Brown’s Town Community College (BTCC) hosted its graduation ceremony for the class of 2016 on Thursday, November 17, at the main campus, in Brown’s Town, St Ann.
The ceremony was hosted under the theme “Committed to Service: Enhancing Brand BTCC.”
Adorned in their stunning bright, blue gowns, the smiling graduates participated in the annual ceremony which signified a major achievement in their professional and academic journey.
One hundred and eighty-five students were slated to graduate, but several were absent as a result of work commitment, classes scheduled at other institutions, among other challenges.
The graduation saw the welcome and opening remarks being made by Dr Michael Whittingham, chairman of the board of management of the Brown’s Town Community College.
The graduation report was delivered by the college’s principal, Claudeth Fletcher.
CHARGE TO THE GRADUATES
The charge to the graduates was given by guest speaker, cultural analyst and senior lecturer at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Dr Donna Hope. She was introduced by Monique Brown, the student union’s vice president of the Technical Campus of the Brown’s Town Community College.
Dr Hope delivered a well crafted and motivating presentation that had the themes of embracing change and serving others.
She told the graduates that despite them stepping out into a world that is increasingly filled with “regressive themes” and changes such as the increased use of social media, climate change, the election of Donald Trump in the United States and the exit of Britain from the European Union (popularly phrased as Brexit), they must embrace changes and not fear them.
“What I want you to do in this period of change is to seek to realize your potential… Let us not be challenged or feared by what seems to be coming around us or what may affect us or what may impact on us. Use the opportunity while we stay, to advance your dreams as young people,” Dr Hope pointed out, while adding that without change, life would be a “constant, stagnant nightmare.”
Dr Hope also charged the graduates not to give up when facing obstacles on their way in life. She also encouraged the grandaunts, and their parents, families and friends and the several officials present at the ceremony to “set your lives on fire and share your light with others.”
It was evident that the graduates of the Brown’s Town Community College had already begun the journey of “setting their lives on fire,” through the announcement of several special awards for the graduates. Over 39 special awards were distributed.
Valedictorian Jamar Solomon and Nathaneal Brown received the Irwine Clare Award for Most Outstanding Student Leader on Main and Technical campuses respectively. Solomon also received the Jamaica Union of Tertiary Students (JUTS) award for most outstanding student leader.
Teddyan Alexander received awards for deportment and conduct (Technical Campus), excellence in Technical Studies and the City and Guilds award for academic excellence in Engineering.
The RP.CANAD FARM awards for entrepreneurship and the Agro Grace award for most outstanding volunteer went to Winsome Carter-Chandler.
The Principal’s Award went to Anneka Cunningham and the prestigious Student of the Year award went to Bobbijo Scott.
Some of the other awardees were: Kimaani Pratt, who received the KDC Group of Companies award for excellence in entrepreneurship and Business Studies and academic excellence award for Business Studies; Tashae Brown, the academic Vice Principal’s award for outstanding performance in Spanish (CAPE); Teasha Campbell, most improved nursing student; Sashane Wisdom, the Club Ambiance Award for academic excellence in tourism; Darrell Miller, the Oshane Saunders Award for Hospitality and Food Preparation and Hortense Scott, the Agricultural Chemicals Plant Ltd Award for most outstanding student in agricultural technology.
In his valedictory speech, Jamar Solomon expressed gratitude on behalf of the graduates to the staff at the Brown’s Town Community College. He described the experience as being a “challenging, but fulfilling experience.”
“Throughout our time here, we have been exposed to many words of wisdom. It has been clear to us that education is indeed the cornerstone of success. The importance of expecting the unexpected and avoiding negative influence has been drilled into us using a variety of methods,” Johnson explained, while adding that they will continue “to shine with success.”
The valedictory speech was followed by the graduates singing the song ‘Something Inside So Strong.’
The Brown’s Town Community College Choir and the College Band provided various musical selections throughout the graduation ceremony.
The vote of thanks was given by Bobbijo Scott and the graduation ceremony closed with the lighting of the torch by Jamar Solomon, followed by the recession of the 2016 graduates of the Brown’s Town Community College (BTCC).