Teen inventor is keynote speaker

UCCI’s commencement happens Thursday

The keynote speaker at this week’s commencement ceremony at the University College of the Cayman Islands is an 18-year-old inventor, who holds several patents in the United States. 

Nate Newman, an American high school senior and marine biology advocate, is believed to be the youngest person to address graduates of any local tertiary educational institution. He will address some 150 students of the 2012 class, one third of whom are graduating with honours. The ceremony will take place at the Sir Vassel Johnson Hall at 7pm on Thursday, 1 November. 

The occasion will also be marked by an award to two distinguished Caymanians of Honorary Doctor of Letters Degrees, to be announced on the evening, which will be broadcast live by Cayman 27 television, with the aid of Ernst and Young Inc. 

As a speaker, Mr. Newman has already proven his mettle – having addressed a mix of Grand Cayman’s students at UCCI campus in June – while here undertaking a project for his nonprofit Teens4Oceans organisation. Seventeen years old at the time, he was in Grand Cayman conducting research on coral reefs off East End, following an award of a $300,000 grant from the Gates Frontier Foundation. 

“I know this young man will go on to pursue great things,” said UCCI President Roy Bodden in his comments regarding Mr. 
Newman’s June visit. 

The young entrepreneur is also a partner in a Boulder, Colorado-based startup known as Wild Goose Imaging, a company that creates self-cleaning housings for underwater cameras used in marine 
data collection. 

Among his earlier accomplishments, as a seventh grade student Mr. Newman co-founded the Carbon Club and persuaded his school’s teachers association to purchase renewable energy credits.  

By ninth grade, he had participated in the Gates Invention Competition, winning first prize and a patent nod in 2007, third place in 2008 and first prize in 2009.  

He pursued patents on two inventions and received patents on four permutations of his Gates inventions. 

The young inventor competes in speech and debate and in Model United Nations at his high school and does it while maintaining a grade point average of 3.877. 

Individuals attending the graduation ceremony are urged to be seated by 6.45pm at the latest, as the proceedings will begin promptly at 7pm. 

“I know this young man will go on to pursue great things.” Roy Bodden, UCCI president 

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