Bermuda College names three honorary fellows
Three people were inducted into the Company of Honorary Fellows of Bermuda College last night.
Craig Bridgewater, Janet Ferguson and the family of the late Eva Hodgson, received distinctive stoles – or sashes – and certificates in live-streamed ceremonies.
Randy Horton, the chairman of the company of honorary fellows, presented the honours.
Mr Bridgewater, a father of two and the group head of finance for Butterfield Bank, was formerly a partner with KPMG on the island.
A college spokeswoman said that he was awarded the fellowship designation by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Bermuda in 2019 “in recognition of his outstanding contributions made to the accounting profession and to the community”.
She added: “Being community minded with a particular interest in education, Craig is currently the chairman of the governing body of the Berkeley Institute and a member of the Board of Education, the Albert College board of governors – including being chair of its finance committee – and the Frederick Sydney Smith Scholarship Committee, which issues scholarships for the benefit of Bermuda students attending Albert College.”
Dr Ferguson, a mother of one, was the executive director of the Lifelong Learning Centre at Bermuda College for almost ten years.
The spokeswoman said: “She is committed to nurturing and celebrating human development and achievement through learning.
“To that end, she has worked across the spectrum of lifelong learning practice as a consultant/facilitator, strategy development adviser and adjunct lecturer.
“Her cross-cultural international employment experiences include Bermuda, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom and the Seychelles.
“Her engagements have included strategy development and action-learning interventions for public, corporate and education sector clients.”
She added that the LLC saw "exponential growth, both in terms of membership and the range of programmes offered“ under Dr Ferguson’s leadership.
The spokeswoman said: “An accomplished researcher, Dr Ferguson has published numerous articles in scholarly and other forums dealing in large part with transformative education and behaviour, and an academic litany of degrees and qualifications that undergird it all.”
Dr Ferguson was overseas and was represented at the ceremony by Evangeline Anderson.
The college spokeswoman explained that Dr Hodgson “was born into a Hamilton Parish family with strong religious convictions and a deep concern for social justice”.
“She is nationally recognised as a social activist, writer, labour union leader and educator, and was known for her efforts to fight racism in Bermuda, from the segregation era into the 21st century,” she said.
“Earning no fewer than six academic degrees from prestigious universities in Canada, the UK and the USA – including a PhD from Columbia University – Dr Hodgson was never not labelled by some as a troublemaker for her uncompromising and sustained views in her mission to have the community confront institutionalised racism, institutionalised protectionism and more broadly social injustice.”
She added that Dr Hodgson’s death last May reminded people of "her powerful legacy as a racial justice advocate, long before the popularism of the Black Lives Matter wave“.
The spokeswoman added: “She refused to allow the community to be satisfied with the end of official segregation and the ascendance to political power of Black Bermudians.
“In the late 1980s, together with a small group of dedicated people, she started the National Association for Reconciliation and for many years was the co-chair.
“She aligned herself with newer organisations such as Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda … and continued to push for affirmative action and chastise the Government for a lack of real progress.”
The spokeswoman said that the posthumous award made sure "that the voice and work“ of Dr Hodgson "will never be silenced”.
Grace Swan, Dr Hodgson’s sister, accepted the honour on her behalf.