Accomplished corporate leader and Governor of the Bank of Jamaica Richard Byles, Olympian Sherika Jackson were on Saturday (November 18,) conferred with honorary degrees at the University of Technology Jamaica graduation ceremony.
In accepting his honorary Doctorate of Law Honoris Causa, Byles expressed that he is honored to receive the prestigious award and noted that the award reflects the importance that the University of Technology Jamaica places on prudent economic management and successful private-sector leadership in building Jamaica.
“Nation building is a long-term enterprise, it is the result of combined efforts of many individuals and groups. Our country’s remarkable economic achievements over the past decade demonstrate this. Just ten years ago, in 2013, the country was in a precarious position, it was one of the most highly indebted nations in the world.
It had only a few weeks of foreign exchange reserves. It had no access to the international capital markets and it had an unenviable record of having started but failed to finish successfully thirteen IMF [International Monetary Fund] programmes,” he said.
In contrast, Byles noted that over the last few months, the country has received upgrades by two of the world’s leading rating agencies with levels that have never been achieved before.
“Those upgrades are more than just signals to investors that Jamaica is a place to do business, they are the result of ten years of diligent work, steadfast commitment, great economic and social sacrifice, and significant fiscal discipline by the people and political leadership of Jamaica,” he added.
The Governor says Jamaica’s economic progress demonstrates that when united the country can overcome monumental challenges.
Byles urged a common plan to drastically reduce crime, invest more in and reap more from the education system, and clean up the country’s physical environment.
World Champion Sherika Jackson who also received the honorary Doctorate of Law Honoris Causa told Our Today that she was surprised when she learned that she was a recipient of the honorary degree.
“When I just heard, I was kind of surprised but then I am super excited. I am here today and it’s my first and I am excited,” she said.
Jackson also urged young athletes to keep working hard despite the challenges they may face along the journey.
“Keep working hard, along the journey you are going to have persons who doubt your ability or what you are capable of but keep going because there are so many you can achieve, just keep believing in yourself,” she said.
Dr Patrick Dallas, a distinguished figure in the chemical engineering, control engineering, and ICT industries Dr Patrick Dallas was also conferred with the Doctor of Technology Honoris Causa on Friday, November 17, at day one of the university graduation ceremony.
They are among several distinguished individuals who have received honorary degrees from the University of Technology Jamaica.
Other honorary graduates include Lascelles Chin, Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Justice Zaila McCalla, and Jamaican sprinter Elaine Thompson-Herah.