The Catholic Religious Education Development Institute held its third graduation mass and convocation on November 13th and 14th respectively. Over one hundred and thirty (130) students received their degree certificates in the Bachelor of Education with Honours in either of the following specialisations: Early Childhood Care and Education, Educational Leadership, Guidance and Counselling, Music Education or Special Education. Other students received the Masters of Science in Education and Health Sciences – Concentration in Catholic School Administration and Masters of Arts in Theological Studies. Both events were, without a doubt, memorable experiences for all who attended. The mass, which was officiated by Reverend Father Arnold Francis, was imbued with the melodic sounds of CREDI’s music students who looked absolutely stately in their white and black garb accessorized with red scarves.
The following afternoon, all graduands appeared adorned in their graduation regalia at Queen’s Hall with family members beaming with pride and excitement. The ceremony commenced minutes after 3pm. Sr. Angela Ann Zukowski, Director of the Institute for Pastoral Initiatives and Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Dayton, was the keynote speaker. She enthralled the audience with her piece “The Catholic Teacher in a Rapidly Developing Digital World”. In her address, she asked the new graduates to “bring to the Caribbean educational milieu a new prophetic stance in light of the rapidly evolving digital culture”. The audience enjoyed the skilful tenor pan player Mr. Johann Chuckaree as he played two selctions: You lift me up and The World’s Greatest. Ms. Rosalind Sylvia Garnes, a 2013 graduate from CREDI’s Bachelor of Education with Honours – Music Education programme, enraptured her former classmates and the rest of the audience with a medley of calypso classics on the keyboard.
Eleven (11) students received awards for achieving the highest Grade Point Average (GPA) within a particular programme. Nine (9) students received medals for achieving First Class Honours degrees and therefore automatically earning a place on the President’s Honours List: These students were Mr. Edward Baptiste, Ms. Danyela Daly-Warner, Ms. Ann Arline Edmund, Ms. Joanne Tracy Farrag, Ms. Elizabeth Hudlin, Ms. Theresa Mollenthiel, Ms. Michaela Robinson, Ms. Alicia Roopchansingh-James and Ms. Hyacinth Smith. The valedictory address, presented by Ms. Alicia Roopchansingh-James, reached into the hearts of the graduates as she thanked the persons who played critical roles in her journey through CREDI.
Dr. Terrence Farrell, Chairman of CREDI, seized the opportunity to bid a heartfelt farewell to Dr. Vena Jules, former President of CREDI, commending her for being a true exemplar of Servant Leadership throughout her tenure at the institution. It was at that moment, to her surprise, as a parting symbol of appreciation for all that she had contributed to the establishment, that she was awarded the honour of being the first Fellow of CREDI. She is to be succeeded by Dr. Joycelyn Rampersad who will assume the post of President effective December 1, 2013.