Nassau, THE BAHAMAS — Adult learners, employees of the institution, two-time degree earners and students with special needs who epitomize resilience were awarded their degrees and diplomas at the University of The Bahamas’ (UB’s) Spring 2023 Commencement Ceremony held on Thursday 25th May at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium.
The 2023 Commencement Class comprised 583 persons from nine academic units who were challenged to look within to maximize their impact and achieve success.
“Graduates, today is just a celebration unless you lean into your life and lead with impact,” said Commencement Speaker Lars Minns. “This nation’s next 50 years will be just another 50 unless this class, the University of The Bahamas’ Class of 2023, leads us into our next era. Based on the many Bahamians that have built this incredible nation, I have no doubt that you will be equal to the challenge.”
Among the nuggets of advice Minns, a 1995 graduate and Chief Human Resources Officer at Mercedes-Benz North America, gave the graduates was success is achieved by the person you become and that those with whom you associate matter.
“People are constantly influencing you. When I was younger, I had no idea the sheer impact of this concept, and frankly, it is perhaps the strongest gravitational pull that we never really see or feel. You have to be very circumspect and diligent to ensure that those influences surrounding you on a daily basis, are ones of virtue and that they reflect the outcomes that you envisage for yourself,” he said.
The Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium was filled with thousands of cheering parents, guardians, faculty, staff, students, and other supporters. Prime Minister Hon. Philip Davis and Minister of Education and Technical & Vocational Training Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin also attended the ceremony which culminated five official events held in New Providence.
In her message, Chair of the UB Board of Trustees Allyson Maynard Gibson KC reflected on the theme of “Developing Resilience Within Ourselves”.
“In pressing through unpredictable and unprecedented adversities, a horrific hurricane and a pandemic, you survived and thrived. You represent the indomitable Bahamian spirit. And as well as having an indomitable spirit, you are dreamers, risk takers, disruptive thinkers, leaders, creative geniuses, and problem solvers and innovators.
“Today, you are fulfilling your dream and those of our forefathers who knew the transformative power of education. When you get your degree, see it as a tool to take you into the next 50 years, towards climate change solutions, coding—not cursive writing, artificial intelligence, and other frontiers that are yet unknown,” she said.
Addressing his first commencement ceremony since serving as President, Dr. Erik Rolland congratulated to new grads and expressed his confidence in them.
“Today, you stand as testaments to your resilience, your drive, and your strong character. The theme that you chose, “Building Resilience Within Ourselves” tells this to the country and the world. Your graduation also comes at an important time in Bahamian history, as the nation celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Bahamian Independence. Moments like these encourage us to celebrate double, but they also force us to be reflective,” he said.
A proud President’s Award recipient Alexandria St. Albord, who earned in BA in Psychology with a Minor in Spanish with distinction, delivered the class reflection message. She said the challenges paled in comparison to the joys of university life.
“To my fellow graduates as we leave this graduation ceremony and enter the working world with big hopes and dreams, some of us are excited, others of us are scared and anxious, or maybe even a mixture of both. I encourage you to lean on God to establish our steps in life,” she said.
The vast majority of grads in the 2023 Commencement Class hailed from the Business, Education and Nursing schools at UB. The university is also scheduled to host commencement events in Grand Bahama for the UB-North campus including a baccalaureate service, a combined teachers commissioning and awards ceremony, and a commencement ceremony.