Good luck, best wishes and congratulations were offered to the graduates of the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College at the 2014 graduation exercise that was held at the College on 12 June.
During the program which was their final class at the institution many tips and advice for the future were passed on to the students who received various levels of certifications.
College President, Dr. Karl Dawson told the students that the day marked the end of a stage in their life and the beginning of another. “It is a day worthy of celebration as you reflect on your efforts that has brought you to this stage along with the efforts of those who have supported you in your quest We are here to wish you bon voyage as you launch into a new stage of life armed with the certification that seeks to capture the essence of your experience with us. Walk well class of 2014 and may God walk with you,” the College President told the students.
Premier Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith told the graduates that he wishes them success as they embark on a new chapter in their lives and advised them to never stop learning and more importantly make a big difference wherever they go. “I cannot stress enough that your willingness to learn will expose you to opportunities, because with learning comes education, and with education comes possibilities,” Premier Smith said.
Minister for Education and Culture, Hon. Myron Walwyn reminded the graduants that to whom much is given, much is expected. He said: “While the people of the Virgin Islands have made significant investments so that you, the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College Class of 2014 can have such a privilege, I ask you to now prepare yourselves to make good on that investment and let the people of this great territory, begin to realize dividends in that investment.”
Hon. Walwyn said that he is pleased that young men were among the top graduates in the class and stated that this is a fact that deserves to be celebrated: “We hear so many negative things about our young men in this community, so I think it is important that when we have those who are doing what they should be doing we should recognize them and encourage others to also become active members of their communities,” he said.
Dr. Charles Wheatley, Chairman of the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College Board of Governors informed the graduates that they are beacons of enlightenment, and that the role gives them a responsibility to promote harmony in a community that has become more diverse. He also stated that the 2014 class reminds him of the class of 1994, which was the first graduating class.
The class of 1994, he said had 29 graduates, while the class of 2014 has a complement of 192. However, the Chairman of the Board pointed out that the difference between the two is not just a statistical one, but rather, reflects the growth of the college in the quality of the college experience.
Keynote Speaker, Dr. John Groesbeck, Dean of the Robert W. Plaster School of Business of Missouri State University told the graduates that as an economist his advice to the graduates and the entire territory is that all should strive to become more entrepreneurial than they already are. He also urged all within to remember that a diversified economy is critical to the weathering of waves that create destruction in the economic cycle. He further stated that entrepreneurship that is well done embodies the attitude of learning. Dr. Groesbeck told the graduates that there will be trials, and there will be setbacks, but he exhorted them to learn from those: “Make your reality your friend, sometimes your reality is a friend with really big fangs that wants to eat you, but that’s ok too, you will learn and you will survive,” he advised.
Jason Leon Williams Jr., the student respondent told his fellow graduates that whatever their vision of success is that piece of paper (certification) signifies that they have completed a step forward.
“Whatever your vision of personal success, to be successful you can’t just complete the minimum requirement and then sit and wait for opportunities to come to you, you have to put in the necessary work and exceed expectations to pave the way for opportunities to present themselves,” he stated.
The class of 2014 comprised of 192 graduates: 53 males 139 females. 173 received Associate Degrees, 13 Certificates of Achievements, and 15 External Programmes (CMI). Six students graduated with double Associate Degrees. These students are: Kimona Alphonso, Chade Liburd, Jelanie Penn, Akeeshma Frank, Nicholas Laurac, and Kayla Creque. Nine graduated with multiple degrees (seven females, two males). These students are: Josephine Albert, Teri Tucker, Joyanna Young-Cato, Kimona Alphonso, Chade Liburd, Jelanie Penn, Akeeshma Frank, Nicholas Laurac and Kayla Creque. There were two graduates who scored perfect 4.0 GPA: Kladius Maynard and Alexander Parillon.
President’s Awards were presented to: Kladius Maynard and Alexander Parillon for achievement of the highest cumulative grade point average: full-time students; Eula A. N. Thomas for achievement of the highest cumulative grade point average for part-time students; Kayleigh E. Driver for outstanding performance in Culinary Arts; and Rhea Chenelle Cooper for outstanding performance in General Studies- Technical Option.