Office of the Campus Registrar, Jamaica. Wednesday, October 11, 2017 - The Spice Isle of Grenada will once again celebrate the achievements of graduands of The University of the West Indies (UWI) Open Campus, in a grand Presentation of Graduates Ceremony to be held on Saturday, October 14, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at the Spice Basket, Beaulieu, St. George’s, Grenada.
This 9th Presentation of Graduates Ceremony of The UWI Open Campus will see six hundred and fifty seven (657) students (512 undergraduates and 145 postgraduates) officially graduate from the Open Campus with Master’s, Postgraduate Diplomas, Bachelor’s and Associate degrees, as well as Undergraduate Certificates and Diplomas in a wide range of subject areas. As in past years, graduands from across the Caribbean will gather together in the presence of Heads of State and Government, the Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor, members of the University’s Executive Management, other highly placed University and local government officials, as well as family and friends, to receive their formal academic qualifications.
The official ceremony will begin at precisely 10:00 a.m., preceded by the Graduands, Academic and Chancellor’s Processions. The public is invited to share in the momentous occasion via live online streaming on the Open Campus’s website at www.open.uwi.edu/livestream and uwitv.org.
This year, The UWI Open Campus will confer an Honorary Doctorate of Letters (DLitt) on a native of Haiti, Ms Edwidge Danticat. Edwidge Danticat was born in Haiti in 1969 and moved to the United States when she was twelve years old. Growing up surrounded by storytellers, she began writing at the age of nine. As an immigrant teenager in the United States, she turned to literature to better understand both countries. At Barnard College in New York City, Ms Danticat earned a Bachelor of Arts in French Literature and later, at Brown University, a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. Ms Danticat has taught creative writing at the New York University and the University of Miami and has worked with Haitian and American filmmakers, Jonathan Demme and Patricia Benoit, on documentary projects related to Haiti.
Her essays and short stories have appeared in over 50 periodicals and her books have been translated into twelve languages, including Japanese, French, Korean, German, Italian, Spanish, and Swedish. Among her several awards are the 1999 American Book Award, the Italian Super Flaiano Prize, the 2007 National Book Critics Circle Award, the 2008 Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and the 2011 OCM Bocas Non-fiction Prize for Caribbean Literature. She has previously received honorary degrees from Brown University, Smith College, and Yale University.
The Valedictorian for this year is Jamaican born but Vincentian raised Mr. Nick Francis, who will be graduating with a BSc in Youth Development Work with First Class Honours. A hardworking, focused young man from humble beginnings, Nick’s natural leadership abilities found expression from an early age, in several youth groups within his school, church and community. Indeed, it was his passion for youth work that brought Nick to the virtual halls of The University of the West Indies Open Campus in 2012, after having successfully completed an OAS certification in "Building Capacities of Young Political Leaders in the Caribbean" in the previous year.
During his years at the Open Campus, Nick was actively involved in the Guild of Students in various capacities. A youth advocate and activist, Nick also served as President of the Young Democrats - the youth arm of the New Democratic Party in St. Vincent and the Grenadines - from 2009 to early 2017. Over the years, participation in these activities have enabled Nick to be an excellent role model for other young people and to champion their cause for equal rights and participation in decision-making processes.
Nick currently serves as a Youth Development Consultant within the Caribbean Democrat Union, a sister party network supported by The Westminster Foundation for Democracy. He fervently believes that youth are assets to national development and works ardently to create a space for them to thrive in Caribbean societies. As is customary, Nick will deliver the Valedictory Speech on behalf of his colleagues from across the region.
After the official Presentation Ceremony, the new graduates and their guests will celebrate their academic achievements at an Official Reception hosted by the Government and people of Grenada.