The University of the Virgin Islands will celebrate its 55th Emerald Jubilee throughout the month of March with multiple events and activities. Originally chartered by the Fourth Legislature on March 16, 1962, the then College of the Virgin Islands served the community as a publicly funded, co-educational, liberal arts institution. Today UVI offers 46 degree programs including, 37 undergraduate degrees and nine graduate degrees through five schools and colleges: Business, Education, Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, Nursing, and Science and Mathematics. The University also now offers a rigorous doctoral program where students can obtain a Ph.D. in Creative Leadership for Innovation and Change.
“Charter Day is always a special moment to reflect on UVI’s historic and transformative journey in higher education,” said UVI President David Hall. “It is an extra special moment this year because 2017 marks the 55th anniversary of the founding of the University of the Virgin Islands. It is also the year that the Virgin Islands commemorates the Transfer Centennial.” Hall continued, “All of these special landmarks will converge to create an inspiring and memorable occasion.”
The University will host is annual Charter Day Program at 10 a.m. on March 24, in the Administration and Conference Center (ACC) on the St. Thomas Campus, with live streaming to the Great Hall on the Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix. Senate President Myron Jackson will be the keynote speaker. “We are honored to welcome Senate President Myron Jackson, a renowned cultural preservationist and historical keeper for the Virgin Islands,” said President Hall. “His insights and leadership responsibilities in the Virgin Islands government will make this an event the community should not miss.”
Dion Parson and Friends will enliven the program by performing several local folk songs as well as jazz standards and original compositions by percussionist and artist-in-residence Dion Parson. The band will also accompany special guest vocalist, Lorna Freeman, as she performs two surprise selections.
“Charter Day is a great time for any educational institution, but especially for UVI as it is the only institution of higher learning in the territory,” said Parson. “The University of the Virgin Islands has served the community of the US Virgin Islands for 55 years, and has produced many great leaders within our community.” Parson continued, “I am thrilled and honored to serve the University as an artist-in-residence, and to represent the University and the territory as a musical ambassador throughout the world.”
Other UVI Emerald Jubilee Events include:
- UVI Little Theatre Presents “Strong Currents” - opening March 16
- The UVI 5K Queen Mary Walk/Run - March 17
- UVI Charter Day Concert - March 17
- Afternoon on the Green – March 19
- Playing Ring Tea Meeting - A Walk Through VI Culture & History – March 25
- Voices of Inspiration Choir Concert - March 26
“Strong Currents: A Tribute to Austin ‘Tom’ Clarke” was written and directed by UVI’s own David Edgecombe, UVI associate professor of communication. Based on Clarke’s novels, “The Meeting Point” and “Storm of Fortune”, the play will be performed at UVI’s Little Theater in the Classroom Administration Building at 8 p.m. on March 16, 17, 18, 24 and 25; and at 7 p.m. on March 19. Tickets are $5 for students and $15 for general admission, and are available at the UVI bookstore, the Human Resources Center in the Administration and Conference Center Building (ACC), and online at www.reichholdcenter.org.
The 16 annual UVI 5K Queen Mary Walk/Run is set for the morning of March 17. This event will move from the Sunshine Mall to UVI’s Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix. Registration is $10. Pre-registration for this event began Feb. 27, and ends March 16, 2017. The first 70 registered participants will receive a commemorative T-shirt, and breakfast will be provided at the end of the race. Prizes will be awarded to the first and second overall male and female walkers/runners. For more information, visit: http://www.uvi.edu/announcements/articles/current/uvi_walk_run.aspx, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (340) 692-4162.
Also set for March 17, is the UVI Charter Day Concert at 8 p.m. at the Reichhold Center for the Arts. This performance will feature the UVI Music Department presenting its Concert Band, Concert Choir, Jazz Ensemble, Steelpan Ensemble and various other small ensembles. Admission will be $20 for adults and $10 for students. Tickets are available at the Reichhold Center Box Office. For more information contact Joseph H. Francis, Jr. at (340) 693-1340 or the box office at (340) 693-1559.
The Herman E. Moore Golf Course at the University of the Virgin Islands will be abuzz with food, fun and fellowship on Sunday, March 19, 2017, as the community gathers for the 28th annual Afternoon on the Green. The theme for this year’s event, which will be open to the public from noon – 5 p.m. is “A Centennial Celebration of Delicacies.” All proceeds from Afternoon on the Green (AOTG) will support the Edward E. Thomas Volunteer Scholarship Awards.
Join the Reichhold Center for the Arts at 6 p.m. on March 25, for “Playing Ring: Tea Meeting,” an original performance art project that explores the culture and history of the US Virgin Islands through storytelling, music and dance. The script for this production hangs on the framework of a traditional St. Croix tea meeting that explores the social and cultural evolution of the U.S. Virgin Islands from before Transfer Day until now. During intermission, a complimentary sampling of traditional treats will be served with tea.
Playing Ring will also incorporate dance and music, to be performed by local culture bearers such as 73rd Army Band, Mungo Niles, Macislyn Bamboula Dancers, Stanley and The Ten Sleepless Knights, the St. Croix and St. Thomas Heritage Dancers, Voices of Love, Louis Ible and the Caribbean Ritual Dancers to name just a few.
UVI Charter Day Program
UVI’s Annual Charter Day program will be at 10 a.m. on Friday, March 24, with featured keynote speaker Senate President Myron Jackson. The program will be a special celebration featuring lively music from Dion Parson and Friends to include showcasing students who are a part of the artist-in-residency program at the University. It will also include UVI’s Voices of Inspiration Community Choir on the Sheen Campus, poetry and other creative contributions from students in the University’s Humanities and Honors programs. In line with the twin milestones this year, the program’s theme will be “An Emerald Celebration for the Centennial Commemoration,” taken from the University’s anticipated St. Thomas Carnival parade entry.
Voices of Inspiration Community Choir
Charter Day festivities will conclude with “When the Praises Go Up!: Bridging the Gap” by the Voices of Inspiration Community Choir (VOI). The concert will take place at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., Sunday March 26, at the James C. Savage Theater (Former Good Hope School’s Campus). Tickets cost $15 for adults and $10 for children, and are available at Jackie’s Beauty Supply, Francis Muffler, and through UVI VOI Choir members. Special group rates are available.
For more information about the University of the Virgin Islands visit www.uvi.edu.