Minister pays tribute to achievements of Bermuda College
Bermuda College has “realised the dreams of its visionary founders” and should be celebrated by the people of Bermuda, the House of Assembly heard this morning.
Minister of Education and Economic Development Grant Gibbons praised the institution's achievements ahead of its 40th anniversary next week.
He said: “In numerology, 40 denotes the fulfilment or completion of promises. Certainly the Bermuda College has realised the dreams of its visionary founders who, 40 years ago, anticipated an amalgamated campus that would prepare students for university, provide career education and offer technical training in key areas identified by the Island in its still developing economy.
“The Bermuda College has come a long way and has seen a lot of major changes in the past 40 years, giving alumni, students and faculty a lot to celebrate.”
Bermuda College will mark its 40th anniversary on Tuesday and a series of public events will be held to celebrate, Mr Gibbons said.
These include a Sunset Walk on Tuesday from 6:30pm when alumni, students, faculty and friends will travel from the old Roberts Avenue campus in Devonshire to its current home in Paget. A tree-planting ceremony will be held before the walk and the public is welcome to attend.
Other activities will include a tag day, a golf tournament, a 1970s-themed party and an outdoor movie night.
Mr Gibbons praised Bermuda College's “great strides” in education since it opened on July 22, 1974.
He said: “The college made great strides in upgrading and developing curricula for the education and training of young Bermudians.
“These included putting in place advisory committees with memberships drawn from professionals in local businesses and developing programmes for major trade areas to ensure that Bermuda College graduates were well equipped for employment in the applied sciences and trades.”
Bermuda College now offers 20 associate degree programmes in a variety of subjects, including actuarial science and electronics technology, plus nine certificate and 12 diploma programmes.
Mr Gibbons said: “In 2010, the Bermuda College completed a seven-year journey of academic affirmation by being granted full accreditation status by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges — the same prestigious agency that grants accreditation to such Ivy League universities as Harvard, Yale, and MIT.
“At that time, the college was only the seventh international institution to be accredited by this prestigious commission, and the first institution so honoured in the Caribbean and Latin American Region.”
The minister went on to express his optimism that even greater achievements would be seen after this “milestone” anniversary by the Island's “academic icon”.
He said: “The Bermuda College has, and continues to fulfil, the promise of higher education and career dreams for all who walk through its doors.
“It has survived philosophical differences about its purpose and debates about its academic mandate, including those questioning its comparative value to larger and older overseas colleges and universities. Yet in spite of all this, Bermuda College continues to progress and demonstrate its fundamental value to those in the local community and beyond.
“Happy 40th Anniversary, Bermuda College, As their Motto states, mirabilia magna portendi — great and wonderful things are foretold.”