Six graduates recently marked a milestone at the University College of the Cayman Islands.
In a commencement exercise on 13 July, Erica Bush, graduating Magna Cum Laude; Shakira Gourzong, Economics; Golda Tatum-Carter, Accounting; Sandy Seymour-Pusey, Accounting WendyLee Maragh, Finance and Cassandra Smith; Marketing, received the first-ever Bachelor of Science degrees from the institution.
‘This is a momentous occasion for us graduates as it marks another milestone that has been completed in our lives but it is also history in the making for these islands,’ said Erica Bush in her Valedictorian address.
‘This is the first Bachelor of Science degree graduating class. We have earned the right to be remembered. We are the ambassadors of the University College of the Cayman Islands and are part of the beginning of a promising future in the level and quality of education provided in the Cayman Islands.’
Held in the University’s Assembly Hall, 64 graduates received the Associate Degree with 55 receiving Vocational and 51 earning professional degrees.
Addressing the 176 graduates Magistrate Margaret Ramsey-Hale lauded the graduates on their accomplished achievements.
Speaking from experience Magistrate Hale spoke to students about the lessons to be learned within the workplace.
She said although schools may give students book knowledge they cannot give lessons to the students about the world of work. She went on to say those lessons can only be gained from experience.
She also mentioned that graduates should not fear expatriates taking their jobs despite what they have heard and read in the media.
‘There is a lot of rhetoric about the lack of opportunities for young Caymanians, and even more rhetoric about the foreigners that are denying them these opportunities and keeping them from getting what is rightfully theirs. These assertions, so often made and repeated almost daily in the media, have had the singular effect of discouraging the youth and breeding dissatisfaction. To be told every day that you cannot succeed in your own country is certainly not a rallying cry to increased endeavour,’ she said.
‘Yes, there are foreigners here, but there is no foreigner in your job. If you are qualified, you must succeed. If you have identified your purpose, you must succeed. If your efforts are equal to your desire for success, you must succeed. If you work hard and learn the lessons that failure teaches you, you must succeed. If you meet and exceed the expectations of your employers, you must succeed.’
She said they were many other reasons for failure that could be attributed to anti-Caymanian prejudice, why school leavers fail to get jobs, young persons fail to get promotion or a raise in pay.
But she said it the graduates worked hard In school to get an they would get the prize.
Despite Magistrate Hale’s serious message to the graduates, tales of her life experiences added much humour to the proceedings.
CASE Award Highest G.P.A. – Construction Certificate: AFEYA PAISLEY;
Rotary Central Award – Highest G.P.A. – Electrical Certificate: JAMES HARVEY;
CITA Award –
Highest G.P.A. – Hospitality Studies Certificate: TASHA WILSON;
Bank of Butterfield Award –
Highest G.P.A. – Computer Applications Certificate: JOSEPH WELCOME;
CISPA Award –
Highest G.P.A. – Accounting Certificate: ADRIAN BREWSTER;
PC Powerhouse –
Highest G.P.A.- Computer Technology Certificate: MARLON BRYAN & AREK WATLER;
Walkers, Attorneys At Law Award –
Highest G.P.A. – Legal Secretarial Certificate: TIA DRECKETT;
Cayman Islands Bankers Association Award –
Highest G.P.A. – Financial Services Foundation Certificate: JODY EBANKS;
Blue Bison Award –
Highest Scoring MCSE Candidate; DREW CONNOLLY;
Myers & Alberga Award –
Highest G.P.A. – Social Sciences (Associate Degree); MATTHEW YATES;
John Furz Memorial Awards –
Highest G.P.A. – Science (Associate Degree); LEAH GRANT;
Highest G.P.A. – Accounting (Associate Degree); SHANNA RUIZ;
Cayman National Corporation Award –
Highest G.P.A. – Business Administration (Associate Degree); PEGGY MOORHEAD;
Cable and Wireless Award –
Highest G.P.A. – Associate Degree Programmes: SHANNA RUIZ;
Ernst & Young –
Highest G.P.A.-Bachelor Degree: ERICA BUSH;
CISPA Award –
Highest G.P.A.- Accounting (Bachelor Degree); SANDY SEYMOUR-PUSEY.
The Board of Governors’ Awards, High academic achievement and contribution to the promotion of student life within the University College went to the following:
CERTIFICATE STUDENT: TASHA WILSON;
ASSOCIATE DEGREE STUDENT: DUET BERRY;
PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATE STUDENT: JODY EBANKS;
BACHELOR DEGREE STUDENT: ERICA BUSH.