Posted: Sunday, December 14, 2014. 7:43 pm CST.
Sunday, December 14, 2014. AARON HUMES Reporting: The eleventh commencement exercises of the private Galen University based in Cayo took place at the Belize Biltmore Plaza in Belize City this morning.
It is a very merry Christmas for 112 graduates, who can celebrate the holiday relieved of the pressure of examinations, final papers and presentations.
2014 has been a year of change for the University, with a new chairman of the Board of Trustees (Douglas Singh); provost (Dr. Cynthia Eve Aird); and President (Andreas Charalambous in his second term).
Deputizing for the absent Charalambous, Chairman Singh recommitted the liberal, democratic university to pursuing the best interests of its students and the wider community of Belize, mentioning new initiatives such as a program for career counseling for prospective students and a planned school of veterinary medicine to take advantage of the food and health sectors in addition to the established partnerships with the University of Indianapolis, who sent a representative to today’s graduation, and the University of North Carolina-Wilmington in Master’s in Education programs.
Provost Aird commended the graduates for the attention paid to their studies and confided that the joy they shared this morning was denied to her in her three opportunities to attend commencement exercises, though she noted that unlike them all of her exercises were outside Belize.
In any event, she said, they have the tools and skills they applied to have; it is up to them to implement these skills in the wider world.
And that world, said keynote speaker and Minister of Education Patrick Faber, will demand more of them than simple parroting of the concepts and theories they learned in the classroom.
As he called on them to recognize that their skills are needed not only to advance in the professional world but to advance their country as well, he called for a re-imagining of the purpose of higher education as far as it benefits Belize to not only have thinkers, but doers who can make real-world solutions to problems that are not as simple as the books have them.
Graduate Neima Gomez hails from Corozal Town but lives in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, where she teaches business classes at San Pedro Junior College.
She told us that she will take her new Masters’ in Business Administration (MBA) back to La Isla Bonita to teach her students more about the business world.
Other recognizable members of the class of 2014 today include Joshua Arana, member of the Garifuna Collective who now holds a B.A. in Anthropology; Mayor of Orange Walk Town Kevin Bernard, now the holder of an MBA; and basketball players Travis Lennan and Farron Louriano who also graduated with MBA’s.
Congratulations to all the graduates!
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