw Griffith coined UG’s renaissance.

She said even as she graduates, it is the ending of one reawakening and the beginning of another and noted that the renaissance is the journey and not the destination.

The valedictorian advised her fellow graduates that the service to the world does not only involve becoming a lawyer or politician, since that would be an underestimation of value. “Our service to the world is mirrored in our ability to ensure continuity. We do this when we share our knowledge, share our skills; share our vision and when we help others to achieve their highest potential. When we have learned to serve not ourselves but our communities or country and humanity, then we would have completed our renaissance.”

Harry further added that “when you achieve your renaissance, your country will achieve its renaissance. When you do better, your country will so better.” She noted that among the graduates lie all the talent needed to make Guyana a sustainable country.

University of Guyana’s Graduating class of 2017.

Ambassador Rudolph Ten-Pow delivering the feature address last evening told the graduates that the knowledge and experience they have gained during their time at the university will serve as the foundation of a long and successful life and career.

The Ambassador shared with the graduates three life lessons; the first is that the world is full of both challenges and opportunities and that they must be able to recognise the challenges as opportunities. The second is the use of their imagination to bring about change and thirdly, to have a set of personal values that will serve as a guide throughout life.

“You are not yet masters in your fields, just apprentices, the hard work lies ahead of you not behind you. Remember that the only place where success comes before work, is in the dictionary… try always to live on the outside as you do on the inside, you have your life ahead, go out and live it” Ambassador Ten-Pow stated.

Also in attendance at last evening’s ceremony was Minister within the Ministry of Public Health Karen Cummings, Chancellor Eon Harris, Pro-Chancellor Bibi Shadick and Vice-Chancellor Professor Ivelaw Griffith.

This year for the first time in Guyana’s history the University of Guyana (UG) hosted two graduation ceremonies. The first was held Saturday morning at the National Cultural Centre (NCC) where some 915 students from the faculties of Agriculture and Forestry, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Technology graduated with diplomas and degrees.


By: Isaiah Braithwaite

University of Guyana’s Graduating class of 2017.

University of Guyana’s Graduating class of 201.


University of Guyana’s Graduating class of 2017.

University of Guyana’s Graduating class of 2017.



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