The audience at the 2018 Alumni Homecoming vespers service remained captivated by the message delivered on Friday, October 19, 2018, by USC alumnus, Pastor Marvyn Smith of Guyana. Smith who took a look down memory lane and painted a picture of his experience as he matriculated through the university said that after many years, the university continues to grow and glow in the midst of the many challenges it has encountered.
Withstanding the inclement weather, many supporters attended and were warmed up and encouraged as Pastor Smith delivered the message. He vernacularized the theme for the weekend “Cherishing the Past: Stepping Boldly Forward” by tilting the message “Light de Place up”.
“The university has produced some of the most resourceful minds and talent that the Caribbean has ever seen”, he said. “Tonight, as we interact with students from this institution, present and past, the intellectual prowess that is evident bespeaks that the school’s mantra is doing well. Our motto, those two words – Beyond Excellence.”
His presentation was based on the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:14-17 as He addressed the multitude on the mountainside (The Sermon on the Mount). Pastor Smith encouraged the listening crowd in a similar fashion as Jesus, to step out confidently, understand who they are, and know their value.
On Sabbath, October 20, 2018, the celebrations returned to the Social Sciences Auditorium where Mr Kerron Hislop, Coordinator of the Music programme at USC directed the song service. The Sabbath School Superintendent was Mrs Rosalind Leslie and USC lecturer, Pastor Andy Manzano, led the lesson study.
As the Sabbath celebrations continued, alumni chapters and their administration brought greetings to all in attendance. However, a major highlight of Sabbath’s Service was the recognition and tribute paid to the 97-year-old USC alumnus, Dr George Carlington Simmons, by USC President, Dr Hilary Bowman. Dr Bowman thanked Simmons for his many years of service and the legacy that he leaves to USC.
A graduate of the class of 1945, Dr Simmons has for over two decades contributed to the knowledge base at the institution through a book collection in his name. Over the years, the collection has grown and boasts of over 6000 books on philosophy, Greek and English literature, English history and culture, psychology and the arts.
The speaker for the Divine Service was USC alumnus, Pastor Henry Snagg. Pastor Snagg, a former USC Church Pastor and current Executive Secretary and Family Ministries director of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Mission of SDA spoke of His long journey from St Vincent and the Grenadines to Trinidad and Tobago due to the weather. His message was aptly titled, “Joyful Reflection and Positive Anticipation”. Using Isaiah 46:3-10 as his scripture of reference, Snagg reminded the waiting congregation that God has upheld them from birth and carried them from the womb. “To be lifted and to be carried is a thrilling experience.” he continued to say. “No energy is expended by the one who is lifted and carried. The lifter expends the energy. The one who is lifted and carried just needs to relax and enjoy the ride. Hear me, somebody, Jesus is lifting you today… Alumni, you have been lifted and carried by God for many years. Let me say to you relax, keep on trusting and enjoy the ride.”
In his closing words, he remarked, “Yes we have our trials, yes we have our tribulations, yes we have our going downs but thank God we have a lifter up of our souls. We have the Lord on our side. Prepare for that day.”
Alumni also participated in a mixer and a brunch, which concluded a weekend of exciting activities for our USC alumni and friends.