BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Mar. 16, 2017–The University of the West Indies (UWI) held an induction ceremony for its Principal of Open Campus, Dr. Luz Longsworth, this evening at the Belize Best Western Biltmore, where the chancellor of the university, Professor the Honorable Sir George Alleyne; its vice chancellor, professor Sir Hilary Beckles, and other administrative officials of the university were present.
The formal ceremony got underway with an academic procession which was followed by the arrival of Belize Governor General Sir Colville Young and a steel band rendition of the Belize national anthem, by the Panantics Steel Band.
Apart from the high-powered academics from UWI, there were representatives from the University of Belize, the Lord Mayor of Belize Darrell Bradley, Belize’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Patrick Faber, as well as representatives of other Caribbean Ministries of Education and government officials.
In his remarks about Dr. Longsworth, the university registrar William Iton said, “Dr. Longsworth is a quintessential Caribbean woman.”
Iton said that Dr. Longsworth has served the Caribbean in various capacities in both academia and in business.
Vice Chancellor Sir Hilary Beckles, remarked that “this evening we pause to recognize what is right. We are beautifully gathered in our beloved Belize. We believe in Belize and we know that Belize has long believed in us. This ceremony is also a homecoming; the recognition of her (Dr. Longsworth’s) Belizean roots…This Belize is UWI country. We belong to it and it belongs to us. Thank you, Belize. Love and respect.”
Our Open Campus is going to be the wings that will take this University of the West Indies to the world,” said Sir Hilary Beckles.
Following Vice Chancellor Beckles’ remarks, there was a series of greetings. The first greeting came from Mrs. Jane Bennett, the Head, Open Campus Country Site Belize. Mrs. Bennett was followed by the president of the Guild of Students, Mr. Howard Brown; Alumni Representative Dr. Lisa Johnson; Private Sector Representative, Mrs. Kim Aikman and Campus Council Chair (ag.), Dr. Lennox Honychurch.
In her address Dr. Longsworth thanked the Chancellor of the University and the Vice Chancellor “for entrusting this exciting and wonderful campus in my care.”
Dr. Longsworth remarked, “Chancellor, Vice Chancellor, today I feel young again; in fact I feel like 15, which was the first time I had a formal public speaking role as the class valedictorian of my high school in Jamaica Holy Childhood High.”
Dr. Longsworth said, “Despite the scores, maybe hundreds of public appearances that I have done since then, it is that experience that comes closest to the feeling that I have today as I am inducted for my official commencement as Principal of the Open Campus today.”