Categorized | National News

COB Hosts Commencement for Grand Bahama Graduates

Graduates of The College of The Bahamas’ Northern Bahamas Campus in Grand Bahama have been challenged to accept the mantle of “the new Bahamian” in building a resilient Bahamas.

The college held its final commencement activity of the Spring 2015 season in Grand Bahama on June 4, conferring degrees and certificates on approximately 40 graduates in a red-letter ceremony held at the Grand Lucayan Bahamas resort.

Barry University Professor and COB Commencement Guest Speaker Dr. Donald McCartney said the time is now for a new approach to leadership.

“Confidence and belief in the leadership of those who lead institutionally, religiously, and politically have been shaken and eroded at its very core. Bahamians, therefore, are a people, who are in a quandary, with respect to whom they can trust to lead them,” he said.

To the graduates he said, “You represent the future of leadership in the new Bahamas. You are, whether you like it or not, the new Bahamians and therefore, you must represent a new breed of leadership that will restore and ensure a new sense of trust, confidence, and belief in this venerable institution without which the Bahamian people cannot succeed in their efforts to transform the nation and impact the world.”

Dr. McCartney’s address centered on the Spring 2015 Commencement theme, “Transforming The Nation, Impacting the World”. He sought to inspire the graduates to envision how, in pursuing their goals, they will impact The Bahamas at core levels.

“Be prepared to represent the new likeminded, focused, prepared, and passionate professionals who will unite as one to work assiduously to solve the myriad problems facing our beloved homeland. It is clear that the crises facing The Bahamas are too many for any individual or group to solve alone,” Dr. McCartney said.

“However, when you join forces and unify your gifts, talents, experience, and expertise to work collaboratively, you will make tremendous progress towards accomplishing your goals and resolving the problems confronting this nation. When individual goals are met, it is a surety that the national goals of The Bahamas will be met also; it is a guarantee that the problems confronting this nation will be resolved,” he added.

Approximately 40 graduates proudly participated in the Spring 2015 Commencement Ceremony held in Grand Bahama, a fraction of the total 557 graduates who comprise the 2015 Commencement Class of The College of The Bahamas.
The college held its first commencement ceremony for graduates in New Providence on May 28.

In his impassioned address to the graduates, COB President Dr. Rodney D. Smith focused on their opportunity to lead The Bahamas to its best future.

“Graduates, you are the men and women who will build a stronger Bahamas; you are the community leaders and activists; you are the innovators and gatekeepers of our history and culture. Many of you have already begun. It is important then, that you understand your unique roles as leaders in our country and in the world,” he said.

The COB president also gave them advice about how to hone their leadership skills.

“So, if it is your desire to be an effective leader, if you wish to be successful; if it is your desire to be a servant leader and not a self-serving leader, then beware of what you expose yourself to on a daily basis. Be aware of the opportunities for being of service that are presented to you every day. Be aware of the chances that are given to you every time you meet someone. Be aware of the moments throughout your day when you can build on the qualities of your own character,” he said.

Valedictorian of the Northern Bahamas Campus Chrystal J. Bartlett, who earned a BBA in Management, delivered the commencement class address and accepted the class’ responsibility to transform The Bahamas and contribute meaningfully to its future.

“From emancipation, to majority rule, then Independence, and soon COB’s transition to a University, as a nation we have come a long way. But if we seek to make a substantial impact on our nation, we must be willing to put our education to good use,” she said.

“By this, I mean that we must seek to do more than find a well-paying job with benefits and simply look out for ourselves. Instead, we must neglect the mindset that asks ‘what can the community or the government do for me?’ and adopt one that asks ‘how can I contribute positively to our nation’s future in my capacity?’”

Among the exuberant well-wishers of family members and friends were also members of the college council and senior administrators of the college.

One of the highlights of the ceremony was the presentation of the Stanley Wilson Award for Excellence in Research, an award presented to an exceptional researcher. This year’s recipient was Dr. Karen Murchie, Assistant Professor in the School of Chemistry, Environmental and Life Sciences at the Northern Bahamas Campus.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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