In 2020, for the first time in their history, many educational institutions, including the UWI, were forced to take graduation ceremonies to online platforms or have students collect their certificates via a drive-through format. Had someone told us that such a momentous occasion as graduation could be resorted to a fast food pickup style, many of us would probably laugh but in reality, the pandemic has brought about a lot of unimaginable practices.
Instead of having the gentlemen in their well-tailored suits and ladies in their white dresses with their respective gowns saunter across the stage to collect their degrees, the graduating classes of 2020 and 2021 were acknowledged and awarded online. Though they still had the opportunity to graduate, the obstacles created by the pandemic shattered the dreams of many students who fantasized about buoyantly striding across the stage as their loved ones – supporters and cheerleaders – cheered proudly with tear-filled eyes, basking in their success, as they shook hands with the Chancellor and Campus registrar.
For these and many others, COVID-19 was more than two years too long. However, with the pandemic almost through the door, the graduating class of 2022 was saved from suffering a similar fate. Between October 3 and November 5, 2022, 11,393 students were awarded their degrees, and though not all chose to attend their graduation ceremonies, they all had the opportunity of proudly gracing the stage of their graduation ceremony.
Congratulations to the class of 2022!