UTech Hosts Inaugural Graduation Ceremony in Montego Bay
Prof. the Hon. Errol Morrison, OJ, President, University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech) addressing graduands, their families and friends at the inaugural graduation ceremony in Western Jamaica on Saturday, November 10, 2012 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James.
History was made on Saturday, November 10, 2012 with the staging of the University of Technology, Jamaica’s (UTech) inaugural graduation ceremony in Western Jamaica. The glitzy ceremony for the presentation of some ninety-seven (97) candidates was held at the breathtakingly beautiful Montego Bay Convention Centre which overlooks the ocean.
The ceremony which lasted approximately two hours saw the presentation of graduates from the College of Business and Management, College of Health Sciences, Faculty of The Built Environment, Faculty of Education and Liberal Studies, Faculty of Engineering and Computing and the Faculty of Law.
Prof. the Hon. Errol Morrison, OJ, President, who presented graduates with their certificates, in his welcome explained that the staging of two graduation ceremonies had become necessary from the growth in student numbers by some 32% in the last four years. Over 2,000 graduands qualified for graduation for 2012 and of that number, just under 900 attended the ceremony for the presentation of graduates held at the National Arena on Saturday, November 3, 2012.
President Morrison reminded the graduating class that they have obtained tertiary education at a significant time in Jamaica’s history as the country celebrates 50 years of political independence – a privilege still enjoyed by less than 10% of the population. He urged the graduands to play their part in “further propelling Jamaica into the realm of developed country status that will make Jamaica truly a place to “live, work, raise families and do business.”
Prof. Morrison noted further that “education continues to yield high rates of returns to those smart enough to invest in it,” adding that studies of returns on investment in tertiary education reveal “minimum returns of some 19% which is significantly higher than investment in other areas.”
Professor Geraldene Hodelin, Principal, UTech West (Acting) and Director, UTech Academy in her welcome, said that, “our mandate is not just to grant certificates and degrees to students in Western Jamaica. Our intention as the ‘People’s University’ is to help in the development of the people and communities in western Jamaica.” Prof. Hodelin used the occasion to invite stakeholders in the West to continue to work with the University to fulfil this dream. “It is our intention to partner with other institutions, businesses, NGOs and community interests to use our research and problem-solving capabilities to help navigate Jamaica on a path of economic and social development that will hurry us along to developed nation status ahead of the 2030 schedule,” Prof. Hodelin affirmed.
In a well delivered address, Valedictorian, Miss Sachoy Ellis who graduated with the Bachelor of Law degree with first class honours, implored her fellow graduates to write life stories that will inspire and motivate. Ellis who is also a former St. James Festival Queen, noted that, “the funny thing about learning from each experience is that you never graduate, “ adding that but “as we graduate from this chapter into new chapters… I charge you to write well…You are a scribe...your book can contain not just mere testimonies but marvelous testimonies worth sharing.” She thanked lecturers, parents, spouses, co-workers, employers and friends who had helped the graduating class on their journey and specially thanked Ms. Dawn McNeil, Associate Dean, Faculty of Law and Mr. Dexter Wadsworth, Programme Director, Faculty of Law for inspiring them to succeed.
James Goren Conferred with Honorary Degree
Businessman and Real Estate Developer, Dr. James Goren who was conferred with the Honorary Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa in expressing thanks to UTech said he was “honoured and humbled to be recognized by this prestigious institution.” In an engaging address, Mr. Goren, who has also been Co-chair for UTech’s West Advisory Board since 2010, recounted how he fell in love with Jamaica on his inaugural vacation to the island. “Within four days of my vacation I purchased a home “in paradise,” he shared. He told the gathering that he was further motivated to make affordable housing available for all.
Lamenting that housing continues to be a major issue in the country, Mr. Goren said that despite the increase in the number of hotels being constructed locally, “a disconnect remains between where the jobs are and where the homes are. Far too many of those homes are simply unacceptable: they lack plumbing or electricity or sewer access in this the 21st century, in a country so close and with many ties to the United States, ” he said.
Dr. Goren is the visionary behind the Holland Estates development in Trelawny which was constructed to provide affordable housing solutions for persons employed in resort communities.
It is proposed that the Housing Development will become Jamaica’s first University Town.
The UTech Choir (l) and the Jamaica Military Band rendering lively and entertaining musical selections from their repertoire at the ceremony.
Corporate Communications Unit
November 14, 2012
Corporate Communications Manager
University of Technology, Jamaica