The University of the Virgin Islands will hold its 46th Annual Commencement Ceremonies May 15 and 16, on the St. Thomas and St. Croix campuses, respectively. The St. Thomas campus ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 15, in the Sports and Fitness Center. The St. Croix campus ceremony will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 16, on the campus grounds.
The class speaker on the St. Thomas campus will be Jaedee S.K. Caines. The class speaker on the St. Croix campus will be Carmie K. Thompson. The class speakers are selected by members of their class.
The keynote speaker for both campuses is Randall Robinson, an internationally respected social justice advocate and author. Robinson is also a professor of law at Penn State University and a graduate of Harvard Law School. In 1979 he established TransAfrica, the mandate of which is to promote enlightened, progressive U.S. policies towards Africa and the Caribbean. While president of that organization, he frequently testified before the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate on U.S. policies toward Africa and the Caribbean. He resigned from TransAfrica in 2001.
Robinson also led the "Free South Africa Movement" - the nation-wide campaign to end apartheid in South Africa. His 1994 campaign to end military rule in Haiti included a 27-day hunger strike that caused the U.S. Government to lead the successful multinational operation that, in 1994, returned to power Haiti's first democratically elected - but violently overthrown - government.
Through his writings, congressional testimony, television appearances and civil disobedience campaigns, Robinson was actively involved in efforts to expose brutality, corruption and economic disparity around the world. He is a best-selling author whose works include "Defending the Spirit; The Debt - What America Owes to Blacks," "The Reckoning - What Blacks Owe to Each Other," "Quitting America - The Departure of a Black Man from his Native Land," and "Unbroken Agony - Haiti: From Revolution to the Kidnapping of a President."
Robinson has received many honorary Ph.D.s, numerous awards and recognitions. He resides in St. Kitts, with his wife Hazel, where he continues to write.
Admission to the St. Thomas campus ceremony is by ticket only. Parking on the St. Thomas campus will be available in the parking lots of the Reichhold Center, the Administration and Conference Center and the upper campus. Shuttle service will be provided to and from the Sports and Fitness Center. Only those with disability permits and who were granted prior special permission will be allowed to park in the Sports and Fitness Center parking lot.
In respect to all of the graduates, their families and friends, the use of air horns, whistles and other noisemakers will not be permitted at either ceremony.