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Sunday 20 October 2019
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PhD drop-out overcomes adversity

Do not succumb to adversity.

This was historian Clem Seecharan’s message, yesterday, to graduates of the Faculty of Humanities and Education, during their graduation ceremony, which was held at the University of the West Indies Sports and Physical Education Centre, St Augustine.

The Guyanese-born Seecharan, who was the sole recipient of a Degree of Doctors of Letters at the ceremony, also urged the 768 graduates to cultivate the belief that boundaries are not barriers.

“They are conquerable,” he said.

“Draw from each experience, whatever its outcome, incremental means of going beyond all boundaries.”

In the same breath, Seecharan also told the graduates to be humble in seeking to learn and be inspired by those who can enrich their vision and resolve.

Emeritus Prof of History and former head of Caribbean Studies at the London Metropolitan University, Seecharan revealed he started his PhD studies in the History Department at the St Augustine campus in 1981 but had to drop out after a year when it was discovered he was a citizen of Guyana. “Therefore, I was required to pay the full students’ fees and I had no money. I was broke,” he joked.

“Is it possible that the University of the West Indies is atoning for ancient wrongs by awarding me with the D Litt today?”

Laughs aside, Seecharan said the award was “a marvellous affirmation” of his work.

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