The Best Graduating Student of the University of Guyana (UG), Shakti Persaud, during her valedictorian speech said she hopes the services the University offers can be improved.
Her remarks were made during the second round of the 52nd Convocation ceremony hosted at the National Cultural Centre, Georgetown on Saturday.
Persaud was among more than 1700 other graduates from the faculties of Health Science, Natural Sciences and Engineering and Technology.
“I am leaving this university with all sorts of skills, including running in the dark in the faculty of Technology in four-inch heels when we once though that there was a dangerous animal in the grass. But aside from the wealth that I am taking, I wish to see the University of Guyana improve in some areas of the system,” she said.
Nonetheless, the hard worker sought to motivate the gathering while sharing her success story. According to her, she left high school and immediately began working and never imagined that she could have gotten the opportunity to further her studies.
Persaud therefore noted that success has nothing to do with one’s age and encouraged everyone to run towards their educational goals.
Meanwhile the conferral of the honorary doctorate degree was given to the Senior Vice President of Zara Realty, Jairaj Sobhraj – an American-based company – who recently donated US$475,000 to the University to go towards the training of mental health and community wellness practitioners in the Health Sciences Building, Behavioural Sciences Department.
Sobhraj, who is a well-known businessman in Guyana, told the gathering that he is very pleased with the honorary doctorate being conferred onto him; in fact so pleased that he will be funding five annual scholarships along with 10 years of student support totalling US$200,000.
The engineer shared that he is very passionate about education as he believes the only way out of poverty is through education. Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Ivelaw Griffith told the gathering that he was very pleased with this batch of graduates as this year happens to be the first year that the University is producing persons equipped with Master’s in social work and even diplomas in physiology, among other firsts.
He said he was particularly pleased that this year’s batch also includes a mother and daughter graduating together, as well as a brother and sister twin.
The key speaker at the event, Professor Norman Monroe told the graduates that they will end up going towards careers they never expected to and encouraged them that failures will come, and they must never be afraid to fail.
In fact, he said they should find their “North star” or something that they are passionate about and chase it.
In attendance at the graduation ceremony was the acting Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Greenidge who handed over the Prime Minister’s award to 23-year old Mohameed Safraz Baksh, a former student of the Health Sciences Faculty.
Baksh told <<<<Inews>>>> that his five years of study at the University was pleasurable as he was able to achieve his goals and meet new people.
He noted that the challenges he faced were often cushioned by the warm support of his family, friends and even lecturers at the University.