The University of the Virgin Islands was founded 50 years ago as the College of the Virgin Islands, and marking that event, the university will celebrate its “Golden Jubilee” throughout the 2012 calendar year.
Various Golden Jubilee events will give past and current administrators, faculty, staff, students, alumni, supporters and friends an opportunity to commemorate the University’s history, to celebrate its current successes, and to plan for the future.
The theme for the Golden Jubilee is “Honoring Our Past -Creating Our Future.”
“It is an extremely special honor to serve as President of University of the Virgin Islands during the time when we celebrate the 50-year journey of this very special institution. UVI was carved from a ‘stone of need’ but has grown to become a jewel of the Caribbean. I am convinced that our next 50 years will be even greater than the first because of the wonderful foundation laid by those who came before, and the outstanding qualities of this present generation of students, faculty, staff and supporters. There is no limit to what UVI can achieve,” said President David Hall.
David Hall, the fifth president of UVI, began his tenure on August 1, 2009. Past presidents, in order, were Lawrence C. Wanlass, Arthur A. Richards, Orville E. Kean, and LaVerne E. Ragster. Ragster was the first and only female president to date.
The University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) was chartered on March 16, 1962, as the College of the Virgin Islands (CVI), a publicly funded, coeducational, liberal arts institution by Act No. 862 of the Fourth Legislature of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The College of the Virgin Islands’ first campus was opened on St. Thomas in July 1963, on 175 acres donated by the federal government. A second campus was founded in 1964, on St. Croix, on 130 acres, also donated by the federal government. In 1986, the College of the Virgin Islands was renamed the University of the Virgin Islands.
CVI began by offering only associate of arts degrees. UVI now offers numerous associate and baccalaureate degrees, including an associate’s degree in process technology. UVI also offers five master’s degree programs, an education specialist’s degree program, and certificate workforce training courses through the UVI Community Engagement and Lifelong Learning Center.
With approximately 2,700 full time and part time students on its two campuses, UVI continues to offer a high-quality, affordable liberal arts education in a culturally diverse environment. Today, the University boasts more than 10,479 alumni.
Some of the Golden Jubilee activities commemorating the 50 year milestone will be:
- Golden Jubilee receptions: Jan. 25 on St. John, Jan. 26 on St. Thomas, and Jan. 27 on St. Croix.
- The month of March will be designated Charter Month. There will be a host of Charter Month activities on both campuses, including a Golden Jubilee Reunion Choir performance on Saturday, March 3.
- The Reichhold Center for the Arts will commemorate the University’s 50th Anniversary with Golden Jubilee performances specially selected by former UVI presidents. (www.reichholdcenter.com)
- Throughout the year, as part of the Golden Jubilee, visitors to the UVI website (www.uvi.edu) will be able to take a step back in time with first-person “We Are UVI” alumni reminiscences.
- This Golden Jubilee year will see the re-institution of “Friday Forums at 50,” a return to the popular “Ideas & Issues” forums that were held in the early days at CVI.
- In December 2012, the University will host Golden Jubilee Galas on St. Thomas and St. Croix.
For more information about the University of the Virgin Islands’ Golden Jubilee activities, please visit the UVI website at www.uvi.edu, or call the Golden Jubilee hotline at (340) 693-1604.