Five hundred and eighty four associate degrees, twenty-six certificates, two high school equivalency diplomas and one hundred and fifty three competency based certificates were handed over to the 765 graduates of the T.A. Marryshow Community College.
The 27th annual graduation ceremony of the college was held last week Thursday at the Grenada National Stadium under the theme: Fostering Global Responsibility for a Sustainable Future.
Vice President of Learner and College Development at Nova Scotia Community College in Canada, Catherine MacLean developed on the theme in her keynote address to the graduates.
MacLean said there are many who cannot afford an education but assured the class that having an education amounts to having a sustainable future.
“My father drilled into me that if you get an education, no one can ever take it away from you. It’s yours forever. It can literally open the world to you as long as you take what you now have, recognise what you are passionate about and do something with it”, she told the graduates.
“Do something with it,” four words that can change your life, my life and the lives of everyone here today. You have been given a great gift, the gift of education. With it brings opportunity, also comes great responsibility…responsibility to make a difference for your family, your community, you college and your country,” she said.
TAMCC Principal, Jeffrey Britton assured the graduates that their choice to receive an education is a starting point to having a great future.
“Graduants, the certificates that you are receiving today are symbols of your hard work and dedication to your studies. You chose a college where, by and large serious courses are taught seriously, where high grades are still hard to come by. You got your certificates and your self-esteem the old fashioned way.
“You earned them with all your pertinent rights and privileges…nevertheless, you must always take into consideration that duty and responsibility goes hand in hand with rights and privileges.
With a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.99, Arnold John, a student of the Natural Sciences Department was named as the Valedictorian.
In addressing his fellow graduates, John said that each one of them has equal opportunities to succeed whatever they put their minds to.
“We are all geniuses in our own rights. We have different skills, talents and…I am not the smartest person graduating here today, I am not. I am up here on this podium as the Valedictorian because of how I applied myself to my school work”, he said.
“I experienced the same problems as all of you. Time management and procrastination were two of the hardest things I had to deal with.
Days came when I wanted to give up and question myself why am I even beating myself up…with that I want to especially thank my parents for instilling in me the importance of education from a young age,” he added.
In delivering the charge to the graduates, Minister for Education and Human Resource Development, Anthony Boatswain encouraged the graduates to not stop at this juncture but to purse a higher level of education.
The Minister told the graduating class: “Take a brief moment to reflect on the mission statement of the T.A. Marryshow Community College and ask yourself this soul searching question – have you been properly prepared to achieve your professional goals and to satisfy today’s demands of the labour market? Is your mission accomplished?
“I will be very pleased if you tell me that the years that were faced at the Community College have assisted you in achieving those objectives but I will be disappointed if you tell me that your mission is fully accomplished.
“…Some of you may be continuing your studies at colleges and universities. Others might be considering entering the world of work.
Those of you who are considering entering the job market…this graduation exercise is not the end of your education…education is a lifetime and lifelong skill.