Shari Slate told graduates of the University College of the Cayman Islands on Thursday night, 7 Nov., that they were ready to cross a bridge to future possibilities.
Slate, a vice president of Cisco Systems, was the keynote speaker for UCCI’s commencement ceremony, where 176 students were honoured for their academic achievements.
“I feel so deeply connected to your journey,” said Slate, who was born and grew up in the US, but whose family comes from Cayman Brac. “Unlike any class that has come before, you have the potential for your bridge to take you to the places you want to go and to places you have never been. UCCI has prepared you to build your bridge,” she added, according to a press release.
In addition to its students, UCCI also honoured Dr. Ormond Panton, a Caymanian who has made an impact in the field of medicine, presenting him with an honorary doctorate of science degree.
Panton grew up in the Cayman and did much of his medical training in the Caribbean before establishing his practice in British Columbia. He was an early user of laparoscopic surgery and has donated equipment to Cayman Islands Hospital and the University Hospital of the West Indies.
Among this year’s graduates was Roy Bush, a member of UCCI’s alumni board. Bush received an associate’s degree in public administration, with honours. His son, Kai Bush, was also among the graduates, receiving an associate’s degree in sciences, with honours.