NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The University of The Bahamas has announced that its 2020 Commencement Ceremony will be staged as a virtual event at the end of this month.
The 2020 Commencement Class comprises approximately 500 students who have fulfilled their academic requirements in Summer 2019, Fall 2019 and Spring 2020, according to a statement.
The virtual ceremony will honour graduating seniors and celebrate their achievements in a manner that is safe and complies with national COVID-19 health protocols on June 29 at 4pm.
“The 2020 Commencement for University of The Bahamas (UB) may not have the traditional pomp and circumstance, but it will have an even more elevated significance for members of the commencement class who are closing one chapter of their lives and entering a new one during an unprecedented era,” the statement read.
UB said most graduating seniors expressed support for a virtual ceremony through an online survey.”
UB President Dr Rodney D Smith said: “Commencement is one of the most sacred and honourable observances in higher education. For us at UB, it is as much about building community and lauding perseverance and commitment as it is about marking the completion of an academic journey and affirming the rights and privileges of the degrees and diplomas for which they have studied and rightfully earned.
“This 2020 Virtual Commencement Ceremony is no less significant because we will not be physically together. We will be together online in a space that has come to be just as vitally important as the physical.”
The ceremony will honour and celebrate graduands in New Providence and Grand Bahama and will pay special tribute to the indomitable spirit of the University of The Bahamas-North community, which despite the adverse impact of Hurricane Dorian and COVID-19, remains resilient.
The statement read: “Initially, as it transitioned to online operations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, UB announced that its 2020 Commencement Ceremony would be postponed to Fall 2020. However, that was before the subsequent support expressed for the virtual event, a first in the institution’s history.
“Understandably, many graduating seniors still want to experience the traditional rites of passage in which they walk across the stage and accepting their diplomas. The University is deliberating on how it can safely provide that experience while protecting and preserving the health of the University and the public. Members of the 2020 Commencement Class will be able to collect their diplomas and completion letters when the University is permitted to resume on-site operations.”
President of the 2020 Commencement Class Ericka Reckley-Rolle expressed excitement and enthusiasm about the resilience of UB graduands given extraordinary challenges. She also saluted their myriad achievements.
“The past several months have been a rough journey for all of us. Now the time has come to celebrate our graduates for their hard work and achievements,” said Reckley-Rolle, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing major.
“Through our participation in the survey, we have decided to give virtual ceremony a try, and I congratulate the 2020 graduating class for making history as the first to do so. I look forward to enjoying this historic, spectacular event. So to my fellow Mingoes: let’s get ready and celebrate UB style!” she added.
The 2020 Commencement theme is Realize the Dream: Dawn of a New World. The 2020 Commencement Class includes graduands from Business and Hospitality Management; Culinary Arts and Tourism Studies; Communication and Creative Arts; Chemistry, Environmental and Life Sciences; Education; English Studies; Mathematics, Physics and Technology; Nursing and Allied Health Professions; and Social Sciences.
The Virtual Commencement Ceremony will be accessible to audiences on the University’s website – www.ub.edu.bs – and its social media channels, and will be available on demand thereafter.