The University of Belize, Belize’s national and premier degree-granting University, conducted its Twenty-Sixth Commencement Ceremony on June 15th, 2019 at a colorful and packed Belize Civic Center. It conferred degrees with pomp and ceremony on 1041 students at the Associates, Bachelor and Master levels from the following faculties:
Faculty of Education and Arts (FEA): 289
Faculty of Nursing, Allied health & Social Work (FNAHSW): 182
Faculty of Science and Technology (FST): 236
Faculty of Management and Social Science (FMSS): 334
This weekend’s commencement exercise was also historic as the University conferred sixteen (16) MBA Degrees to its first cohort of graduate students. This Master’s program was launched eighteen (18) months ago through the University’s Faculty of Management and Social Science (FMSS).
In his Presidential Address, Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat reminded the grandaunts to “continue to equip yourself to follow your dreams. Graduation is not the end but the beginning!” He further added, “the road ahead is long and winding, but with the preparations [UB has] given you… you are positioned to make the right decisions and navigate your journey so that it is easier and successful bringing you to the destination of your dreams.”
Dr. Richard A. Carvajal, President of Valdosta State University, was the Commencement speaker for this year’s ceremony. Dr. Carvajal started his address by recognizing UB as a first rate institution of higher learning in Belize, capable of educating a new generation of Belizean leaders. He went on to encourage the graduates stating, “You are the outcome of all that has been done to turn Belize and its national university into the leaders that they are today; and because you have done your part to earn your degree… there is no limit to what you can be.” Concluding, he noted “As was said earlier, graduation is not a finish line. It is a starting line… Therefore, work hard; become leaders in your career and help Belize to take its next leap into a prosperous country for your children and future generations to come. Strive to become not only the class that changed UB or even Belize, strive to become the class the changed the world.”
A momentous moment at the ceremony saw Mr. Harrison Pilgrim, Chairman of UB’s Board of Trustees, bestowing its first Honorary Doctoral Degree to His Excellency, Sir Colville Young, Governor General of Belize. He was recognized for his leadership in Belize’s educational, public service and cultural spheres. As noted by the President, “I am delighted that the Governor General, Sir Colville Young, was chosen for this well-deserved honor and that he accepted.”
The University also awarded the Oak Foundation of Switzerland with its inaugural Outstanding Philanthropy Award in recognition for their significant contribution to the University. The Vice President of the University, Dr. Mariot Simon, noted that the Oak Foundation was selected for their significant financial contributions to UB, namely its Environmental Research Institute (ERI), and because they “share in UB’s mission to build capacity and dignity for Belizeans and for research and service to national development.”
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, the administration, staff and faculty of the University of Belize, the President of the University of Belize, Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat would like to once again congratulate all graduates on reaching this milestone. The University is incredibly proud of each of you and we wish you all the best in everything you do!