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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, December 7, 2023
HomeNewsArchivesUVI GRADUATES 300


Shouts of joy, screams of excitement and sighs of relief escaped from nearly 300 graduates at UVI's St. Thomas Commencement exercises at Reichhold Center for the Arts, Saturday.
While being awarded either associate, bachelor or masters degrees, the group, described by several of its members as "the creative, dedicated, articulate and dynamic Class of 1999," could hardly contain its excitement, often erupting into loud applause, whistles and cheers.
Keynote speaker Rex Nettleford, Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Jamaica, a former Rhodes scholar, talked about multi- culturalism in the Caribbean and stressed harmony, citing Kosovo and the Columbine shootings as indications that much remains to be done. He also warned, however, against homogenization.
Governor Charles Turnbull said with great sentiment that his presence was both formal and personal, as he had taught several of the graduates.
Class speaker Dywane Hill challenged the University administration to seek funding more actively in the face of economic hardship rather than cancel courses like Caribbean studies. Hill also urged the Turnbull administration to allow young graduates to occupy government positions and take leadership roles rather than simply "recycling top officials," which he warned would lead to "stagnation."
Nettleford said it was a combination of the energy of youth and the wisdom of the elders that was the ideal recipe for great achievements.
Also in attendance were Senate President Vargrave Richards, Delegate to Congress Donna-Christian Christensen and Education Commissioner Dr. Ruby Simmonds.

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