"I BELIEVE that each of you has every thing it takes to establish a legacy."
Those words of encouragement came from former executive vice-president and chief marketing officer for CNN Worldwide, Janet Rollé, as she addressed the 2013 graduating class of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, yesterday morning.
"When you've reached the end of what you should know, you will be at the beginning of what you should sense," she said. "I hope that all your senses stay livened and sharp."
Rollé was speaking to the students from the faculties of Humanities and Education, and Science and Technology before they received their degrees. She encouraged the students to follow their own dreams as she did when turning from the medical profession her family wanted her to pursue.
"But with all that they taught me about the value of education, and the nobility of the right to perfection, … they also taught me something even more significant," she said. That something was that nothing was beyond the reach of her talents.
Rollé, along with Professor Emeritus Barry Higman, received an honorary Doctor of Laws.
Before her work with CNN, Rollé held similar posts at BET Network and is credited with redesigning the network.
She accepted her doctorate in memory of her grandmother, born and raised in Jamaica, who she credited with constant support and her determination to succeed, which she passed on.
Chancellor of the UWI, Sir George Alleyne, noted that of the more than 3,000 graduates, nearly 26 per cent were males, one of the highest rates in recent times. He suggested that, especially as tertiary bodies try to make ends meet, more alumni needed to help out.
"I wish to challenge you to be a class where 100 per cent gives back," he said, opining that would give the university the type of endowment they would be proud of. The graduating class was the first overseen by the new principal, Professor Archibald McDonald.