UB Imprint Vol 55: UB Punta Gorda Graduation – Celebrating Success & Embracing New Beginnings


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UB Imprint Vol 55: UB Punta Gorda Graduation - Celebrating Success & Embracing New Beginnings


The music cues as UB Punta Gorda graduates filed down the aisle toward the stage, tassels bouncing in a rhythmic motion with each step taken. Beneath each cap is a student whose smile shone from ear to ear as they reaped the reward of years of hard work and study.

Clad in purple gowns and yellow stoles, more than a 100 students gathered to celebrate their graduation from the country’s national University of Belize on June 23rd, 2019 at the Toledo Technical College auditorium.

The graduates’ commencement was delivered by Mrs. Marie Sharp of Marie Sharp Fine Foods, who gave an inspiring yet animated speech, which included antidotes and insights on her own personal journey in establishing Marie Sharp Fine Foods.

Her primary advice, “In life, not matter what your goals are, determination is essential. Working hard regardless of the obstacles that exists shows your dedication… face today’s world with perseverance and dedication and the rest will come easy.”

She went on to note, “In my own experience, I started from scratch, with no plan, no experience and no training… yet, I had to make up my mind that becoming an entrepreneur was what I wanted to do and having done that, then my goal was to do the best I could and work hard to produce the best product that I could.”

Mrs. Sharp concluded, “As graduates of 2019, you will now be moving into a new chapter of your life … whichever path you choose, there will be one same denominator, and this is, that is first you must believe in yourself; you must develop a new level of commitment to yourself and you must embrace that new level with your inner strength so that obstacles and challenges that will come into your life will be overcome and your goals will be attainable.”

In his Presidential Address, the University’s President, Professor Emeritus, Clement Sankat, congratulated all the students who ‘crossed the stage’ at this year’s PG graduation and identified the year’s top achievers– Ymanoli Garcia, Associates in Business Science, Nadine Francisco – Diploma in Education and Abigail Coc – Bachelor in Business Management. A total of fifteen (15) students graduated with honors.

Professor Sankat, in his speech, stated the University’s Transformational Plan: Vision 2022 is a living one; and that the University and Belize are beginning to witness the fruits of this very focus to steadily lift UB to be a more competitive one. He highlighted some of the major occurrences at the University, which included its first cohort of students graduating with MBAs, its outreach initiatives, new Bachelor’s and Master’s programs being launched as well as increasing the University’s capacity and efficiently managing the University’s financial operations.

In concluding, Professor Sankat told the graduates, “Go forth confidently to achieve your goals as you contribute to your society, Belize and to the Toledo District.” Remember the wise mantra of Socrates, “The Secret of Change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new.”
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, the administration, staff and faculty of the University of Belize, UB’s President, Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat would like to once again congratulate all Punta Gorda graduates and he extends his very best wishes for the future as UB Alumni.