U.S.P. graduates recognised for their achievements
Nearly a year after their graduation was cancelled, graduates from the University of the South Pacific (U.S.P) from 2019 can now claim they know what it feels like to graduate, thanks to the University's free photo booth programme offered at the Alafua Campus.
Last year's graduation was cancelled due to the measles epidemic. But the U.S.P Alafua Campus offered a free photo booth to the 2019 graduates throughout the University's Online Open Week where the graduates could take pictures in the graduation gown for free.
Two graduates were delighted and grateful about the opportunity.
Darius Tofa, who graduated with a Bachelor of Agriculture in 2019, told the Samoa Observer in an interview that it was devastating for them last year with the graduation being cancelled.
But Mr. Tofa thanked the University for the free photo booth programme for the graduates to take photos and be recognised for graduating.
Asked if it was his dream to walk down the aisle in a graduation gown and receive his Bachelor Degree, he said: "To me personally that wasn’t really a thing, what I wanted to achieve is just to get the piece of paper that matters. I just wanted to finish all 24 courses plus the vocational papers and then get the piece of paper.
"The piece of paper is much more important than walking down the aisle with the gown."
Asked what he thinks of getting to know what it feels like to graduate he said it is amazing and it is wonderful to be offered this opportunity.
Mr. Tofa gives thanks to his family and friends, especially his aunt, Vaalele Tofa, his uncle Etena and Tofa Aukuso, his brother Anton Tofa and he also gives thanks to his late mother, Togialuga Tofa who was his main supporter.
"She was my mentor, she was my everything. Thank you to all my friends and family that helped me throughout the three years I’ve been here at U.S.P," he said.
Mr. Tofa dedicated his certificate to all his family and friends for all of their support.
Faanuu Lameko who also graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Agriculture told the Samoa Observer in an interview that he was amazed about the programme where they were able to know what it feels like to graduate from University wearing the graduation gown.
Mr. Lameko explained that it was his dream to walk down the aisle in a graduation ceremony wearing the graduation gown to receive his Bachelor's Degree and make his family proud because it has been a long journey through University.
He stated that the free photo booth programme for the graduates should also be available to the 2020 graduates because this is what everyone strives for.