Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and Her Excellency Audrey P. Marks, former ambassador of Jamaica to the United States of America and permanent representative of Jamaica to the Organisation of American States (OAS), will be conferred with honorary degrees by Northern Caribbean University, (NCU) on Sunday, August 12 at the institution's main campus in Mandeville, Manchester.
NCU will confer the prestigious Doctor of Public Service, honoris causa, on the prime minister, who will also deliver the first commencement address. At 2 p.m., the second commencement speaker, Ambassador Marks, will be bestowed with the distinguished Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.
Ambassador Audrey Marks is Jamaica's 10th and first female ambassador to the United States and has led several initiatives and cultivated several partnerships to increase investment and trade between the United States and Jamaica. She is credited for establishing Paymaster (Jamaica) Limited, the Caribbean's first multi-transaction agency, and is renowned for her pioneering work, entrepreneurial endeavours and commitment to social causes.
Simpson Miller, who will speak at the first ceremony, which starts at 8 a.m., is Jamaica's first female prime minister. She holds ministerial oversight for information, development, sport, women's affairs and defence. The prime minister has led many initiatives aimed at promoting and strengthening urban renewal and community development, leading to fundamental reforms in local government, and has served at the regional and international level. She is an advocate for women's issues.
Each year, NCU identifies persons who have contributed significantly to the development of their country and people, and recognises this contribution by conferring on them the institution's honorary doctoral degrees. Graduation at NCU occurs over three days, culminating in the commencement on the final day. The graduation 2012 exercises will run from today to Sunday, during which time, new professionals and entrepreneurs will enter the workforce with bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees.