Guyana prez forthcoming visit part of ‘important tradition’ at MEC

Guyana’s President David Granger.
CARICOM Community

Medgar Edgar College’s [MEC] President Dr. Rudolph Crew has said that the visit of the president of the Republic of Guyana to the Crown Heights-based college in April continues “an important tradition” at the predominantly Black Brooklyn school.

“We are pleased to welcome the Hon. David A. Granger, the president of the Republic of Guyana, as the keynote speaker at our Second Annual International Education Awards Ceremony on April 27, 2017,” Dr. Crew told Caribbean Life. “Following the successful visit last year of the Hon. Dr. Keith Rowley, the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, for our inaugural awards ceremony, this upcoming awards ceremony continues an important tradition.

Crew said Medgar Evers College “represents the new global reality and embraces it,” pointing to recent enrollment figures that show that over 11 percent of college’s students are from Trinidad and Tobago, and almost half come from Jamaica, Haiti or Guyana.

“We are our own Diaspora here in Brooklyn, which, in turn, is an increasingly energized cultural hub for people from all over the world,” said Crew, adding that Global Intelligence is key to the college’s strategic plan for the 21st century.

“We are steadily increasing our support for study abroad by seeking scholarships and other sources of funding,” the college president said. “We are also establishing partnerships with important international institutions with a goal of student and faculty exchange and joint international programs.”

The study abroad program, offered through Medgar Ever College’s International Education Program, sends students to destinations that include Australia, China, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, France, Grenada, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Panama, Spain, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Eugene Pursoo, the director of the International Program, is the former United Nations Ambassador for Grenada.

He told Caribbean Life that the presence of President Granger “underscores the importance of international education in today’s interconnected world.

“MEC is determined to position its students to be among the front runners of global education, because it is crucial for their preparedness to negotiate the challenges and opportunities in today’s globalized world,” he said.

“This Annual International Education Award Ceremony is to recognize the noble efforts of the many faculty, staff, students, alumni, community and corporate contributors that are enabling the internationalization of our campus,” Pursoo added. “It is the college’s way of saying ‘thank you’ every year.”

Tara Regist-Tomlinson, the Panamian-born director of Development and Alumni Relations at Medgar Evers College, told Caribbean Life that Granger has been invited to speak at the college’s Founders Auditorium on Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn.

Crew, a former chancellor of New York City public school system, will also speak at the Awards Ceremony, Regist-Tomlinson said.

Rowley delivered the keynote address to a standing-room only audience at last year’s inaugural Awards Ceremony.

Granger’s feature remarks will be preceded by a VIP Reception, sponsored by several New York businesses, at the college’s Academic Complex I Building on Bedford Avenue.

“It will be an intimate gathering of sponsors and dignitaries, and will last one hour,” Regist-Tomlinson said.

She, however, said the Awards Ceremony is free and open to the general public, “and will recognize pillars of the community who have been supportive of the international studies program at Medgar Evers College.”

Regist-Tomlinson said funds raised through the VIP Reception will help to “advance the mission of Medgar Evers College.”

Medgar Evers College, located in the heart of the Caribbean community in Brooklyn, was founded as a result of collaborative efforts by community leaders, elected officials, the Chancellor and the Board of Higher Education of the City University of New York (CUNY).

The college, which boasts a student population of mostly Caribbean nationals or descendants of Caribbean nationals, is named after the slain American civil rights leader, Medgar Evers.

The college was established in 1969 “with a mandate to meet the educational and social needs of Central Brooklyn.”

“The college is committed to the fulfillment of this mandate,” according to its mission statement.

“In keeping with the philosophy of The City University and Medgar Evers College, we believe that education is the right of all individuals in the pursuit of self-actualization,” the statement said. “Consequently, the college’s mission is to develop and maintain high quality, professional, career oriented undergraduate degree programs in the context of liberal education.”

Medgar Evers College offers programs both at the baccalaureate and at the associate degree levels, “giving close attention to the articulation between the two-year and the four-year programs.”

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