Thursday October 12, 2023 will go down as a red-letter day for the University of Technology Jamaica (UTech, Jamaica) as it marked the first staging of President’s Knights Day on the Papine campus. It was an activity-filled day designed to showcase, emphasize and instill the qualities of being a Knight, and were a part of the university’s 65th anniversary celebrations under the theme “UTech, Jamaica Thrives at 65: Forging Technical Innovation”.
Parade Kicks off President’s Knights Day
The day kicked off with a parade led by the Southern Strikers Marching Band which commenced at the Alfred Sangster Auditorium with the dancers in front, followed by the band and the various dorms close behind. These halls of residence include Hall B,A,E,F, Garvey Hall who followed, and finally Farquharson Hall proudly representing their dorms by waving the respective banners.
Deejane Lewis, a resident of Hall E summarized her experience. “I felt a bit proud seeing as I got the opportunity to march for my hall. The sun was hot so I was a bit drained half way through the march but the music kept me going seeing as it was so lively. The different halls came out and showed just how fun and entertaining it is to live on hall”.
President’s Call to Action
With the parade coming to an end at the Caribbean Sculpture Park, the opening ceremony commenced under the theme “One UTech”. Pausing to embrace all it means to be a UTech Knight and celebrating the past 65 years of innovation, UTech Jamaica’s newly installed President, Dr. Kevin Brown kicked off the celebrations by emphasizing that the day was meant to celebrate the attributes of a UTech Knight – integrity, respect, excellence, loyalty, service, innovation, accountability and team spirit. The President urged the students, staff and alumni to embrace all of these, and practice them in their everyday life.
The President ended his speech wishing for participants safety, and a reminder of the upcoming end of semester exams, urging the attendees to “work hard and play hard” just as he did 26 years ago when he was a student. Thanks were also extended to the organizers of the event staff, students, band, sports club, and a call to “Continue to fly the UTech flag in all that you do”. And with that, President’s Knights Day was officially opened.
Faculties on Show
Throughout the park, the colleges and faculties of UTech Jamaica showcased the university’s innovation and excellence through booths and displays in the Caribbean Sculpture Park.
The Faculty of Law’s booth was filled with beneficial material. Petra Phillips, a lecturer in the Faculty curated a space where – if students had any legal matters – they could use the opportunity to be guided. “For any law related matter, we can point you to the first step of information,” said Petra Phillips. The School of Health Sciences took proactive strides towards promoting well-being among students, offering a range of engaging health ventures. These included blood pressure checks, hopscotch, and spinning the wheel, along with some giveaways.
The Faculty of Education and Liberal Studies showcased the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Technical and Vocational Education and also the Language Technology and Research Centre (LTRC). The LTRC conducted language challenges which tested patrons’ knowledge on languages such as English, French, Spanish and Japanese. Patrice Pencle Grizzle, training assistant of the LTRC stated “I am very excited because it is important for students to realize what we do…we are the only section in the university that deals with foreign languages.” The Communication Arts & Technology programme created a sample multi-camera stream where people were able to simulate being on live television.
Persons who were not at the faculty booths were focused on the stage, participating in games such as pin the parish, riddles among many others and winning prizes such as gift baskets, board games, health products and more.
Lunch Hour Concert
The talent of UTech Jamaica was on show during the lunch hour concert which was hosted by Master of Ceremonies Wyomi Hopkins.
DJ Kevy a fourth year student of the Communication Arts & Technology programme had the crowd moving. Representatives from four of the seven dorms performed their respective dorm chant to hype up the crowd even more. In staying true to the theme of the day, Hopkins went through the crowd and asked students, why someone should choose UTech. “Well, people should choose UTech because it’s an amazing experience, the best dorms are at UTech, you can develop yourself here”, said Ajay Richards an engineering student of Hall F.
Reported by Rushell Francis, Shanice Thompson, Noelle Robinson, and Ardrene Edwards