As President, it is my great and God given pleasure to welcome you to the University College of the Cayman Islands. As happy as I am to welcome returning students, I am equally elated to welcome the new students.
The University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI) is a growing, dynamic and exciting place to be at this stage of your lives. With a small campus on Grand Cayman and an even more cozy campus on Cayman Brac, the unique and admirable feature being small classes, easy access to one's instructors and the incalculable advantage of being close to home.
Our campus, with students from all sections of Caymanian society, reflects a changing and dynamic Cayman. Over the past four years there has been a maturing of attitudes on the part of the student population. The Student Services office has certainly played its part in this positive development of campus life and this year we expect even greater things.
A definite collegial atmosphere has sprung up at UCCI and our students are showing that they are able to balance their studies with their roles outside of college life. This is of critical importance since I believe that while college should set us on a path toward lifelong learning, it should also provide opportunities for us to develop interests outside formal learning, forge friendships, networks and help us to get to know ourselves.
I hold the view that education should prepare us for life and that the ideal education should enable its holders to apply their learning to real life experiences. It is with this in mind that UCCI graduates must have the characteristics of the 21st Century Caribbean man and woman as defined by CARICOM. That means our graduates must be:
- Imbued with respect for human life since it is the foundation on which all other desired values must rest.
- Emotionally secure with a high level of self-confidence and self-esteem.
- Have a strong appreciation of family and kinship values, community cohesion, and moral issues including responsibility for and accountability to self and community.
- Have an informed respect for cultural heritage.
- Able to demonstrate multiple literacies, independent and critical thinking, questions the beliefs and practices of past and present and brings this to bear on the innovative application of science and technology to problem solving.
- Able to demonstrate a positive work ethic.
- Able to value and display creative imagination in its various manifestations and nurtures its development in the economic and entrepreneurial spheres and in all other areas of life.
I encourage you, our UCCI students, to avail yourselves of the opportunities of studying at a small college. Avail yourselves of the opportunity to use technology as a facilitator to learning. Study conscientiously; make the best use of your time by balancing study with leisure.
In conclusion let me leave you with a timeless aphorism, whose author, I must apologise to you that I have never learnt:
Labour for learning
Before you grow old
For learning is better than silver and gold.
Silver and gold will soon fade away
But a good education will never decay.
A good education awaits you at UCCI. It's yours for the taking. Come forward and clutch it firmly.
President J.A. Roy Bodden, JP