The first tertiary institution in Grand Cayman turns 44 years old this year. The International College of the Cayman Islands celebrated the milestone with an observance at The Cayman Islands Baptist Church.
Trustee and founding ICCI committee member Amy Gage and MLA Anthony Eden spoke at the event. Trustee Gage heads the U.S. based fundraising arm of ICCI, “Friends” and MLA Eden was part of the first group of students to enter ICCI, graduating in 1977.
“I remember well those first days as a student. I am grateful that this college was there to provide me with the opportunity to pursue my education. Many of us owe our success to ICCI. I am proud of the contributions the college has and is continuing to make in the Cayman Islands,” said Eden.
MLA Winston Connolly, Councillor to the Minister of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs brought greetings on behalf of the Hon. Tara Rivers, MLA.
Yvonne Lawe-Gonzales (Speech) and Wayne McManus (Accounting) were the inaugural recipients of the Dr. Elsa Cummings Award for Teaching Excellence, an annual award to be given at Founders’ Day.
Jesse Coe and Arsenith-Edale Sintos were the inaugural student recipients of the President’s Award for service and dedication to ICCI, an annual award to be given at Founders’ Day.
Also, new students were welcomed to the College during a pinning ceremony. They recorded their names in the Registrar’s roster that will be presented to them when they graduate.
“In our own quiet way we helped our country grow by providing educational paths to people in Cayman who may not have been able to access tertiary education otherwise,” said President Emerita and Founder Dr. Elsa Cummings. “It has not always been easy, but when you look around at all the successful people in Cayman who got their start at ICCI, we know our efforts were well worth it,” said Cummings.
ICCI President Dr. David Marshall said, “This country owes a great debt of gratitude to The Cummings’ family, the original founding committee, and the scores of supporters who have provided this educational access to Caymanians throughout the years. This College stands as a monument to what hard work, dedication, and perseverance can do when good people are committed to a noble cause.”
The International College of the Cayman Islands is the outgrowth of a need felt by a small group of Caymanians and Americans to establish a private, independent institution of higher education in the Cayman Islands, since no other such institution existed in the Islands at the time. The need was initially expressed by Floris McCoy McField, a Caymanian teacher. A Founding Committee was organized by Dr. J. Hugh Cummings early in 1967. The Committee worked for several years making plans for the organization and establishment of the College. In January 1968, the American Committee for the College of the Cayman Islands was formed to provide financial help for establishing a college in the Cayman Islands, a college that would later be named International College of the Cayman Islands. The College was formally founded in 1970.