|USC Barbados Class of 2013|
It all started at a special USC Day Celebration held here in Barbados in July of last year (2012). The new USC President, Dr. Clinton Valley, was in attendance when on the behalf of her fellow students at the local satellite site, one starry-eyed young lady publicly appealed to him for a finishing event here in Barbados - an event in front of family and loved ones who may have scarified for, and/or supported them during their studies, and for whom travel to Trinidad would have been a burden just to see them march in cap and gown in order to pick up their diplomas. Dr. Valley immediately embraced the vision and promised that it would happen. From that moment on, and with the persistence of Dr. Norma Niles - the local site coordinator, it became a matter of working out the logistics.
So, on Sunday, January 13, 2013 in the Needhams Ballroom of the Hilton Barbados Resort the University of the Southern Caribbean created history by holding not just its first ever Completion Ceremony for Graduands of its Barbados satellite site, but also its very first tertiary level presentation academic exercise outside of its base in Trinidad. To the strains of Elgar's "Pomp And Circumstance" thirteen graduands together with their instructors and USC Barbados faculty, and the President and Academic Vice President of the university, all marched into the auditorium in cap and gown in the presence family and other well-wishers, USC Alumni, representatives from the Barbados Ministry of Education, University of the West Indies - Cave Hill Campus, and the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic.
|Dr. Clinton Valley|
|Dr. Eugene Daniel|
As this was more of a presentation of candidates for graduation this coming May than a graduation exercise, no parchments were handed out. Dr. Niles presented the graduands to Dr. Valley who welcomed and encouraged them to follow through to graduation. They were then pinned by Drs. Drepaul and Daniel with commemorative USC pins and congratulated by Dr. Valley.
University of the Southern Caribbean - Barbados Campus Completion Ceremony 2013 from USC Barbados on Vimeo.
The lot fell on Jacqueline Medford, the very graduand who first suggested the ceremony, to respond on behalf of her fellow graduands; and she was effusive in her praise of Drs. Niles and Valley as well as other faculty who were helpful in making the day a reality for them and their family and friends. Ken Reeves, President of the USC Alumni Association - The Barbados Chapter, welcomed the graduands into the 400-plus strong local association and fellowship of USC alums worldwide. He also led out in the singing of the School Song. Dr. Leon Phillips, former President of the East Caribbean of Seventh-day Adventists, brought the proceedings to a close with a prayer of benediction.
It is hoped as USC Barbados grows and develops that this ceremony would also, and that the larger goal of giving more Barbadians easier access to USC's holistic tertiary offerings would be realized. To God be the glory!
Franklyn Watson Holder, MDiv.
Editor - USC Alumni Association - The Barbados Chapter
Special thanks to photo journalist, Ricardo Leacock, for contributing several photos to this report including those above.
Click here for photostream.