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Our New Chancellor, the Honourable Marcus Stephen: An Appreciation

On 11th September 2009, watched by an audience of thousands, the new Chancellor of the University of the South Pacific was installed in an elaborate ceremony at its Laucala Campus Graduation.  The Universityís new Chancellor is the Honourable Marcus Stephen, President of the Republic of Nauru.

The Honourable Marcus Stephen, President of the Republic of Nauru being installed as the new the Chancellor of the University of the South Pacific being installed by the Vice-Chair of Council, Mr Ikbal Jannif.

The University of the South Pacific is honoured to have the Hon. Marcus Stephen as its latest Chancellor.  In his speech of welcome, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Rajesh Chandra, warmly congratulated the Hon. Marcus Stephen on assuming this important leadership role.  The Vice-Chancellor reminded his audience that, while Nauru was one of the smaller countries within the twelve member countries of the University region, it was no less valued for this.  The assumption of the Chancellorís position by the President of Nauru underscored the egalitarian nature of the University, showing the world that it was the University for Pacific Island nations as well as the University of the South Pacific.

The Vice-Chancellor also reminded his listeners that, while the Republic of Nauru was no longer the rich country it once was, it had in times past been a good and generous supporter of the University of the South Pacific.  During the period when the founding President of the Republic, Hammer deRoburt KBE, was in office, the University benefitted from Nauruís generosity over and above the contributions it had agreed to make to the institution.  Today, as the Republic of Nauru is working its way out of the difficulties that it has been experiencing, the Universityís commitment to its students is unwavering.  That is the nature of the unique USP family.

The Chancellor, the Honourable Marcus Stephen, President of the Republic of Nauru (centre) with the Vice-Chancellor of the University of the South Pacific, Professor Rajesh Chandra.

In a world where young people seem increasingly to be lacking in role models, the Hon. Marcus Stephen is indeed an inspiration.  Before he entered politics, he made his name through the sport of weightlifting.  He entered three Olympic Games but he has had his greatest success at the Commonwealth Games.  At the 1990 Commonwealth Games, he won a gold medal.  At the 1994 Games, he won THREE gold medals.  At the 1998 Games, THREE more.  And finally, in the 2002 Commonwealth Games, he collected three silver medals.  An astonishing achievement for any sportsperson and one that put Nauru firmly in the world spotlight.

His tenacity and his energy have also marked his remarkable political career, from his election to the Nauru Parliament in May 2003 to his installation as President in December 2007.   As President, the Hon. Marcus Stephen has been a shining light for his country, seeking new opportunities for its people and its economy, and putting in place measures to ensure a new level of fiscal stability and good governance.

The University of the South Pacific is proud to have the Honourable Marcus Stephen as its new Chancellor.   Ekamawir omo and tubwa.  Greetings and thank you, Your Excellency.


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Strategic Partnerships, Advancement & Communications (SPAC)
The University of the South Pacific
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