On November 11, the University of Guyana’s (UG) 51st Convocation will be held at the Turkeyen campus where the University will celebrate the accomplishments of about 1800 students, and for the first time in the history of the university the certificated, diplomas and degrees will be awarded at two ceremonies.
According to a UG press release, the ceremony for the Faculties of Agriculture and Forestry, Earth the Environmental Sciences, and Technology, will be held at the National Cultural Centre (NCC) at 10:00h, while that for the Faculties of Education and Humanities, Health Sciences, and Social Sciences will be held on campus, beginning at 16:30 h.
The release quoted Vice-Chancellor Professor Ivelaw Griffith, who proposed the change as saying, “Our graduating classes have grown tremendously over the years, and having one ceremony has meant having extremely long ceremonies, with some graduates and guests leaving before the ceremonies conclude.” The release quoted him as adding, “Creating two ceremonies allows us to maintain the tradition of having every graduand cross the stage and shake the hand of the Chancellor, and maintain the solemnity of the occasion, while reducing the length of the ceremony.”
Additionally, the release stated, unlike previous years, all students graduating with diplomas will be invited to don academic robes along with those graduating with Bachelor and Masters Degrees. Another new feature at this year’s Convocation will be the use of ceremonial gonfalons, which are banners often shield-shaped that hang from crosspieces on top of poles. These banners are usually carried at the head of the Convocation profession and identify the different Faculties within the university from which students are graduating.
Moreover, according to the release, beginning this year and as part of strengthening the University’s engagement with alumni and inspiring graduating and continuing students, the University will spotlight distinguished alumni at the various Convocations. Dr Dhanpaul Narine, Bachelor of Art in History, Class of 1975, will deliver the address at the first ceremony on November 11 at NCC. He is a distinguished educator and journalist based in New York, and is a former lecturer at City University of New York and the London School of Economics from which he secured his doctoral degree. Ambassador Rudolph Michael Ten-Pow, who studies Modern Languages and is the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Guyana to the United Nations, will give the keynote at the ceremony on the Turkeyen campus.
At the Berbice campus Convocation, where more than 200 students will graduate on November 18 on the University Square at Tain, the Convocation Address will be delivered by Patricia Bacchus, Class of 2004, Bachelor of Laws. Bacchus, who hails from the Ancient County, is the Chief Executive Officer and Chairperson of the Board of Caribbean Container Inc (formerly SAPIL). She also serves as Chairperson of the Board of Go-Invest, the release said.
Meanwhile, according to the release, the Institute of Distance and Continuing Education, the extra-mural arm of the university, is scheduled to hold its graduation ceremonies for its four centres as follows: Georgetown Centre on November 25; Linden Centre on November 26, Anna Regina Centre on December 3 and the New Amsterdam Centre on December 9, 2017.