It was a mode of celebration, last evening as staff, special invitees and well-wishers gathered at the University of Guyana, Turkeyen Campus for the 50th convocation ceremony.
One notable milestone of the 50th Convocation was the graduation of the first batch of students from four new programmes offered at the university in the Faculties of Health Sciences and Technology.
Six students were conferred with the Master’s degree in Internal Medicine/Infectious Diseases; another six students received the Master’s degree in Public Health.
The Bachelor of Science in Medical Rehabilitation was conferred on three students; while nine students, including UG staffers from the Facilities Maintenance Division, received the Diploma in Industrial Engineering.
A grand total of 1628 students graduated with their Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, and diplomas from the programmes offered by the seven academic faculties.
Some of the graduates were conferred with certificates in the agriculture and forestry, earth and environmental sciences, education and humanities, health sciences, natural sciences, social sciences, technology and the Institute of Distance and Continuing Education.
While the officials of the University said that they are proud of the academic success of all the graduands, special mention must be made of the outstanding achievements of Mr Ganesh Mithra Singh, a visually impaired student, who graduated with a degree in Social Work (Distinction).
In his keynote address US-based Guyanese, Dr Vincent Adams, Deputy Field Manager in the US Department of Energy, said that he was indeed honoured to address the group of Guyana’s future leaders. The event, he said reminded of how his journey began, some 43 years ago.
Dr. Adams was among the first batch of students graduating with a degree in Civil Engineering from U.G.
Taking the attendees down memory lane, Dr Adams recalled that it was a pinch of fate that brought him to the University of Guyana. He had dreamed of becoming a cricketer but a terrible automobile accident left him with no choice but to pursue academics.
Dr Adams therefore emphasized that one‘s socio-economic circumstances should not serve as deterring factor from achieving academic greatness.
“Take it from me, who was once a poor little boy in Christiansburg, Linden,” he said. Challenges should serve to remind us that hard work and dedication are the key ingredients to success.
“You get out what you put in,” Dr. Adams remarked.
While congratulating them on their achievements, Dr Adams encouraged the batch to use their skills and academic achievements to develop the nation.
This might sound a little bit hypocritical coming from me but now is the best time… You have been given an opportunity to stay and develop this land,” Adams noted alluding to the political circumstances in the United States.
He encouraged the graduates to use their creativity, vision and innovative ideas towards the productivity of Guyana.
Loud cheers erupted from different parts of the audience as graduates took the stage to be presented with their certificates. Several special awards were also presented, including the President Medal for the best graduating Bachelor Degree student Kibwey Roderick Andwele Peterkin.
Peterkin, the Valedictorian for Convocation 2016, also received the Prime Minister’s Medal for the Best Graduating Student in the School of Medicine.
It is the first time that the Faculty has produced a valedictorian in the 50-year history of the University. The 23-year-old graduate attributed his success to Almighty God and praised his mother and UG lecturers for contributing to his achievement.
Additionally, to mark the occasion of the 50th Convocation, the Jubilee Song was sung by the newly formed university choir, led by Ms Sandrene Abrams, and accompanied by the Guyana Police Force band. The song is the winning entry in the UG-sponsored song competition, composed by Ms Liane Dewar, a Canada-based Guyanese.
With a current enrollment of some 8,000 students, the University of Guyana (UG) has graduated more than 20,000 students who have gone on to successful careers locally, regionally and internationally.
The University is also a major contributor to the national economy and to business and industry. Established in 1963 on a part-time basis with shared space at Queen’s College, UG moved to its own campus at Turkeyen in 1970 and expanded in 2000 with the addition of the Tain Campus.
It now offers more than 60 undergraduate and post-graduate programmes including Engineering, Environmental Studies, Forestry, Urban Planning and Management, Tourism Studies, Education, Creative Arts, Economics, Law, Medicine, Optometry and Nursing.
Several online programmes are available. UG also offers extra-mural classes at four locations through its Institute of Distance and Continuing Education.
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