– As 48th Convocation ceremony is hosted
It was Joel Samuel Joseph of the Faculty of Social Sciences who was named the best
graduating student when the University of Guyana Turkeyen campus held its 48th Convocation ceremony yesterday. Joseph with a Grade Point Average of 4.0 was the valedictorian and was duly honoured with the President’s Medal for being the best graduating bachelor’s degree student.
The Business Management student in his valedictory speech likened the graduation to a West Indies win and went on to encourage the relevant authorities to ensure incentives are in place for graduates to encourage them to remain in Guyana and serve.
He also urged his fellow graduates to help develop their homeland even as he pointed out that “we graduates cannot do it alone. We require the support of others…” said the former President’s College student who hails from the mining town of Linden, as he alluded to the saying “hand wash hand mek hand come clean.”
Joining Joseph in the awards receiving circle yesterday was Dave Umar Sarran of the Faculty of Natural Sciences. He was presented with the Chancellor’s Award for being the second best graduating bachelor’s degree student. Also receiving open prizes and awards were: Soyini Ashaki McPherson (School of Earth and Environmental Sciences), Shanesha Deonath (Faculty of Education and Humanities), Kezia Abika Bess (Faculty of Natural Sciences), Sherod Avery Duncan (Faculty of Social Sciences), La Donna Fredericks (Faculty of Technology) and Thais Chelsea Fraser (Faculty of Technology).
A total of 1,605 students were scheduled for graduation yesterday at a particularly auspicious ceremony that was held even as the University celebrates 50 years of existence.
Ahead of the students being conferred with their respective degrees, diplomas and certificates they were subjected to a feature address delivered by Caricom’s Secretary General, Ambassador Irwin LaRoque.
“Your time at UG has helped prepare you for life…you are among the less than 15 per cent (in the Caribbean) with a University degree” said Ambassador LaRoque, as he delivered a prepared speech to the students.
He however warned the graduands of the Faculties of Agriculture and Forestry, Education and Humanities, Health Sciences, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences and Technology and the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, that “your days of study are not over.”
And even as he emphasized the need for continued studies, the Ambassador urged the graduands to “never be afraid to put forward your ideas; who know it might be the next big thing…”
Ambassador LaRoque also impressed on his newly qualified audience the importance of being patriotic, stressing that even if they were to leave these shores they should always seek to return and give back. “If you go away, come back; there is nothing more satisfying than to add value to your country,” he intimated to the flood of students decked in their graduation gowns spread across the Social Sciences car park.
The Convocation ceremony kicked off with the ceremonial procession of graduands led by Registrar, Mr. Vincent Alexander. Simultaneously family members, friends, well wishers and special invitees were flocking to the area designated for the convocation ceremony. And from all indications the weather prediction was fair as there were no preparations for unexpected showers as the tented set up of last year was omitted.
The ceremony which was graced by Prime Minister Samuel Hinds also saw the attendance of Minister of Education, Priya Manickhand and Minister of Health, Dr. Bheri Ramsaran, who sat together in the Special Invitees row to witness the graduation of the students who are expected to help boost the work force. Of particular interest to the Health Minister was the significant addition to the health sector characterized by the graduation of the first batches of Optometry and Rehabilitations Services students.
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