With the theme: “Charting our future, guided by our heritage, faithfully negotiating new possibilities the new University College of the Cayman Islands President and CEO, Dr. Stacy R. McAfee, was officially inaugurated. There was much talk and excitement in all the speeches about the new, fresh vision that Dr. McAfee will bring to the role.
After the official procession of student, staff, faculty and alumni representatives, plus representatives and partners from overseas universities, as well as dignitaries from the Cayman Islands Government had settled in their places, the speeches began.
Mr. Anthony Ritch, Chairman of the UCCI Board of Governors said: “This is a special ceremony as it marks the first investiture ceremony in the history of the University and secondly, Dr. McAfee is our first female President. Dr. McAfee has big dreams for the University College and she has been working extremely hard to share her vision nationally. She has made clear her commitment to educational excellence and to the UCCI becoming a more student-centered institution.”
H.E The Governor Martyn Roper OBE said, in a written message, “Dr. McAfee brings a bold vision of change to enhance the learning environment and expertize of UCCI students, to advocate for the level of resources the university needs to carry out its mission, and to expand the positive and multifaceted impact that the university can have on many aspects of life in the Cayman Islands.”
Hon Premier Alden McLaughlin said, “It gives me great pleasure to welcome Dr. Stacy R. McAfee…she comes with a distinctive vision focused on the treasures of this institution and its students. Prior to taking up her post here in January, she served as Associate Vice President for External Relations, Strategic Partnerships and Presidential Initiatives for the University of Pacific. I trust you will join me in offering a warm Caymanian welcome.”
Hon. Franz Manderson Deputy Governor of the Cayman Islands said: “I have been struck by Struck her passion, and get on board with her vision and what she wants to achieve and I very much look forward to working with her.”
In her Keynote Address, Dr. Bilita Mattes, Provost of Harrisburg University, said:
“It is an honor and a privilege to be here. It’s a true opportunity to build on the foundation built by Mr. Bodden and his team, and an opportunity to move to the next step and create a world class education for graduates who are globally competitive…What she (Dr. McAfee) brings most of all is a different point of view To make Dr. McAfee’s vision, hopefully the community’s vision, a reality, there has to be some embracing of change.
Dr. Pamela A. Eibeck, President of the University of the Pacific, said: “It is clear that the University College of the Cayman Islands is one of those treasured universities, ready to transform those opportunities for the economy and the community of the Cayman Islands.”
During the official ceremony, Mr. Anthony Ritch then led the new President in an oath of office, hand raised, as she promised to do the best for the students and staff for the UCCI. Then she was officially presented with the emblems of office, including the Academic Regalia, Presidential Regalia, Institutional Seal, Presidential Medallion and the University Mace, which is the symbol of the institution’s governing authority.
Dr. McAfee said: I am honored beyond all measure to lead this fine institution through the next phase of transformation. I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of support. I’d just like to say that an important responsibility of a president and CEO is to remove barriers, so the talented employees can accomplish what they are able to do.”