November 30, 2021

“Dream Large” Graduates told over 800 Graduate from The UWI Open Campus in Second Virtual Graduation Ceremony

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Chancellor, Mr Robert Bermudez 

Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal. Tuesday, October 26, 2021 – On Saturday October 16, 2021, The University of the West Indies (The UWI) Open Campus held its second virtual Presentation of Graduates Ceremony via UWItv platforms to celebrate the Class of 2021. At this ceremony, the Campus recognized the accomplishments of over 800 graduates for the 2020/2021 academic year and conferred one honorary degree, Doctor of Laws (LLD).

This year, 877students(628 undergraduates and 249 postgraduates) graduated with degrees, diplomas, and certificates in various disciplines. Of the total number of graduates, 598 were females (544 undergraduate and 54 postgraduates) and 278 males (84 undergraduate and 194 postgraduate). From the graduating class, 220 students achieved First Class honours degrees.

Chancellor of The UWI, Robert Bermudez in his address to the graduating class implored the graduands to ensure that their future pursuits are impactful and performed at a high standard. Chancellor Bermudez told the graduands that they must be committed to advancing not only their personal interest, but also those of the communities in which they live. 

“Hold fast to your dreams, but remain rooted in reality and respect everyone no matter their status. Go out and dream large and make us proud”, the Chancellor stated.

During the virtual ceremony, The UWI conferred an Honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) on Jamaican-born Mr George Samuel Willie, CPA, CGMA, CGFM CGFM, International Auditor, Leader, and Philanthropist for his service to the accounting profession.

Dr Veronica Simon, the Campus first female Public Orator delivered an eloquent and captivating citation of Mr Willie. She noted that the Howard University and American University graduate is a much-sought-after resource to serve on the boards of several organisations and institutions. Dr Simon shared that Mr Willie has distinguished himself in the field of public accountant and philanthropy and has used his resources to the benefit of hundreds of Caribbean students as well as The UWI.

Honorary Graduate Mr. George Samuel Willie, International Auditor, Leader, and Philanthropist

Mr Willie in his response delivered a heartfelt speech to the Class of 2021. In his speech, he applauded and congratulated the leadership of the University for considerably expanding the opportunities for young talent and for its growth in attaining recognition as one of the leading universities in the world. “I am confident that this University will continue to deliver the technical knowledge to succeed, the lessons of shared successes and the uncompromising dedication to decency and ethical behaviour,” he said.

He told the graduating class that this graduation was the beginning of their journey and implored them to look to the future with optimism. “The brightness of your future will be determined by you…Your life will give you what you deserve. The future is uncertain. Today is uncertain. It is the uncertainty that will bring purpose to your life. It is that uncertainty that will allow you to lead and make changes. Be change-makers!” Mr Willie asserted.

Mr Willie further urged the graduands not to listen to critics. “The key is to remain true to yourselves while grasping the pillars of objectivity, decency, and selfless humanity and always seeking to help others,” he stressed. “Let this be your greatest attribute…I pray that you will be good ambassadors to this University, wherever your pursuits may take you,” he said.

“I thank this distinguished University for making this a very special day in my life. I am gratefully accepting this honorary doctorate which you so gracious awarded me,” Mr Willie concluded.

Valedictorian Class of 2021 Ms. Laura Ramoutar

Delivering the Valedictorian’s address was Ms Laura Ramoutar of Trinidad and Tobago who completed a Bachelor of Education in Early Childhood Development and Family Studies with First Class Honours. In her speech to the graduating class, she lauded the Open Campus for making their dream a reality and urged fellow graduates to transform their finish line into a stepping-stone and forge ahead. 

“Whatever you decide to do and wherever you decide to go, choose a path that allows you to be of service to others. You have been blessed with an opportunity that individuals in other parts of the world can only hope for. Turn your knowledge into action”, Ms Ramoutar stated.

The UWI Open Campus congratulates the Class of 2021 and wishes them success in their future endeavours.

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