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NCU to Honour Shirlene Henriques at Historic 100th Graduation Exercise

Local News 09 Aug, 2023 Follow News

Mrs. Henriques (left) receiving a certificate of recognition in 2019 from Mrs. Nelda Rose Dracket.

Northern Caribbean University (NCU) will confer the honorary Doctor of Science degree on Caymanian Shirlene Henriques, MA, OCI, who graduated among the first batch of NCU-degreed nurses in 1974. 

The honorary doctorate will be awarded during the institution’s historic 100th commencement exercise on Sunday (August 13, 2023).  The “robing and hooding” ceremony will take place in Grand Cayman at the George Town Seventh-day Adventist Church, on Smith Road, at 8 am on Sunday. This local aspect of the conferral will be presided over by President of the Cayman Islands Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Ivor Harry, DMin, assisted by Livingston Smith, PhD, and Joan Latty, PhD.

Mrs. Henriques retired as Chief Executive Officer of the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority in 2008. In 2021 she was made an Officer of the Order of the Cayman Islands (OCI) for distinguished services to nursing and the Cayman community.

At this 100th graduation ceremony, more than 700 graduands from 77 academic programmes offered across the institution’s four colleges and one school are eligible for the conferral of certificates and degrees. The 100th graduation exercises will be held August 10-13 in the gymnatorium on the Mandeville Campus of NCU.

The president of NCU, Prof. Lincoln Edwards, DDS, PhD, described the 2023 graduating class as “prestigious, not only because of the determination” that took graduates to where they are today, but because this is “the 100th graduation ceremony since the institution opened its doors on this hilltop.”

Mrs. Henriques is the third Caymanian NCU graduate to be conferred with an honorary doctorate from NCU, the first being Dr. Wilton McDonald, who received the Honorary Doctor of Divinity in 2013.  The second was Dr. the Hon. Linford Pierson, former Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Cabinet Minister, and long-serving Civil Servant, upon whom NCU conferred the Honorary Doctor of Public Service in 2021.

Among recognition earned during Mrs. Henriques’s nursing career, the 1995 award of the Cayman Islands Certificate and Badge of Honour (Cert. Hon.) highlighted her work with AIDS patients.

Other contributions to the development of the nursing sector in the Cayman Islands included her role as In-Service Education Coordinator at the Islands’ then-only hospital, where she introduced the LPN (Licensed Practical Nurses) training. As a testament to the rigorous standards of the initiative, several of the first batch of graduates completed their BSN in Florida in two years, Mrs. Henriques said.

After 34 years’ ground-breaking service, she retired in 2008 as Chief Executive Officer of the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority.

Mrs. Henriques is well known in the Cayman community for her philanthropic initiatives, led by her Manna House Pantry.  That agency has been collaborating with the Cayman Food Bank since 2018 in distribution of food to families in need.

Others to be awarded honorary doctorates at this 100th graduation exercises include the Hon. Audrey Sewell, the recently appointed Cabinet Secretary of the Government of Jamaica, on whom NCU is expected to confer the Honorary Doctor of Public Service. Jamaican-born hotelier and businessman, Mr. Dennis Morgan, who is also an alumnus of NCU, will receive the Honorary Doctor of Commerce degree.

Mrs. Sewell will deliver the keynote address at the second of two commencement ceremonies on Sunday (August 13) while United States-based telecommunication entrepreneur, Mr. Freddie Figgers will address the morning ceremony.

In the special awards category, senior NCU administrator Georgette Baker will be awarded the 2023 President’s Medallion, while the 2023 “Product Sample” will be awarded to NCU alumna Dr Melva Spence, who is a counselling psychologist and advocate.


Nurses’ Pinning and Thanksgiving Ceremony for Thursday, August 10, 2023, at 10:00 am: Audrey Gregory, PhD, President and CEO for AdventHealth, Central Florida Division - North Region.

Consecration Service speaker for Friday, August 11, 2023, at 7:00 pm: Pastor Obed Babb, MA, Cayman Islands Conference of Seventh-day Adventist Director of Education, Deputy Director Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), and Pastor Solid Rock Church.

Baccalaureate Service speaker for Saturday, August 12, 2023, at 10:30 am: Pastor Glen O. Samuels President, West Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

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