The growing number of graduates from the University College of the Cayman Islands means the college may consider holding two graduation ceremonies at the academic year end in future.
UCCI held its 2009 graduation ceremony on Thursday, 9 July in a packed Sir Vassel Johnson Hall.
After being introduced by Master of Ceremonies Richard Hew, Acting President of the University Brian Chapell in his remarks noted that enrolment continues to grow, and that the 2009 graduating class was the biggest in the university’s short history.
Mr. Chapell said: ‘We have grown so much that we might now need to consider having two ceremonies.’
Congratulating the class of 2009 for their accomplishment’s he added: ‘You are the voices that will change this island and then the world.’
Governor Stuart Jack during his remarks challenged the graduates to keep up with and also stay ahead of the rest of the world, while Minister of Education Rolston Anglin called for them to give back.
‘Each and every one of you is going to make your mark on these Cayman Islands. As we continue to build the Cayman Islands, I say to you give back to these islands and this institution. It is crucial and important,’ said Mr. Anglin.
Also present at the ceremony were numerous members of the university’s staff and board members. Dignitaries included House Speaker Mary Lawrence and Minister Mark Scotland.
Young Caymanian Leadership Award Recipient Winston Connolly was chosen to give the commencement address. Harking back to when he graduated from university, Mr. Connolly in a jovial tone admitted that he did not remember who his commencement speaker was or what they had to say.
However, in preparation for his speech, he explained that he simply thought about what he would have benefited from hearing had he listened.
‘Happiness is not about checking the box. Your qualifications, your resume, your job, are not your life. Life is difficult, it’s not fair, it’s complicated,’ said Mr. Connolly.
‘Do not control it with plans – although they help – you will fail certain things. You will have fear and stress. You will have moments of depression, humiliation and hardship. But you will also have something that no one will ever be able to take from you- a quality education.’
Mr. Connolly continued: ‘I know it is fashionable in commencement speeches to be idealistic, but at the root of my conviction tonight is a strong sense of reality. We can sit on the sidelines if we want to watch others engage, participate and prosper, but where will that get us? We’ll only become cynics and naysayers, disgruntled and angry by doing so.
‘You have to compete in this global economy to get anywhere. You have to will yourself to be better than you ever dreamed, but you have to do it with dignity, with pride and with conviction.’
The ceremony was concluded after short speeches by valedictorian, Dariel Duquesne, and a salutation address by 2009 graduate Allison Anglin.
‘We have grown so much that we might now need to consider having two ceremonies.’ Brian Chapell