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Celia Davidson Francis, Director of Alumni Relations UWISTAT 10 Greeting

Celia Davidson Francis, Director of Alumni Relations UWISTAT 10 Greeting

UWI STAT is my PASSION and my PRIDE – and today January 6, 2016 is UWI STAT’s 10th Anniversary!

It's been an amazing journey so far, and I'm so grateful that this idea has been such a success and has enabled amazing young people to contribute to their university as well as to grow as individuals. It's rare to be able to touch so many people's lives. I was excited to help connect our students, our future alumni, on a regional basis and give them the opportunity to connect with each other, as well as with the Vice Chancellor, the Administration, their fellow students and the alumni population. When I reflect on the last 10 years, I am very proud of the national, regional and international representation given to UWI through the regional Corps. Additionally, the Ambassadors are empowered by the exposure they get and many have gone on to excel gaining Rhodes, Chevening and other scholarships and major Awards such as the Queen’s Award.

That's why I'm even more excited about the next ten years than the last. The first ten years were about bootstrapping this network. Now through the Alumni Ambassador network, we have the resources to have an even greater impact as these graduates go into the world, yet form a cadre of young professionals that remain loyal and interested in their alma mater, but most importantly are not dormant but rather vibrant and involved –an excellent example for the alumni population at large. It's been amazing to see how the Ambassadors, both current and alumni, have built a real community. They have shared the happy moments and the painful ones. They are keeping connected as they have their wedding, start their new families, and have helped each other, as sounding boards and in practical ways - and this has happened all across the Caribbean.

However, UWI STAT has not been operating in isolation. I use this opportunity to thank our Vice Chancellor Emeritus, Professor E. Nigel Harris who was our Champion and embraced the idea and allowed me to create UWI STAT. In addition, the following persons are UWI STAT “family” having supported the Corps in various ways throughout the years: Ms. Allison Fung, Mrs. Marjorie Bolero Haughton, Roseanne Maxwell, Stacie Miller, Lacey Ann Bartley and Alicia Maragh – the UWI STAT Coordinators and Camille Wilson who currently assists me. Thanks too to the Offices of the Principals, Deputy Principals, Campus Registrars, Student Guilds, Offices of Student Services, Offices of Marketing and Communications and all the other UWI offices with which UWI STAT interacts. Thanks too to Roseanne Maxwell and Carol Ayoung and Camille Edwards for their assistance in working with the Corps in Barbados, and Trinidad to build human capital and support and empower the Ambassadors to contribute in a tangible way to the development and life of the UWI. I feel a deep responsibility to ensure that UWI STAT, which is literally my “living legacy”, continues to thrive, evolve and always remain relevant and more successful and I look forward to the next 10 years!

Celia Davidson Francis
Director, Alumni Relations

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