Graduates of University of The Bahamas-North in Grand Bahama have overcome tremendous adversity to complete their academic journeys and become members of the 2021 Commencement Class. Thursday, 3rd June was a proud day for those grads, their families, and friends as UB celebrated their achievements and sacrifices in a virtual commencement ceremony.
UB-North Campus President Dr. Ian Strachan lauded the graduates and challenged them to use their knowledge and university experiences to make a positive difference in the world. He called them victorious for having tapped into new springs of energy, ingenuity and resolve. The new grads had to overcome the upheaval of being relocated from their East Grand Bahama Campus, which was severely damaged by Hurricane Dorian and had to quickly adapt to remote education as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The goal of a university education is not to get you a job as some may think… at the heart of it, your education’s deeper purpose has been to train your mind, to teach you how to think, to build in you the capacity to problem solve and to invent for yourself and for your generation, better ways of being and doing,” he said.
“Your country needs you, your world needs you. It is a divided world. It is a world where different versions of truth wage war, and where power is too often heartless and over proud. UB believes in you. I believe you.”
Graduates completed programmes in the schools of Business and Hospitality Management, Education, Chemistry Environmental and Life Sciences and Social Sciences.
Glennett Fowler, Commencement Guest Speaker, President and CEO of FOWLCO Ltd. a marine logistics company, encouraged the newest members of the UB alumni community to use their creativity as a beacon to guide their next pursuits and to solve problems.
“You must resolve that you will create your own opportunities. Everyone does not have to become an entrepreneur to lead or to create. In whatever path chosen you must not settle for the accepted pattern but bring change to the way business is done and create change through your work and its execution,” she noted. “Re-think industries. Look at what we are not maximizing or look at what does not exist. Create, innovate and watch them celebrate you.”
She shared insights as a wife, mother and corporate leader to encourage the commencement class to set and achieve goals that will bring about transformation.
“We can no longer afford to be left behind because of an unwillingness to change and adapt to the opportunities that will soon present themselves to us. Believe that in this moment, as you receive your degree, that your world will change for better,” said Mrs. Fowler. “Do not miss out on what life has to offer you because you are watching what it offers someone else. Create the future that you want and be mindful that we need each of you to be a catalyst and a renegade for a better, brighter and more prosperous Bahamas.”
Primary Education graduate, Dion McKinney, who earned the UB-North Campus Award for Academic Excellence delivered impassioned reflections on behalf of the commencement class. He praised the tenacity and perseverance of his fellow graduates and challenged them to embrace challenge and change.
“Class of 2021, it is important to note that whatever we do and wherever we go on this journey called life, we must take time out for ourselves. Talk to yourself, work on yourself and empower yourself. Just think about it; there is no one on planet Earth with the exact genetic make-up as you, so out of every single person in this world no one is exactly like you and for that, graduates, you are a treasure,” he noted.
The theme of the Spring 2021 Commencement was “Unleashing Our Creativity: The Key to a Sustainable Future”.