RMI graduate speaker Ms Claire Loeak delivering her address during the RMI USP graduation ceremony.
Graduate speaker of The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Republic of Marshall Islands Campus (RMI) Ms Claire Loeak reminisced how her determination to return to studies after thirteen (13) years was one of the best decisions she made.
Ms Loeak, an alumnus of the University who completed her Bachelor of Laws degree in 2015, was presented as part of the RMI Campus graduation ceremony on 23 May 2017.
Ms Loeak recalls the twists and turns life had presented in order for her to complete her programme and thanked her family and friends along with RMI Campus staff for their unwavering support throughout her LLB journey at USP.
“I can only repay you by partaking in our community’s development in this global economy, to strive to follow the footsteps of those who came before us, recognised our cultural significance and the desire to preserve it and integrated it as a component in the development of our young democratic societies,” Ms Loeak said.
The graduate speaker congratulated the University on the opening of its new RMI Campus which coincided with USP’s 84th Council Meeting, and acknowledged the Council Members for their unrelenting vision to facilitate accessible education to students through the region and in particular in RMI.
“Your vision has become our reality as we just witnessed the formal opening of this beautiful Campus and its well-equipped facilities,” Ms Loeak added.
She talked about the University’s Jaki-Ed weaving programme that provides local master weavers an opportunity to share their knowledge with the students.
To this, Ms Loeak noted that not only did the programme open an opportunity for young women to acquire and develop a new life-skill that can financially contribute to their families; it has also provided an opportunity for the traditional art of Jaki-Ed weaving to be preserved.
RMI graduates during the graduation ceremony at the new RMI Campus.
She also lauded the climate change programme at USP and said that no other programme offers a more practical and hands on experience on the various issues stemming impacts of climate change on all fronts than that of USP’s.
“The region’s most vulnerable communities experience these adverse impacts on a regular basis.
“It was said by our founding father, the late former President & Iroijlaplap Amata Kabua on his installation as Chancellor of the University that by establishing an extension campus of the University throughout the region, the USP Council has taken the University to the community,” Ms Loeak said.
She said that she is happy for the RMI Campus and its leadership throughout, for retaining its invaluable membership and added that, “I am especially proud to say that our founding father’s vision of USP’s role in shaping RMI’s future has become a tangible one.”
With the new Campus in place, Ms Loeak’s advice to current and future students is that now is a good time to begin when it comes to pursuing their goals.
“You have what it takes to achieve your goals and now you are equipped with proper facilities just to do that!” a delighted Ms Loeak said.
A total of forty-six (46) students graduated from the RMI Campus.
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