New alumni group to tackle community issues

Northern Caribbean University alumni opens chapter on island

The Cayman chapter of the Northern Caribbean University Alumni Association was formally inaugurated last week. 

President Patricia Ebanks elaborated on alumni goals, which include contributing to the development of members and the community, furthering community and member education, and creating opportunities for youth, such as through scholarships. 

Almost 50 people were inducted during the service on Sept. 12 at Kings Seventh-day Adventist Church. They included former Speaker of the Legislative Assembly Linford Pierson, an NCU graduate who will join the chapter’s executive committee. Pastor Shian O’Connor, president of the Cayman Islands Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, was also inducted. 

Two alumni were honored for their commitment to service in the Cayman Islands: Shirlene Henriques, a former Grand Cayman nursing administrator, and Georgia Isaacs, who currently serves as a nurse on Cayman Brac. 

In her inaugural address, Ms. Ebanks cited the challenges that face Cayman and what the alumni association can do. She pointed to a particular environmental factor for Cayman – proximity to the United States. 

“While we enjoy the benefits from that association, we are also well aware of the mirroring in our islands of some of the ills of that larger society. In that regard, the recently heightened social disharmony in some sectors of the U.S. population, for example, troubles us. In Cayman, we also are sensing a parallel new brand of social tension,” she said. 

Uniting as an alumni chapter, individual former students have embarked on a path that is “lit with the vision of advancing our society forward and upward, socially, culturally, spiritually and educationally. Ideals of service fostered by NCU compel us to create opportunities for our youth so that they, too, can become the best that they can be. … These are challenging goals, but if we take advantage of our communal strengths, today’s small step can convert our fledgling chapter into a transformational powerhouse,” Ms. Ebanks predicted. 

The inaugural service was facilitated by Pastor Jeff Jefferson, who is also chaplain for the NCU Alumni Chapter Cayman. Pastor Ivor Harry was director for the service. Susan Long-Gordon, director of NCU’s Department of Alumni Relations, officiated. 

NCU, in Mandeville, Jamaica, is a liberal arts university owned jointly by the Adventist churches in Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos. Among the many majors offered, NCU’s nursing program is regarded as among the best regionally; many nurses working in healthcare facilities in Cayman were trained at this institution. 

The Cayman Chapter caters not only to alumni of NCU, but also to all friends and supporters of NCU. The next general meeting to which members are invited is scheduled for Nov. 19. For more information, visit www.NCUCaymanAlumni.com. 

“Ideals of service fostered by NCU compel us to create opportunities for our youth so that they, too, can become the best that they can be.”

PATRICIA EBANKS, chapter president 

New members celebrate the opening of the NCU Cayman Alumni Chapter earlier this month.

New members celebrate the opening of the NCU Cayman Alumni Chapter earlier this month.
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