UNIVERSITY of Technology, Jamaica celebrated the graduating class of 2022 at the ceremony for the presentation of graduates held Friday, November 11 at the National Arena, Kingston. Over a thousand graduates qualified to receive terminal, master's and undergraduate degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates in a variety of disciplines.
Noting that the 2022 ceremony was the first in-person graduation in the last two years of the novel coronavirus pandemic, newly appointed Chancellor Lloyd Carney, in his welcome, expressed, "Today's celebration marks part of our forward march into the new normal, armed with many lessons learnt and many challenges conquered through perseverance, determination, and resilience."
He urged graduates to "never stop learning", emphasising that "higher education training and continuing education are imperatives if we are to ensure that our citizens can compete in the global economy".
"You're not going to stand still if you stop learning, you're actually going to fall behind," he cautioned.
He also counselled graduates to value their degrees and to put them to good use [in] "building fulfilling careers, healthy families and a healthy nation".
Professor Colin Gyles, CD, acting president, also lauded graduates for "putting in the hard work, persevering diligently, and emerging successful today to receive your well-earned certification".
Noting that the perseverance, resilience and success of the graduating class of 2022 act as inspiration to others, Professor Gyles specially recognised the achievements of deaf graduates Celine Lobban from the Faculty of Engineering and Computing, and Amakeda Wallen of the College of Business and Management, who overcame the odds to receive their Bachelor of Science in Information Technology and Information Systems and Bachelor of Business Administration in General Management international business degrees, respectively. Both graduates matriculated from the Lister Mair Gilby School for the Deaf.
Likening their graduation to the yields of a good harvest, the acting president further urged graduates to "use your newfound knowledge and the fruits of your harvest to help to solve problems in our society â€” pressing problems such as the scourge of crime and violence, violence in schools, vices such as lottery scamming and various other forms of injustices".
Professor Gyles also encouraged the graduating class to be "upholders of good values and attitudes that will preserve and develop our society".
The university conferred honorary degrees on eminent Jamaicans Alfrico Adams, distinguished engineer who received the Doctor of Technology, Honoris Causa and Dr Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie esteemed medical officer and physician who was awarded the Doctor of Medicine, Honoris Causa.
In his response, Adams, who is an alumnus of UTech, Jamaica's predecessor College of Arts, Science and Technology (CAST), and who was instrumental in the establishment of the Jamaica Institution of Engineers, encouraged budding engineers at UTech, Jamaica to take a special interest in the field of structural engineering, citing the international attention that is being placed on the discipline.
Meanwhile, in expressing gratitude to the university, Dr Bisasor-McKenzie stated, "I am honoured to be recognised by such a distinguished institution." She encouraged graduates to "be passionate about what you do, to treat people with compassion, to be honest and to uphold equity, integrity and justice".
The Edward Seaga Award, which is presented to the student with the highest overall GPA in the graduating cohort, was awarded to first class honours graduate Shanya Connell who earned the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the Faculty of Engineering and Computing.
The award, which is being presented for the fourth year in memory of former Prime Minister and Chancellor Edward Seaga, is in acknowledgement of his outstanding national service and contributions to the university and to Jamaica.