By: Robyn Adderley/Bahamas Information Services
After seven years of discussions and negotiations, the Kipling Building will now be home to the University of The Bahamas Northern Campus.
The ceremonial signing between the University of The Bahamas and Vereance and Company Ltd. took place during on Monday, March 7, 2022 in the courtyard of the new campus.
Northern Campus president, Dr. Ian Strachan, thought there should be a campus within the city of Freeport and had started discussions with the late Rev. Hayward Cooper and with the devastation of Hurricane Dorian in September 2019, there was significant delay in the process.
Minister of Education and Technical & Vocational Training, the Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin described the day as one of important national progress and added, “This signing today will ignite and unleash a youthful, positive, hopeful energy a spirit of optimism in Freeport and throughout the island of Grand Bahama and across our nation. This new space for learning and innovation and research and independent thought and synergistic exchange and academic progress in the heart of Grand Bahama will enrich the ethos of this island’s population.”
On many occasions, she added, she has projected that our small nation has produced per capita, more Rhodes scholars, produces top athletes, and musicians will one day produce a Nobel Prize winner – one who may come from Grand Bahama.
“The University of The Bahamas is therefore an important instrument for the advancement of our people. It is already serving as a center for research in the aid of policy formation on a range of important matters. This university is the product of an early envisioning by our founding fathers who saw that the Bahamian people could move from the limitation of a grade six learning barrier, pre-1967, to boundless realms of higher learning – to PhD’s and an entire range and scope of post graduate study and specializations.”
Minister Martin further stated the forefathers of the nation clearly understood what the building of such an institution meant and the role it would play in creating people of not only confidence, but excellence.
“They understood the necessity and the ensuing mandate of focus upon and fully develop this powerful potential. This enlightened and strategic focus must resume its front and center placement in our national enterprise and our central consciousness.”
The late Arthur D. Hanna, Minister Martin’s father, was one such person. She said it was ironic that the signing took place on what would have been his 94th birthday.
Also present for the signing were Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Ginger Moxey; Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University of The Bahamas, Mrs. Allyson Maynard-Gibson, QC and other Trustees and other senior government officials; Henry St. George, Director, Grand Bahama Port Authority and Trustee, University of The Bahamas; Dr. Rodney Smith, President and CEO, University of The Bahamas; and Dr. Ian Strachan, Campus President, University of The Bahamas North. Minister Moxey, as Minister for Grand Bahama, expressed pleasure at the imminent rebirth of downtown Freeport, with the establishment of the downtown campus that will spur economic growth
She said, “UB North will breathe life into the Downtown area, fuel Grand Bahama’s economic resurgence AND most important, contribute significantly to the revitalization of Downtown Freeport!
“This centrally located campus will make higher learning more accessible to the community and encourage more residents to take advantage of UB’s certification courses and degree offerings.”
The Minister continued, “The relocation of the campus to the site of the Kipling Building on West Mall Drive in Downtown Freeport, will open the door to endless opportunities for UB North in the areas of research, community outreach and public-private partnerships.”
More photo highlights below: