Ag. Deputy Chief Information Officer
Department of Information & Public Relations
Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie has stated that the future of the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) is beyond imagination and that the Government of the Virgin Islands will continue to support the institution where it can.
The Premier was addressing a ceremony to mark 30 years since the institution’s founding earlier today.
Premier Fahie said, “If we limit our imagination we cannot see where HLSCC is going. This will not only be an institution for learning but it will be a gateway for education because people will come from all walks of life here whether it is to get a degree or training.”
Acting President, Dr. Richard Georges stated that the institution has made significant strides and is now offering students including those from the Eastern Caribbean culinary and hospitality programmes. He said the college’s Marine and Maritime Training was named the 2016 Centre of Excellence in the Region by the OECS which proves the government’s investment is good.
This investment he said was made in December 2019, when the Government of the Virgin Islands in collaboration with Unite BVI handed over a cheque for three hundred thousand dollars (US$300,000) to fund the Marine Training Programme.
Dr. Georges said another achievement made within the decade was in 2015 when the HLSCC became the last international institution to be accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
The Acting President further shared his own gratitude stating that he would not be the man he is today without the institution. He added that the focus for the upcoming decade will aid in helping the growth of the college and increase its impact on the lives of the Territory’s people.
Dr. Georges said, “As the college begins its forth decade, the administration and the Board of Governors are committed to positioning the institution to make real its mission, to become the regional institution of choice.”
To achieve this, he said the college has set four institutional priorities including:
- Student Learning and Success – Aligned with the workforce and economy
- Image and Community Relations – Building ties with other institutions and the HLSCC brand
- Accountability, Sustainability and Stewardship – Environmentally conscious structural development; and
- Enrollment and Retention – Reaching out to prospective students.
Meanwhile, Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture, Dr. the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley in his remarks acknowledged all persons responsible for the success of the college.
He also admitted that he misses teaching in classroom but realises that he is on a greater mission in education.
“Teaching was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and I will cherish my time at HLSCC forever,” the minister said, adding “I serve in a different capacity now but I am well placed to support the college. I have been given a mandate by the leader of the Territory, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie, to align our education system with our economy, to ensure that HLSCC is facilitating the training needs of present and verging industries”
During the ceremony, a tribute to the late Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal, Member Emeritus was acknowledged with a video depicting his life, legacy and involvement in the development of the college along with the unveiling of a portrait painted by Mr. Ruben Vanterpool.
HLSCC’s Founder’s Day is observed every year on January 14.
Attached: Photograph of H. Lavity Stoutt Community College.