POND ISLAND – The University of St. Martin (USM) celebrated its 22nd commencement ceremony on Saturday, June 18, at Sonesta Maho Beach and Casino Resort.
This year 33 proud graduates completed their Associates, Bachelors and Teaching Certificates. The night was filled with excitement and joy as the graduates, dignitaries, and Representatives of partnering Universities, including President Dr. David Hall of the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) and Rector Magnificus, Dr. Francis de Lanoy of The University of Curaçao, showed great appreciation for the long-awaited celebration.
President of USM Dr. Francio Guadeloupe stated, “This is a groundbreaking event as we celebrate the first time that a mother and son graduated together.” Carlens Michel, and Marie Michel-Elisme shared their celebration together as they both completed their Associate’s degrees. Both mother and son expressed the feeling of success as they stated: “it was hard work, but definitely worth it.”
The commencement address was delivered by President of the Board of Directors Valerie Giterson-Pantophlet, who encouraged the graduates to go out in the work field and continue striving for excellence.
Keynote speaker Ivy Dofoe, who is a developmental psychologist and behavioral scientist in training, shared her experience and motivating speech of her journey in completing her Ph.D. degree, which she will finish in July.
USM aims to offer quality career and academic education that will provide students with a solid foundation to enter the field of their chosen career as well as to pursue further academic studies. The theme of the evening: “Agents of Change: Consistently Contributing towards an Educated Workforce” emphasized the brand promise that USM set out to deliver.
The Board of Directors of the USM Foundation thanked the Government of St. Maarten, businesses, USM Commencement Committee, management and staff, faculty, students, friends of USM, Prichard (Sagan) Gibson and others who contributed to the 2016 Commencement Ceremony and to the success of USM.
Caption: Proud mother and son celebrating this ground-breaking moment (Marie Michel-Elisme, Dr. Francio Guadeloupe, and Carlens Michel)
Second picture is the class of 2016.