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UCCI announces big plans for its 2023 Commencement Ceremony

UCCI has today announced exciting plans for its commencement ceremony, which will take place on the evening of 29 June, to commemorate its graduating class of 2023.

Firstly, this year’s commencement ceremony will include a special, one-off award named the ‘Health City Outstanding UCCI School of Nursing Alumni Award,’ kindly sponsored by valued partner Health City Cayman Islands. The special award has been created to celebrate UCCI School of Nursing’s 10th year of offering the Bachelor of Science Nursing Programme, a flagship programme of the Cayman Islands.

It will be awarded to a graduate of the UCCI School of Nursing, who is practicing in the Cayman Islands and who consistently demonstrates excellence in the delivery of patient care.

Health City Cayman Islands, a medically advanced tertiary hospital, has supported the advancement of medical education and opportunities for Caymanians for many years and is a stalwart supporter of UCCI. In addition to sponsoring this important award, Health City supports UCCI with the annual Health City Need-Based STEM Grant of CI$10,000 to provide financial assistance to UCCI’s STEM students. Heath City also presents the Mary J. Seacole Award to the UCCI School of Nursing first-year student with the highest GPA at the School of Nursing’s annual Capping & Pinning Ceremony and is the Headline Sponsor of the School of Nursing’s 10th Anniversary Celebrations. At a practical level, Health City’s consultants regularly give career talks to dual-enrollment students. 

Shomari Scott, Chief Business Officer at Health City , commented, “We are  committed to nurturing and supporting homegrown talent in the healthcare sector, and we are proud to have been a rotation site for School of Nursing students since our inception. As the only tertiary care and only privately-owned JCI-accredited hospital in the Cayman Islands, this has had a direct impact on the high quality of nurses prepared by the School of Nursing and entering the medical field in the Cayman Islands. We cannot wait to welcome this year’s graduates into the workforce.”

Next, UCCI has announced that serial entrepreneur and lifelong learner, Jim Dever will be the keynote speaker at the annual commencement ceremony.

Jim Dever is an entrepreneur who retired at 41 before returning to education at 50 to obtain the bachelor’s degree he never completed in the 1960s. In July of 2009, he completed the requirements for his Ph.D. in Entrepreneurship at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. He brings a wealth of practical entrepreneurial experience to Florida State University, having owned, and operated many successful businesses during his 20-year entrepreneurial career. Those businesses included trucking companies, motels, restaurants, a construction company, and other assorted ventures.

A Fulbright scholar, Jim Dever completed the bachelor’s degree in 2003 and the MBA in 2004, at Florida State University. While a master’s student, he wrote a research proposal concerning entrepreneurship in the former Soviet Union and outlined a course plan for teaching entrepreneurship in Central Asia. For this effort, he was awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholars Award, which allowed him to travel to Almaty, Kazakhstan, where he taught in a local university and counseled local entrepreneurs. He has been an instructor of entrepreneurship at Florida State University since 2006 and brings both a practical and academic approach to entrepreneurial learning. Currently, Mr. Dever is responsible for the capstone courses in Management and Marketing in the College of Business at Florida State University. He still consults with up-and-coming firms that need guidance in making the right decisions.

President and CEO of UCCI, Dr. Robert W. Robertson, said, “We are absolutely thrilled with the support of Health City Cayman Islands and want to thank them for the contribution they make to the University and the wider community. We are also thrilled to have Mr. Dever join us this year. He is a truly inspirational businessperson and academic who has turned his hand to many successful businesses and works tirelessly to educate and mentor men and women who want to change their lives. He is a man that believes that learning should be lifelong and has returned to university himself throughout his life to better himself and open the doors to new opportunities that have taken him on many different journeys. I believe that our graduating class will be inspired by Mr. Dever’s story, and we are thrilled to welcome him to the Cayman Islands.”

Alongside speaking at the commencement ceremony on 29 June 2023, Mr. Dever will also be hosting several other events at both UCCI and Cayman Enterprise Zone, to allow other community members to benefit from his knowledge. Further details will be released soon.

The commencement ceremony will be live streamed for those not in attendance. Visit UCCI’s Facebook page to view the ceremony.


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