NASSAU, The Bahamas – Dr. Rodney Smith conferred final degrees as President and CEO of the University of The Bahamas on the Class of 2022 at the Spring Commencement ceremony, Thursday, May 26, 2022 at Atlantis Convention Centre.
Dr. Smith, who concludes his tenure on July 31, 2022, expressed appreciation to his colleagues in administration, staff throughout the campuses, faculty and alumnae for walking the journey with him.
“It is no stroke of luck that placed me as president of The College of The Bahamas, and then to become the inaugural president of the University of The Bahamas. This is where I was meant to be to do the work I was called to do by God,” said Dr. Smith.
“I am inordinately proud of what has been achieved at the university during my leadership. I am especially proud of the faculty, staff, student leadership, unions and administrations who have that worked with me to build a strong national university, or the foundation of the College of The Bahamas.
“We were not assigned an easy task but with passion, determination and our collective belief in wanting to create the best institution of higher education for our country we all persevered. And today, we have a university that is established with some of the best faculty in the world working towards national and international accreditation.”
He encouraged the Class of 2022 to be grateful for every experience they have ever had.
“Every one of them taught you a valuable lesson. A lesson that is part of your preparation along the journey to what is your ultimate divine purpose,” he said.
“The world is changing and you, every one of you, are a part of that change. I invite you to take the next step with an open mind. You are ready to continue this magnificent journey called life and being human. Because you are prepared, know that you are also feeling very passionate about the possibility of taking a major step toward helping to create a better world.
“You will ask the kinds of questions that your professors have not dreamed about yet. You will create solutions to as yet many unknown challenges. Those we have yet to experience and even those we are all experiencing together, like climate change. This new world of advances, technology and artificial intelligence will force you to embrace the concept of being a life-long learner.
“What has been planted in your heart, what has driven you all these years to study hard, to live through the stressful times, to continue no matter what has brought you this much closer to fulfilling your ultimate purpose.”
Moreover, Dr. Smith implored the graduates to make a habit of reading Proverbs daily.
“As you travel through life, you will find strength and encouragement from these readings.
“Stand tall, hold your heads high, continue to march forward, upward, onward, and always be sure to stand together as Bahamians and as the proud Mingoes you are.”
The University’s Board of Trustees has announced Dr. Erik Rolland as the next president. His appointment takes effect August 1, 2022.