UG holds three graduation ceremonies for 52nd convocation
-1,730 students graduate
-Graduands from several new courses
-Three charges delivered by guest speakers
-Valedictorian says women are the future
DPI, Guyana, Saturday, November 10, 2018
More than one thousand seven hundred students graduated today at the University of Guyana’s 52nd Convocation in three back-to-back ceremonies hosted at the National Cultural Centre.
Valedictorian and recipient of the President’s Medal, Shakti Persaud, reminded the graduands they are a success story that should be celebrated.
She noted today held more importance for women who are still working harder than most to shatter glass ceilings.
“We are proof that we have got what it takes and we can do it all in this man’s world. We are proof that we can make the unusual efforts that are necessary to succeed. We are proof that the future is female and that future is now,” Persaud said.
Persaud graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree from the School of Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation (SEBI). She is among the first batch of graduands from SEBI which was established last year.
Persaud noted she has been working since a teenager but never gave up on her dreams of higher education.
“It does not matter if we achieve our goals at 20, 30, 40 or 50 what matters is that we see the sun that we achieved our goals in this lifetime and make a difference in our homes and in our society,” Persaud said.
A historic feature of the convocation ceremony is the division of the graduands into batches with three different charges delivered by guest speakers. The faculties of Agriculture and Forestry, Earth and Environmental Sciences and Education and Humanities were the first batch to graduate in the morning.
The charge to those graduands was delivered by Professor David Phoenix, the Vice Chancellor of London South Bank University.
Professor Phoenix encouraged the graduands to consider the three Cs as they consider their future: change, choice and chance.
“In making that choice about your future don’t take the easy option. Take the hard way, follow your dreams, your beliefs don’t let other people tell you what you can do and what you can’t do. Shape your own future,” Professor Phoenix said.
The second batch to graduate was from the facilities of Health Sciences, Natural Sciences and Engineering and Technology during the afternoon. The charge to those graduands was delivered by Professor Norman Munroe, the Director of Office of Student Access and Success (OSAS) and the Centre for Diversity in Engineering and Computing at the Florida International University.
Munroe, a Guyanese by birth, encouraged the graduands to be mentors to others.
“Mentor others, be persistent, hang in there during challenging times. Find your calling, something that you are truly passionate about. Find that north star that generates that focused passion, in other words, choose a job you love and you will never have to work again,” Munroe urged.
The final batch of graduands and the university’s largest faculties were Social Sciences and SEBI. The charge was delivered by Attorney-at-Law from the class of 1997, Kamal Ramkarran.
He encouraged the graduands to think of Guyana as a real country and not dismiss it as a country where nothing works and nothing will.
“You have to choose to take Guyana seriously and decide to make things work because there is no reason why we should live in a country where things don’t work. When people take their country seriously and decide to make a change, things change,” Ramkarran said.
This year’s convocation ceremony featured a number of firsts including graduands from new programmes such as Diploma in Psychology, Masters of Medicine in Family Medicine and Bachelor in Emergency Nursing (Clinical Nurse Specialist).
Meanwhile, several awards were handed to top performers. The Chancellor’s Medal went to Benita Davis, the second-best graduating Bachelor’s Degree Student from the Faculty of Earth and Environmental Sciences.
The Prime Minister’s Medal went to Mohameed Baksh, the best graduating student in the School of Medicine while Kester Edwards received the Prime Minister’s Award for the best graduating student with a Degree in Public Management.
Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge, presented the recipients with their awards.
The Pro-Chancellor’s Medal for the best graduating Law student went to Texine Daw.
A new award, The Francille Griffith Award for Excellence in Nursing went to Marguerite Hoyte from the faculty of Health Sciences. The award was established to honour the wife of Vice Chancellor Ivelaw Griffith, who is a nurse.
The recipient of the award received $50,000 for attaining the highest cumulative grade point average no less than 3.7 overall.
Images: Jameel Mohamed.