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  • The newly chartered Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) on Tuesday (November 14) graduated its first cohort of students to be certified since the institution’s formal upgrading in September.
  • These include Logistics and Supply Chain Management; Port Management; Cruise Shipping and Maritime Tourism; International Shipping; Customs Processes, Freight Forwarding and Immigrations; and Security Administration and Management.
  • Johnathan Chin, from the Faculty of Shipping and Logistics; and Nailah Steele, from the Faculty of Marine and Natural Sciences, were named co-valedictorians for the 2017 Class. They were among the eight graduates receiving special student awards.

The newly chartered Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) on Tuesday (November 14) graduated its first cohort of students to be certified since the institution’s formal upgrading in September.

Approximately 250 students were conferred with master’s and bachelor’s degrees and diplomas during the graduation ceremony at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston, having successfully completed studies in a wide cross section of programmes over the past four years.

These include Logistics and Supply Chain Management; Port Management; Cruise Shipping and Maritime Tourism; International Shipping; Customs Processes, Freight Forwarding and Immigrations; and Security Administration and Management.

Education, Youth and Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, headed the dignitaries and officials attending the ceremony, which marked the first to be presided over by newly installed Chancellor, His Royal Highness Drolor Bosso Adamtey I, and President, Professor Fritz Pinnock.

Senator Reid, who delivered the keynote address, lauded the CMU’s staff and graduates on the milestone achievement, noting that “we are witnessing the fruits of many years of toil and nurturing”.

“I am very proud that the CMU is graduating over 250 internationally certified industry-ready graduates, who, I expect, will become leaders on the maritime and logistics landscape,” he said.

Noting that there is “great change and opportunity” evolving in tertiary education globally, Senator Reid underscored the need for Jamaica to embrace these.

He argued that to successfully do so, “we have to adjust and change many of the traditional perspectives we have about what education is and… is supposed to do”.

“A developing society, like ours, cannot afford to get stuck in a framework that defines education as a privilege for just a few. We have to educate and train all our people to achieve their fullest potential, consistent with local and global needs,” the Minister added.

Senator Reid said that to this end, the CMU has a special role to play in reframing Jamaica’s higher-education landscape.

“The Caribbean Maritime University will have to be the benchmark for other specialist universities (and) become a bastion of functional education outcomes. I believe that the CMU will shine in this respect. Jamaica, therefore, has high hopes for you, our fine graduates. You are among the next generation of leaders who (are destined to) make Jamaica proud,” he added.

In his remarks, Bindley Sangster, Special Advisor to Transport and Mining Minister, Hon. Mike Henry, said the graduation ceremony represented a watershed moment for the students.

Mr. Sangster, who represented Mr. Henry, advised the graduates that “you are moving into a new phase of your lives. Seize the day (for) you will never be the same… you must never be the same.

You must always be better than you were today”.

Chancellor Adamtey I, in his address, said a graduation ceremony is “one of the most memorable events” for any student, noting that “it comes at the end of a long journey of academic and social preparations and the beginning of yet another passage to achieving one’s life purpose”.

He said the students, by completing their studies at the CMU, “have made quality decisions to create a bright future for yourselves”.

“Today, we are all proud of you because you have demonstrated the ability to endure. You have overcome and tenaciously withstood the academic pressures and have succeeded. Remember (that) in life, it’s only from the valley that a hill looks like a mountain,” the Chancellor added.

Professor Pinnock, in commending the graduates, also lauded the CMU’s stakeholders, who, he said, have supported the institution from its inception in 1980 to its transition to a university in 2017.

Johnathan Chin, from the Faculty of Shipping and Logistics; and Nailah Steele, from the Faculty of Marine and Natural Sciences, were named co-valedictorians for the 2017 Class. They were among the eight graduates receiving special student awards.

Mr. Chin got the Barbados Shipping Association Award for Excellence for being adjudged the Most Outstanding Graduate in Shipping and Logistics.

Ms. Steel copped the Dean’s Award for Top Academic Excellence in the Faculty of Marine and Natural Studies as also the Exmar Ship Management Award for Excellence for Most Outstanding Graduate in Marine Transportation.

Another student, Akeem Hill, received the Jamaica Public Service Award of Excellence for the Most Outstanding Engineering (Industrial Systems) Graduate, and the President’s Award for being the Most All-round Student.

The ceremony also saw the conferment of two Honorary Doctorate degrees on Kingston Wharves Limited Chief Executive Officer, Grantley Stephenson; and President of SeaFreight Line Limited, Grenadian, Roland Malins-Smith, for more than 40 years of service to the Caribbean maritime and shipping industry.

Mr. Stephenson was conferred with a Doctor of Science in Port Management, honoris causa, and Mr. Malins-Smith, a Doctor of Science in International Shipping, honoris causa.

Special industry awards were also presented to seven persons, who were inducted into the CMU’s Hall of Fame.