New and Returning Students Receive Virtual Welcome at Annual Academic Induction Ceremony

Members of the University’s Executive Management and Academic Staff (from left: Dr. Janet Campbell-Shelly, Dean, College of Health Sciences, Mrs. Dorsett Gabbidon-Pottinger, Assistant Registrar, Student Services, Professor Colin Gyles, Acting President, Mrs. Mercedes Deane, University Registrar, Professor Shermaine Barrett, Dean, Faculty of Education and Liberal Studies, Dr. Garfield Young, Dean, Faculty of The Built Environment, Dr. Prathiba Mahanamahewa, Dean, Faculty of Law, Professor Nilza Aples, Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Computing, Dr. Andrea Sutherland, Dean, College of Business and Management, and Dr. Haldane Johnson, Acting Deputy President pose with the University’s mascot, the UTech, Jamaica Knight  at the Academic Induction Ceremony, held at the Alfred Sangster Auditorium on August 21, 2020 and streamed live on the University’s YouTube channel.

Mr. Khalil Hutchinson, President,  Students’ Union carries the Mace of Knowledge during the processional. 

The University of Technology, Jamaica gave a warm virtual welcome to new and returning students at its annual Academic Induction Ceremony held on Friday, August 21, 2020 at the Alfred Sangster Auditorium, Papine Campus and streamed live on the University’s YouTube channel. The annual ceremony marks the culmination of a week of orientation activities, when all undergraduate students are formally welcomed and introduced to the University Council, members of the Executive Management team and other academic and administrative staff. Safety measures surrounding the mitigation of the spread of COVID-19 necessitated the live streaming of the ceremony online, but the change of format did not diminish the commitment of the University to provide new and returning students with the best possible start to their tertiary education experience for Academic Year 2020/21.

The week of orientation dubbed W.O.W (Week of Welcome) was held from Sunday, August 16 to Saturday, August 21, 2020 with a number of virtual events and activities aimed at familiarizing students with policies and procedures for the new academic year. These activities included “Meet the Deans”, “Getting to Know Your Services” “WOW Clubs and Societies Fair”, “Getting to Know Your Students’ Union Council”, “Getting to Know Your Colleges and Faculties”, a Community Service Conference and a Fresher’s Social. The Western Campus also held a New and Transfer Students’ Orientation via Zoom on Thursday, August 20, 2020.

During the ceremony, Mrs. Mercedes Deane, University Registrar, offered her congratulations to students on matriculating to the University. She indicated that the Academic Induction Ceremony played an important role in marking a significant transition in the life of students, as they began their tertiary journey. She went on to note that “through these activities, our students and stakeholders are introduced to the rich history and traditions of the University of Technology, Jamaica by way of its mission, vision, core values and its symbols of identity.”  Mrs. Deane urged students to adopt the core values of the University, noting that “we do not require you to be perfectionists, but we require you to strive for excellence, because excellence is the hallmark of this community.”

Professor Colin Gyles, Acting President, in his charge to new students affirmed the University’s commitment to its mission to advance and disseminate knowledge through teaching, scholarship and research, even as the University navigates an extraordinary time in history and faces unprecedented challenges.  Professor Gyles noted that despite the difficulties, the University is able to maintain its standards and has made adjustments to provide students with the best experience of university life and learning. While indicating that most courses of study were shifting to online platforms, Professor Gyles noted that the University’s reputation for producing work-ready graduates with practical, hands-on training would not be sacrificed, adding that teaching and learning will be done in a safe environment, with appropriate COVID-19 mitigation procedures and protocols.

Professor Gyles further reassured students that they had chosen an ideal time to invest in themselves, “despite the challenges, and the general upheaval to our way of life brought on by this pandemic.” He noted that, “We recognize that you could have gone elsewhere but you have chosen to be a part of our family, and I want to welcome you specially, and to let you know that in choosing to invest in yourself at this time, you are helping to ensure your own survival, your own sustainability, as we move ahead through the various challenges that lie in front of us.  When you leave here, in four years or less, we promise that if you make the best use of the opportunities that we provide you, you will be a better person,” the Acting President affirmed.

The ceremony concluded with Mr. Khalil Hutchinson, President of the Students’ Union, leading the Students’ Pledge, and with the University Registrar leading the University’s response. Mr. Hector Wheeler, Vice President of Advancement, served as chairperson of the Academic Induction Ceremony. The live streaming of the ceremony was facilitated by the Learning Technologies Support Unit (LTSU) and Instructional Media Services (IMS) Calvin McKain Library.

Pictorial Highlights

Mrs. Mercedes Deane, University Registrar, leads the procession at the start of the ceremony.

The UTech, Jamaica Knight dances as he is introduced at the ceremony. 

Mr. Daniel Jackson, Saxophonist, entertained with the popular  Simon and Garfunkel song “Bridge Over Troubled Waters”.

Watch the full Academic Induction Ceremony here:


Michelle Beckford (Mrs.)
Corporate Communications Manager
University of Technology, Jamaica
Telephone: 876 970-5299