St. George’s University’s highly anticipated 40th anniversary celebration kicked off with a weekend of festivities for which all those who helped author its incredible story—everyone from the faculty and staff to its more than 17,000 graduates — were invited.
SGU’s impact on health care, veterinary medicine, business, and many other fields has been felt both near and far. Close to home, SGU has played and continues to play a large role in transforming the country of Grenada. In addition to contributing millions of dollars to the country’s economy, it is also one of the largest employers of Grenadians on the island, second only to the Government of Grenada. Similarly, SGU is also responsible for transforming education in the region, offering a tertiary education opportunity that has resulted in 1,200 Grenadian alumni, with more than 200 MDs.
Beyond the Isle of Spice, St. George’s University has graduated more than 14,000 physicians and over 1,200 veterinarians, helping to address doctor shortages in the United States, Canada, and around the world.
Dr. G. Richard Olds, who hopes to continue that proud tradition as the University’s inaugural President, welcomed family, friends, and colleagues to a special investiture ceremony at Patrick F. Adams Hall during kickoff weekend. Attendees included Grenada’s Governor General, Dame Cecile La Grenade, Prime Minister Dr. the Right Honorable Keith Mitchell, Baroness Howells of St. David’s, founding members of SGU, parliamentarians, and diplomats. They included Dr. Timothy White, Chancellor, California State University, who delivered the evening’s keynote address, expressing that, in Dr. Olds, SGU had chosen the right person to lead it into the future.
With more than 70 percent of SGU doctors having gone on to practice primary care, many in areas of need, during his address, Dr. Olds reinforced his and the University’s commitment to addressing the primary care shortage and maldistribution of doctors in the US and worldwide.
“I feel privileged to lead St. George’s University at a time when we are doing more than ever to address the shortage of doctors worldwide,” Dr. Olds said. “Our graduates are fulfilling SGU’s mission to shape the future of our world – especially in communities worldwide that most need quality health care.”
SGU also welcomed back members of its charter class who started class at St. George’s University School of Medicine on January 17, 1977. They joined longtime administrators, faculty, and staff, including retired bus driver, Whitley Courtney, the University’s first-ever employee, at a special Founders Dinner in L’Anse aux Epines hosted by Chancellor Charles R. Modica, one of four of SGU’s founders. Other events included a Charity 5K Fun Run, for which more than 100 runners raced from Founders Library to the Grand Anse campus, tours of the True Blue campus, and a library archive exhibition.
Kickoff weekend festivities were punctuated by a Parade of Nations, for which more than 1,000 students, faculty, and staff celebrated SGU’s cultural diversity. In its 40 years, the University has welcomed individuals from more than 140 countries, and to celebrate, parade participants wore their national colors and waved flags of their native countries on their way through lower campus.
Kickoff weekend was only the beginning to a yearlong celebration of SGU’s 40 years. For more information and to register, visit www.sgu.edu/beyond40.
By Ray-Donna Peters