Eight hundred and nine students of the T. A. Marryshow Community College bid adieu to their tertiary alma mater last week.
TAMCC’s 23rd Graduation ceremony took place at the National Stadium under the theme, “Leading the Tertiary Education Revolution in Difficult Financial Circumstances: Your Call to Action”.
Registrar, Dr. Nigel C. Gravesande told the graduates that while they should be congratulated, their achievement is not a solitary effort and they should show appreciation to faculty, staff, parents and the private sector. He encouraged them to act as if what they do makes a difference, because it does, and start a chapter where their deeds will determine them as much as they determine their deeds.
Valedictorian Davina Bruno copped four of the forty-seven special awards. Ms Bruno who wrote and published a book, “Strawberry Eclipse”, at the age of 16, while a student at the St Joseph’s Convent Secondary School (St George’s), reminded her colleagues that they are no longer children and that their future depends on them. She told her peers that they have the potential to do what they want but it’s up to them to use their abilities well because “Grenada needs us” and to trust in God for “Only what is done in Christ will last”.
Principal Dr. Jeffrey Britton told the graduands that the occasion marks the fulfillment of long held dreams and aspirations and that now is the moment to celebrate and rejoice in the fruits of their work. He said he believes that TAMCC is an institution that gives them hope, “when you receive your diplomas, I hope you will see them, not as a certificate of attainment but as passports; today is not the finishing line but the starting point, your degree or certificate is your ticket to explore the world and question what you find.”
He urged them to discover new places, take risks, confront challenges, explore new ideas and cultures not their own. The principal told them that the world they are inheriting is desperately in need for change and urged them to create a world that is better than the one they inherited.
Prof. E. Nigel Harris, MPhail, MD, DM, Vice Chancellor, University of the West Indies delivered the feature address in which he told the graduates that while it is important to have a degree it is equally important for them to use their imagination, take chances and be innovative as an education alone is not enough and they will have to continue to reinvent themselves.
He warned them that the world for graduates is tougher now than before with far more university graduates competing for jobs in addition to the fact that the world economy is in a state of recession. Professor Harris said the world has become much smaller but it is far from perfect as there is a significant gap between the extreme wealthy and those living in poverty. He believes that despite achieving great progress in the world the achievement of equity has not been mastered.
He encouraged the graduands to work hard, commit to learning new things throughout their lives, try to be inventive, seize opportunities as they come but that whatever they do preserve their integrity, commit to doing what is right, speak up against the corrupt and the unethical who more than anything destroy the well-being of communities, governments and families. “Strive for success, but do what is right to achieve that success and seek to preserve your souls no matter what,” he urged them.
Minister for Education and Human Resource Development, Mrs. Franka Bernadine encouraged them to be willing to serve people, be good leaders, see the bigger picture and not be small-minded, not to get bogged down into petty squabbles at the village level. “Adopt a level of thankfulness and place your emphasis on production and not position and title,” she said.
The senior government minister challenged the graduands to let their knowledge bring them a greater awareness of the social ills faced as a nation, the will to solve these problems and to spread their wings to neighbouring islands if they’re offered good business prospects, “Make your TAMCC education count,” she said.