Nassau, THE BAHAMAS — The University of The Bahamas (UB) Commencement Ceremony that will be held next week is expected to be one of its largest since the pandemic, with well over 600 graduands who comprise the 2022 Commencement Class having completed their academic matriculation in an era of extraordinary circumstances.
And after a two-year hiatus on in-person commencement events because of the COVID-19 pandemic, UB will return to hosting its commencement activities on-site with the approval of health authorities. However, a major difference will be the enforcement of heightened health measures to protect graduands, the University community, supporters of the Commencement class and members of the public who attend.
President of UB Dr. Rodney D. Smith said in an era marked by challenges and tumult, UB’s graduands have demonstrated special strength and perseverance in the face of adversity and have remained focused on being prepared for a dynamic global society.
“I am especially proud of the fact that the 2020 and 2021 Commencement classes, though virtual, did not allow an event that made the world stand still, stop them from pursuing their goals. They, like this class of distinguished 2022 graduands, have remained resilient and vigilant,” Dr. Smith noted.
Commencement Class President and Bachelor of Education major, Danavio Neely, expressed excitement at finally resuming the Commencement events in traditional fashion as students have been yearning for their time to shine.
“Considering that this is the very first face-to-face graduation since the COVID-19 pandemic, this is a very exciting time for not only myself but the other graduates who make up this class. Personally, this milestone is one that I don’t take lightly because this was a dream of my mother and she is no longer here and I shall continue to honour her legacy,” noted Danavio.
“On behalf of the graduating class, we are certainly thankful to the University and especially the Ceremonies and Occasions Committee for being so instrumental in getting us this face-to-face ceremony. We cannot say thank you enough to all of the various faculty members and staff.”
One of the highlights of the commencement ceremony will be the conferral of an honorary Doctor of the University degree, posthumously, on one of the architects of independence, Bahamian patriot and avid proponent of tertiary education the late Arthur Dion Hanna. The decision was made by the UB Board of Trustees, upon the recommendation of the Academic Senate.
Mr. Hanna’s daughter, Minister of Education and Technical & Vocational Training, the Hon. Glenys Hanna Martin, will accept the conferral on his behalf and will deliver the Commencement address at the ceremony scheduled to be held at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium.
The Spring 2022 Commencement Class comprises graduands who completed their academic programmes in Summer and Fall 2021 and Spring 2022. This year’s commencement events are being held under the theme, “We Survived, Now We Thrive: Succeeding Against the Odds”. Events include the Teachers Commissioning Ceremony on 24th May, the Nursing and Allied Health Professions Pinning and Awards ceremonies as well as the Baccalaureate Service on 25th May and the Commencement Ceremony on 26th May. For the UB-North Campus in Grand Bahama, events include a Baccalaureate Service on 30th May, a Teachers Commissioning and Awards Ceremony on 31st May, and the Commencement Ceremony on 1st June.
This year’s commencement events will also be the final for Dr. Smith in his capacity as President as his tenure ends at the end of July 2022.
The Commencement Class will join a community of more than 20,000 UB alumni who are making strides as leaders, change makers and innovators in industries across The Bahamas and the globe. Graduands represent disciplines in Business; Tourism, Hospitality, Culinary Arts and Leisure Management; Nursing and Allied Health Professions; Mathematics, Physics and Technology; Chemistry Environmental and Life Sciences; Communication and Creative Arts; English Studies; Education; Small Island Sustainability and Social Sciences.