More than 300 students took to the stage in celebration of their educational success on Saturday, May 12, at the annual Commencement Ceremony for St. George’s University School of Arts and Sciences (SAS) and Graduate Studies Program (GSP) at Patrick Adams Hall.
Esteemed guests included the Speaker of the House of Representatives and Keynote Speaker, Honorable George McGuire, and Chair of the Conference of Churches in Grenada, the venerable Archdeacon Christian Glasgow.
In his address to the excited graduates, keynote speaker, Honorable George McGuire, spoke of the international education offered at St. George’s University, and the foundation it provides for a successful career. He stated, “This University has been good to you in many ways. It has prepared you well for lifelong learning, taught you to think clearly, and to be open to new ideas. Therefore you are all prepared for the world of work.”
The speaker of the house admonished the graduating class to never underestimate their strengths, and to be the beneficiaries of change, and not the victims. He encouraged the students stating, “Whatever difficulties lie ahead and whatever constraints you may have to face, nothing should keep you from aspiring to reach the top, and nothing should stop you from shining in the presence of others.”
In exhorting the 2012 graduating class he states, “What should inspire you most as young graduates is a spirit of adventure which should feed your passionate and insatiable curiosity.” On a final note, the students were encouraged to treasure their memories of St. George’s University, and challenged to take the ‘high road’, and aim high.
As part of the ceremony, Honorable George McGuire received St. George’s University’s Distinguished Service Award in acknowledgement of his longstanding support and contribution to the development of the University, and in recognition of his outstanding service to its students and mission.
In the School of Arts and Sciences, more than two hundred undergraduate degrees were conferred including Bachelor of Arts (BA), of Education (BEd), of Science (BS), and of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees.
These students represented 16 countries; Grenadian students made up the majority of the graduates. An additional 42 students walked through the ceremony in anticipation of the receipt of their degree in the next few months.
Addressing the students as class valedictorian for the School of Arts and Sciences was Nerissa Baptiste from St. Andrew, Grenada. The BS graduate began her address by stating, “I don’t think that graduating today means we rule the world. I do think, however, that today’s graduation is the first step towards our world domination, and St. George’s University has provided us with the keys to do so.” Ms. Baptiste stated that “In order to rule the world, a person must be imaginative, recognize his or her potential and have ambition to realize it. Our graduation ceremony today is a testimony of this… On this our graduation day we proved that we are capable of achieving success. We came, we saw, and we conquered.”
The second half of the commencement ceremony was dedicated to St. George’s University’s graduate students. In the Graduate Studies Program, 69 students received a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree, 18 students received a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree in International Business, 12 received an MBA in Multi-Sector Health Management, and six received a Master of Science Degree (MSc). The students receiving graduate degrees represented nineteen countries.
Apollo Knights, who is from St. Vincent, represented the graduate students as Class Speaker. The MBA (IB) graduate encouraged his colleagues to be leaders. He stated, “Leaders are persons who see the need for change and have the knowledge and desire to implement change for the betterment of society.” The students were therefore challenged to become lifelong learners, and to continue seeking new knowledge. He said, “As leaders, I believe we have the most humbling duty, which is to serve others, irrespective of our jobs.” Mr. Knights left the 2012 graduating class with the quote, “Knowledge has to be improved, challenged and increased constantly or it vanishes” – Peter Drucker.
St. George’s University is proud of all its graduating students and confident that this graduating class will positively impact the world in each respective field.