THE University of Technology (UTech) last Thursday launched its programme of activities in commemoration of Jamaica's 50th anniversary of Independence.
At a ceremony at Lillian's Restaurant on the university's Papine campus, their year-long calendar of activities was unveiled.
The activities will begin on March 12 at the Pegasus Hotel, with an anniversary lecture by their chancellor, former Prime Minister Edward Seaga. He will speak broadly about Jamaica's development under the topic '50 years of Backwards and Forwards'.
March 22 will see the university taking the activities to Papine square for a community service concert and fashion show. They have invited local businesses to be involved in the event by offering deals and showcasing themselves on that day.
Other activities will include a library exhibition and a track and field event at the national stadium in April.
Then from May 16 to 19 — also designated research and technology days — the university will host an energy expo to highlight renewable energy options.
The rest of the year will see a symposium on the role of tertiary education in Jamaica's development, a documentary on UTech's history and achievements as well as their participation in the Independence Day parade. In November, they will wrap up activities with an anniversary banquet to recognise outstanding alumni.
President of UTech Professor Errol Morrison noted that the year-long celebrations are designed to highlight UTech's role in fulfilling the original mandate to train professionals as a pre-Independence strategy.
"The institution was first established by the government of the day in 1958 as a pre-independence strategy in direct response to the need to train professionals for the development of Jamaica," he said.
Now 54 years later, Morrison noted that UTech has evolved from 50 students and four programmes to its current student population of more than 12,000 and in excess of 70 programmes.