UCCI’s Sir Vassel Johnson Hall was literally filled to the rafters on Thursday, 10 July for the College’s graduation ceremony.
Master of Ceremonies Richard Hew kept the pace humming as a record 203 graduates, including 13 Bachelor’s Degree recipients, made their way to the dais sporting blue, gold and black robes to collect their certificates, diplomas and degrees from the flourishing institution.
Remarking later that the ceremony was the longest to date for the College, acting president Brian Chapell kicked off the addresses with an impassioned plea to Cayman to look past recent controversies the College has been experiencing with an emphasis on overcoming adversity.
‘Let us not focus on media reports, investigations and audits, let us focus on our achievements,’ he urged.
The recent departure of former UCCI president Hassan Syed has cast a pall over the school, but Mr. Chapell was hopeful it would not overshadow the accomplishments of this year’s students and of the growth and development of the institution, including the opening of the new Brac campus and the introduction of several new programmes.
The line-up of speakers also included Board Chair Conor O’Dea, Governor Stuart Jack, and Education Minister Alden McLaughlin who all echoed the sentiments to look to the future of education in Cayman as a key to its continued success.
The audience was also treated to a musical performance headlined by Associates’ Degree top student Marvin Smith and the UCCI choir with a rousing rendition of ‘I Believe I Can Fly’, which had the audience on its feet.
Graduate Anthony Ritch gave the commencement address, which though beset with sound problems, provided an inspirational tale detailing his rise from humble beginnings through the ranks of Cable & Wireless, and the important role education has played in his life.
Top Bachelor’s Degree recipient and valedictorian Shinette Rhoden’s speech rounded out the night followed by a performance of the national song by Rochelle Parchment and Tanja Scott.