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Nassau Commencement 2016

President Forbes' Charge to the Graduates


Graduates, it is often said that in anything you do, the first step is the most difficult one. You have taken the first step in your post-secondary academic career and your presence here this ceremony indicates that it was a success. You have accomplished that which many often aspire to achieve but despite their best efforts failed to muster the energy and fortitude to prevail. Hence, the theme for this commencement is most appropriate; “Achieving Greatness through Education and Knowledge”. Throughout your studies at the Bahamas Institute of Business & Technology, you have demonstrated unlimited potentials for greatness, but your task now is to share your greatness with a hungry world that’s longing for young educated people like you who are serious about development and advancement.

As members of this 2016 graduating class you have successfully climbed the first rung of the ladder of your academic life but you have only scratched the surface of your true greatness. Contrary to what many of you may believe, this is not the end. Your journey has just begun. You must not stop here for this is not the ultimate prize. It is only a signpost on your way to the top of the mountain of success. The goal is still some ways ahead but it is in sight. It may be a little difficult to reach but there’s no need for despair. Your studies at BIBT have set you on the right path and you have been equipped with the tools to handle the journey. It may get a little rough sometimes but turn those challenges into opportunities and use the stresses and pains you encounter as impetus for greatness and growth.

Among my experiences growing up on the island was crab catching and we were always excited when we caught the big white ones with the huge hard backs, long fins and strong biters. Surprisingly, the backs, fins and biters on crabs do not grow or change. In fact, as the crabs grow and get bigger these protective shells make it most uncomfortable and painful for crabs. The only way to reduce the pain is to get rid of the shell and so they go to a safe place and shed the hard shell. Although shedding the shell is risky for crabs, they nevertheless emerge from these periods of pain and predatory vulnerability bigger, stronger and with a greater sense of dominance.

Graduates, as you leave the hallowed halls of this institution it may be challenging, but be reminded that just like the crabs you will encounter periods of vulnerability and doubt. Challenges will beset you from everywhere, but you must not lose hope. Like the land crab, use these periods of discomfort as opportunities for growth and to advance your purpose. Make life’s challenges your fuel for new discoveries and your stimuli to soar beyond the crowd. if you are to truly experience greatness, sometimes you need to get away from the crowd. Go to a place that will expand your horizon and one that will offer you greater exposure and growth opportunities. This may come with some pain and discomfort but often on the other side of heartaches and stress lays the sweet ecstasy of triumph and victory.

When you enrolled in your program of study at the Bahamas Institute of Business and Technology you were in essence getting away from the crowd. You wanted to grow, make new discoveries and expand beyond the limits of “happy hour, watching tv and the other mundane routines”. And so you entered the walls of BIBT and gave up or cut down on many things you use to do in order to complete your studies. It was painful having to pay school fees, studying late at night, neglecting your friends but you made the sacrifice and now you can celebrate the benefits of your labor.

This demonstrates that the road to greatness is paved with sacrifices. And so if you as members of this graduating class are to drink from the cup of greatness, you too must be determined and willing to overcome the many hurdles that will most certainly present themselves along the way.

This commencement marks the completion of a small step along your career path but it is also a significant indicator of even greater things to come. We believe that your experience at BIBT has equipped you with a plethora of tools to ensure continued success. Use them to their fullest advantage to unleash all the greatness within you and to maximize the benefits of the opportunities that lie ahead.

On behalf of the faculty, staff, students and the entire college community of the Bahamas Institute of Business and Technology, I wish each one of you great blessings and every success in your future endeavors.

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