Emotions ran high as Professor Pal Ahluwalia, the Vice-Chancellor and President of The University of the South Pacific (USP) arrived in the country this morning from Apia, Samoa where he received a warm welcome from staff and students who eagerly awaited his arrival.
Professor Ahluwalia accompanied by his wife, Ms Sandy Price was received and welcomed at the Nadi International Airport by the Deputy Vice-Chancellors and Vice-Presidents, Professor Jito Vanualailai and Dr Giulio Paunga, USP Council Secretariat representative, Mr Totivi Bokini-Ratu, Lautoka Campus Director, Ms Pramila Devi, USP Student Association representatives, USP Staff Association representatives, staff and students.
Professor Ahluwalia said, “I’m so humbled to see everyone here and it is an absolute joy to be back and an opportunity for us to continue serving USP. The support from staff, students and regional governments has just been incredible. It was so beautiful to see how much our staff fought; the fight wasn’t just for me; it was for a bigger cause and I’m just a catalyst for the bigger change they wanted to see.”
“I am so proud of our students, staff and alumni and the welcome we got just shows how beautiful this country is and how beautiful the people are. The next step for me is to work with my Senior Management Team to make sure we get the best out of our students and the region.”
USP Student Association Lautoka Campus representative, Hannah Kumar who was part of the welcoming party said, “We are really excited to have Professor Pal back, even though I’m nervous because I’m going to garland him but this is an opportunity and we’re very excited and happy about it.”
During his week-long visit, Professor Ahluwalia will attend several events and meetings, including the Thanksgiving Service, the launch of the Alumni Relationship Management Service, and the welcoming of international students the following week. He plans to visit the USP Pacific TAFE Centre in Namaka today, followed by the USP Lautoka Campus, where he will meet with staff and students.