A father of two and a UB Mingoes student-athlete tied with a Psychology major to receive the award for the highest cumulative GPA in the 2019 Commencement Class of University of The Bahamas (UB). UB honoured 62 outstanding leaders and exceptional achievers at the Spring 2019 Awards Ceremony on Monday, 20th May at the Kendal G.L. Isaacs National Gymnasium. Davonia Grant, B.A., Psychology; Ducheley Richard, B.Sc., Biology with Chemistry and Jared Symonette, B.B.A., Accounting received the prestigious Governor General’s Award for outstanding academic performance, scholarship and exceptional leadership, bestowed for the highest cumulative GPA over 3.70. University President Dr. Rodney D. Smith lauded the awardees for their focus on service and academic excellence.
“Together, you represent the highest achieving graduates of the Class of 2019. Your dedication to your studies, the loyal service you gave to your alma mater and the community, and of course your overall academic excellence and strength of character, have earned you a place here today, to be honoured among your peers and in the presence of your parents, family members and friends,” Dr. Smith noted.Governor General’s Awardee Jared Symonette also received two additional awards, the Ernst & Young Award for Accounting and Bahamas Institute of Chartered Accountants Award for Accounting. A father of two, he admitted to enduring many trials but was determined to succeed to set the best example for his children. Always good with numbers, the field of accounting was the right fit for him. “There were challenges but through perseverance I was able to overcome,” shared Jared, who was a full-time student and worked to provide for his family. “My kids are a big motivator for me so I could always provide for them and be a beacon. I give all honour and glory to God. I could not have done this without the help of my employer, Ms. Cheryl Carey and the Office of Financial and many others who helped me along the way.”
He aspires to earn the Certified Public Accountant designation, join a public accounting firm and eventually work in government. “I want to give back to my country,” he said. North Eleuthera native, Mitthayo Barry, B.Ed. Primary Certification: Special Education, wants to pay it forward by becoming a teacher and a role model for young men needing encouragement. “I know what love and care can actually do for a person so I decided that I want to catch students at the foundational stage so that I can mold them into what I believe a perfect gentleman should be coming in to junior high school,” he said. “I had teachers that cared for me all the way up to high school so I want to do the same.”
Among the other awards presented was the Alumni Association Leadership Award given to Clevanche Lightbourne, B.Ed., Secondary Certification: English Language & Literature and the Arlene Albury Scholar-Athlete Award presented to Ducheley Richard, B.Sc., Biology with Chemistry. UB faculty members, Krista Walkes, Assistant Professor, English Studies, and Jacklyn Chisholm-Lightbourn, Assistant Professor, Biology, received the Stanley Wilson Award for Excellence in Research. UB’s Awards Ceremony was the first commencement event for the season. The Spring 2019 Baccalaureate Service was held on Monday at Bahamas Harvest Church while the Teachers Commissioning was held on Tuesday, 21st May at the Kendal G.L. Isaacs Gymnasium. The Nurses and Allied Health Professions Pinning ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday, 22nd May and the New Providence Commencement Ceremony will take place on Thursday, 23rd May at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium. Commencement activities in Grand Bahama for the UB-North Campus will begin on Thursday, 23rd May and culminate on Tuesday, 28thMay 2019 with the Commencement ceremony at the Grand Lucayan Ballroom.