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The College of The Bahamas Hosts Commencement Ceremony

The 2015 Commencement Class of The College of The Bahamas was encouraged to be the vessels for national transformation on Thursday in what was intended to be the final commencement ceremony under the banner of The College of The Bahamas before the institution transitions to university status.

Among the 557 graduates approximately 26 percent are males. The vast majority of the 2015 Commencement Class are from the School of Education and the School of Business.

Guest speaker Dr. Kevin Storr, associate professor of Prairie View A & M University and advisor to the Office of the Ambassador at Large for the Republic of Burundi, sought to inspire the graduates to fully embrace their roles in the development of The Bahamas.

“Until we learn to dig our own dirt, excavate our own soil and uncover the value and jewels of each Bahamian, we will experience national shortfalls. Our future is this moment and every moment we are privileged to see,” Dr. Storr told the graduates during the ceremony held at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium.

“The beginning of national transformation is the discovery and usage of your personal dirt. National transformation begins with personal responsibility,” he added.

A graduate of the L.W. Young High School and former Kemp Road resident, Dr. Storr shared his personal story of triumph over adversity, using his experiences to encourage the newest graduates of COB to take full advantage of opportunities to transform the nation and impact the world.

“To impact the world, we must embrace and develop our value, then exchange this value for the needs and values of other nations. To impact the world we must have something to trade. What do we trade? We trade realised ideas rooted in the human capital of The Bahamas. We trade natural resources and not just allow others to cart them away. We trade our skills, knowledge, realised ideas, innovation and islands,” he shared.

In his first commencement address since assuming the presidency of The College of The Bahamas, Dr. Rodney D. Smith told the newest alumni of the college that they will be called upon to help build a robust, strong and globally recognized University of The Bahamas. He also implored them to develop the characteristics of a servant leader.

“Class of 2015, seek opportunities to volunteer, seek opportunities to make a contribution, seek opportunities to share your time and talents, and you will grow and become a more effective leader by strengthening the quality of your character. You will develop characteristics that will separate you from those who are self-serving leaders. You will become a servant leader,” he encouraged.

“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.”

The College of The Bahamas alumni community is made up of over 13,000 persons who are leaders of industries, difference-makers and change-agents around the world.

Among the highlights of the commencement ceremony were presentations to the two top 2015 Commencement Class achievers, the Governor General’s Awardee, Celest Evans, who demonstrated consistent academic performance throughout her college career and the President’s Awardee, Alexia Tolas, whose exceptional academic achievement, leadership and involvement in extra-curricular activities earned them high commendations. Angel Cartwright received the College of The Bahamas Alumni Society Leadership Award.

Also, the college named Dr. Karen Murchie, assistant professor in the School of Chemistry, Environmental and Life Sciences at the Northern Bahamas Campus in Grand Bahama, the Stanley Wilson Award for Excellence in Research scholar. Christal Bartlett was named the recipient of the Northern Bahamas Campus Award for Academic Excellence.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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