The University of the West Indies (The UWI) alumni have a critical role to play in propelling the university forward and should give back to the institution both financially and in time, Kai Bridgewater 2018 class valedictorian has said.
Bridgewater, a Jamaican student who received a Bachelor of Laws with first class honours at The UWI Cave Hill graduation on October 20, 2018, urged his colleagues to “give back to this community that shaped us”, arguing that The UWI is “the greatest gift that we have given to ourselves”, a quote attributed to former Vice Chancellor Prof Rex Nettleford.
“The UWI needs greater support from alumni and we are now officially among them,” he said.
He noted, however, that “giving back isn't limited to monetary donations” and argued that students would love to have alumni from whom they could receive advice, mentorship and inspiration, and with whom they could network.
Bridgewater pointed out that the regional institution “has provided high-quality tertiary education for 70 years now, and just placed in the top five per cent of universities worldwide” according to Times Higher Education, but argued that strong alumni support is what separates it from world-leading institutions like Harvard and Yale.
The valedictorian argued further, that greater regional unity is required to ensure that “The Caribbean is a force to be reckoned with in the international arena.”
To that end, he urged his fellow graduates: “We are a chosen generation. We are the generation that will make regional unity into a reality. Believe in yourselves, believe in your institutions and most of all, believe in this region.”
The Cave Hill graduation was the second across The UWI's four campuses. The Open Campus had its ceremony on October 13; St Augustine's is being staged this weekend; and Mona will have its graduation on November 2 and 3.