SPECIALIZING IN FUTURES
Th mntlyneslttr f heUnvesit fteVrisad
May 29, vol xv, number 5
UVI Gives Territory 'Stimulus Packaaes'
F acing one of the toughest eco-
nomic times in history, University
of the Virgin Islands graduates seemed
optimistic and excited as they received
their degrees at Commencement cer-
emonies on the St. Thomas and St.
Croix campuses on May 18 and 19,
respectively. Amaris Chew, the class 7
speaker on the St. Croix campus ad-
dressed the issue head-on.
"We have established something
to boost our economy," Chew said. UVI St. Thomas cat.
"We created the VI's own stimulus to leave the Sports a
package. We call it the University of lowing the Commen
the Virgin Islands Class of 2009 and it :.1,7-:. i., take pic,
is our job to stimulate this economy."
She urged fellow graduates to make the same investment
to the community that their families and the community
at-large have invested in them. Chew said that the gradu-
ates should continue to achieve more milestones. "The
temptation to stop now is the greatest risk on our road
to accomplishment," she said. "There are economies to
save, health and environmental policies to be reconsid-
ered, representative statuses to be acquired, faulty bu-
reaucracies to deconstruct then reconstruct, violence to
be stopped and most importantly children to raise."
St. Thomas campus class speaker Rick Grant likened
commencement to an art show where the graduates were
works of art, intricately created and ready to be auctioned.
"We are about to leave the UVI studio. Please note, this
does not signify completed portraits," Grant said, telling
graduates to never settle for less than they are worth. "Be
mindful to always dust yourselves off so your glory will
be ever-present," he said. "Only sell to the highest bid-
der because the proceeds will benefit
our community." Framing of the por-
traits, he said, should be held off as
long as possible.
Throughout his speech, Grant al-
luded to 29 "portraits" that stood out
-from among the group, 29 graduates
ewho defy the odds. Everyone waited
in anticipation for the 29 special grad-
uates to be revealed. "The featured
portraits of this art show 29 male
us graduates prepare portraits. Rise and be recognized,"
d Fitness Center fol- Grant said to rousing applause, as the
meant ceremony while men stood. "We have made it to por-
res. trait status."
UVI President Dr. LaVerne E.
Ragster highlighted some of the University's accomplish-
ments over the past year. She also noted some of the firsts
among the class of 2009, including the first graduates to
earn associate in applied science degrees in criminal jus-
tice. Dr. Ragster said that graduates have been well pre-
pared by UVI faculty and staff for conditions they are
about to face in a changing world. She encouraged the
graduates to "see challenges and problems as opportuni-
ties in disguise." Quoting Mohammed, Dr. Ragster said
a man's true wealth is the good he does in the world.
See Commencement on Next Page
Reef Fest is Outdoor Classroom
Frank Galdo holds
a beached puffer
fish at the First
Annual Reef Fest,
._... ... held on May 17,
at Smith Bay Park
: on St. Thomas.
The day offered
S"themed games and
exhibits, in an ef-
fort to educate the community on preserving the territory's marine
environment. The University of the Virgin Islands was a sponsor of
Left: The UVI delega-
tion at Paquito Mon-
taner Stadium in Ponce,
PR.., for the dance
UVI President Dr La-
Verne E. Ragster leads
the UVI delegation as it
participates in the pro-
UVI Comes Out Strong for Justas
Since joining the Liga Atletica Interuniversitaria, a
university athletic league in Puerto Rico commonly
referred to as LAI, the University of the Virgin Islands
has participated annually in Justas a sports competition
that involves all of LAI participating schools. More than
10,000 students attendJustas each year, which has become
a major social and sporting event in Puerto Rico.
This year, for the first time, UVI's delegation included
more than just student athletes. More than 100 students,
staff and faculty traveled with the athletes as a show of
support at the April 25-26 event. Also for the first time,
UVI participated in Justas' Dance Team Competition,
"Class of 2009, I charge you to go out in the world and do
The keynote speaker for both ceremonies was Hon.
Denzil L. Douglas, the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and
Nevis. "You have put in place an essential cornerstone a
cornerstone for a safe and secure future," he said at the St.
Thomas campus ceremony. "For that I commend you."
Dr. Douglas said that the graduates will all help to shape
While earning a degree is a triumphant stage of life,
which was heavily supported by the UVI delegation.
On April 25, the UVI delegation, headed by UVI
President Dr. LaVerne E. Ragster, participated in the
procession of schools around the Paquito Montaner Sta-
dium, to rousing applause. The trip was an occasion for
UVI students from St. Croix and St. Thomas to come
together to display their Buccaneer pride.
More than 20 universities from across Puerto Rico
and the U.S. Virgin Islands compete in nearly 20 sport-
ing events. The games end with the crowning of the uni-
versity with the highest ranking in both the men's and
Dr. Douglas told the graduates to be prepared for addi-
tional obstacles. "In the most successful lives there will be
moments of private pain, private fear, private trials mo-
ments of darkness," he said. The key to every successful
person is that "each time they stumbled and fell, they got
up," he said. "I ask that you step forward, determined to
be a force of good in this world."
P4A e& : UVI is a production of the UVI Public Rela-
tions Office. Contact us by telephone at 340-693-1056 or by
fax at 340-693-1055.
2 John Brewer's Bay
St. Thomas, VI 00802
I GE CONCE OUI nes actviie an copismnsa..w wuved I