in this Section
the Governor's Speeches
American University of the Caribbean, School of Medicine 2016 Commencement
Remarks by the Governor of Sint Maarten, His Excellency drs. Eugene B. Holiday
Faculty and Staff,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
And what a good morning it is for our graduates. It is the morning you celebrate what I trust will be one of the many highpoints in your life. I say that base on personal experience. And that is because I maintain a list of cherished highpoints which I update from time to time. My university graduation ceremony 29 years ago has remained in the top 5 of my list of cherished moments. Graduates, if you were to make a top 5 list today, where would your commencement ceremony feature?
While you put your top 5 list together, I hereby thank Executive Dean and Chief Academic Officer, Heidi Chumley, for inviting me to participate in this important academic moment of AUC and for the honor to share this special moment with you graduating class of 2016, your family and your friends.
As you graduate today, with your doctor of medicine degree, it is my pleasure to congratulate you on your beautiful and cherished achievement. An achievement which, no doubt, has been realized through hard work, commitment and sacrifice. An achievement that admits you as a member of the medical profession, and kicks-off your careers as medical practitioners. A career into the lifelong study of our complex human body. I say lifelong because there is, as you know, so much unanswered questions in medicine and because the state of medicine tomorrow will not be what it is today.
Your cherished achievement today is as such at the same time an acceptance of a profound responsibility: that is the commitment to the humanitarian goals of medicine established in the Declaration of Geneva. That is a responsibility to serve humanity by safeguarding our greatest and most valued gift: life. As a doctor of medicine that means a responsibility:
a. to the patients you will treat;
b. to the health of your community;
c. to help solve some of the yet unresolved mysteries of the human body.
d. And not to forget, to the continued growth of this, your university.
That graduates is what is expected from you as you move forward into your career in medicine.
As you take up that major responsibility I advise you that there is nothing more rewarding than knowing that you have made a difference in the life of someone or of your community. Having recently visited the facilities of your university I am convinced that you have been well prepared and educated to do so. The preparation you have received here however, is only the first step towards making a difference in the lives of people. Equally important is that you combine your acquired technical competencies with being conscientious and compassionate in everything you do.
As a patient I can tell you that it makes a real difference when I feel that my doctor knows my file, takes time to explain, is thorough and cares about my wellness. These attributes are equally important if you decide to teach, are working with colleagues or take up executive responsibility in a medical institution. That is because they will help to increase trust, build confidence and in so doing open doors to crucial information that will deepen your own understanding and ability to help people and serve humanity.
In short my advice to you today 29 years after my graduation ceremony is that your personal and professional journey will be most rewarding when you put the wellbeing of people, of humanity at the center of your activities. In doing so you will develop an ever expanding list of cherished and inspiring moments.
Thus in closing, as you celebrate this moment I advise you to reflect on what this moment means for you and to all those who supported you during the past 4 years. And as you do so I suggest that you set goals and develop a strategy towards realizing that what you can mean for others 5, 10, 15, 20, 30 years from today and beyond.
As Governor of Sint Maarten I look forward with anticipation to hear of your valuable contributions to medicine as graduates from and representatives of Sint Maarten’s American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine.
Graduates congratulations and I wish you much success building your list of cherished and inspiring highpoints that makes a difference in the lives of people.