By JOSEPHINE NAVULA
It was a proud moment for 82 students of the University of the South Pacific, who graduated from the Alafua campus in Samoa on 17 January, 2013.
Friends and families flocked in numbers at the Pesega Gymnasium to witness this special occasion, which was attended by ministers and senior public officials from the Samoan Government, members of the USP Council and Senate, dignitaries from the private and public sector, members of the diplomatic corps, representatives of regional and international organizations, senior USP staff, students, and the Alafua Campus community at large as well as other guests.
USP Media and Public Relations Officer Ashley Gopal confirmed that 68 percent of those that graduated were at the undergraduate level while 31 percent were at the postgraduate level. This included students from eight different countries, of which the majority being female graduates.
Speaking at the ceremony, Acting USP Vice-Chancellor, Dr Esther Williams congratulated the graduands on their accomplishments.
“You have all worked hard and now are reaping the benefits. You should all be proud of your achievements and I join your families, your governments, your sponsors in congratulating you,” she said.
Among the graduates, this year were students who studied at the Laucala Campus in Fiji, Emalus Campus in Vanuatu, and those that studied through the Distance and Flexible Learning (DFL) mode in Samoa, as well as those who studied agriculture at SAFT in Alafua.
The graduand address was delivered by LLB graduate, Fonoivasa Lolesio Fitai Ah Ching, one of several mature DFL students, also recently retired Vice President of the Lands and Titles Court of Samoa, and who epitomised Dr Williams’ reminder that, “there is no end to learning. Lifelong learning is important and key to our development as Pacific peoples”.