By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
The University of the Bahamas North achieved a high level of academic success at the Grand Bahama campus, with one-third of its student body achieving a 3.0 GPA and higher for the 2017 school semesters.
Some 183 students were named to the Dean’s List and 27 to the President List. The students were recently recognized during the annual Student Success Day held at the campus.
Dr Ian Strachan, vice president of UB North, and Miss University of the Bahamas Nyisha Tilus spoke at the event, inspiring students to continue to achieve success in their academic and personal lives.
While commending students, Dr Strachan explained that success is not only defined by wealth and/or material possessions, and challenged them to look at success differently.
“The brand of shoes you wear, your status, your phone; those are things you tend to think of as success. And although we are here celebrating your achievement … I want to remind you that there is more to success than these trappings.”
Dr Strachan further said: “I can think of people who, according to world standards, are a success, but they are causing the world a whole lot of trouble. I can think of someone with great material wealth and someone who has risen to the office of the most powerful man in the most powerful country in the world … but I don’t know that you would ascribe success to (President) Donald Trump, who to some extent seems to be successful.”
“I can think of those who have won elections and held office and driving in fancy government cars, and who go in the front of the line on Bahamasair and are called Honourable. But those people through the offices they hold are enriching themselves getting paid under the table, hiring their own cronies to do things and making themselves rich off the public purse, …are they successes?
The UB vice president said that a person can have good grades and actually be a horrible person.
He encouraged students to focus on three things that he believes will lead to true success. The first is personal growth (emotional and spiritual maturity); second is finding fulfilment and satisfaction in what they do (not necessarily money); and third, loving themselves and their neighbours.
“The greatest form of success is to love yourself and to love your neighbour as you love yourself - that is hardest one of all, and if you can achieve that, then you have truly achieved success.”
Miss Tilus delivered an inspirational address of her journey about getting a college education and becoming the first Miss UB and overcoming the challenges of poverty and the stigma of being a Haitian-Bahamian from the Mud.
She shared her struggles of growing up in Abaco in one of the largest Haitian shanty villages before finding the courage to go to Nassau and leaving her family to pursue higher education.
“When I got the invitation to come (to speak with you), I was thinking about what to say about my personal story and how it relates to success. Although we equate success to achievement and other things, I equate it to the things I am doing now. When I decided that I wanted to get out (of the Mud), when I wanted to be the best in my field, and I pushed myself. I made deliberate steps to push myself – that’s when I saw things lining up and falling into place,” she said.
Miss Tilus said that each person has something to give to the world. She encouraged students to do their part to make UB, and the country a better place.