548 persons graduated from the University of Belize on Saturday June 11 at the UB Gymnasium in Belmopan. Of the total number of graduates, 70% were females . 177 recived degrees or certificates in Education and Arts, 170 in Management and Social Sciences, 112 in Science and Technology, and 89 in Nursing, Allied Health, and Social Work. The keynote address at the graduation was delivered by the Chief Justice of Belize, Kenneth Benjamin who touched on the Belize Guatemala issue.
Kenneth Benjamin, Chief Justice of Belize: Now before closing I want to raise a very topical matter with you, and that is the Belize Guatemala territorial dispute. As Belizeans, your first point of reference in this issue is the constitution. It is the supreme law for all Belizeans, and all those who reside in Belize are subject to it. Now the area of Belize is defined in Section 1 of the constitution which takes you to the first schedule and I commend you to it for reading. It defines and delimits the boundaries of Belize and the cayes that are included along with the mainland to comprise territory we know as Belize. In our law, that is the country we call Belize. I appeal to you as grandaunts of the National University of Belize to familiarize yourself with the issues that arise from the boundary dispute. I commend to you the literature that traces the history of Belize and the events that have given rise and that are germane to the title of Belize to its territory. So you must inform yourself also about the official Guatemalan claim, you may not agree with it but you’re an academic now, it beholds you to know both sides.
There was even a surprise marriage proposal at the graduation ceremonies where as the graduating girlfriend made her way from the platform, the boyfriend stopped the entire proceedings by kneeling and asking her hand in marriage. Fortunately for him, she said yes.