Against All Odds – College Degree To Prime Minister
The Most Honorable Portia Simpson Miller will keynote Union Institute & University National Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, October 28, 2017 at 11 a.m. at the Hilton Netherland Plaza in downtown Cincinnati.
The former prime minister of Jamaica and alumna of Union, made history on March 30, 2006 when she became Jamaica’s seventh and first female prime minister. She was elected a second time and served from January 2012 to March 2016. She retired in 2017, after serving as the leader of Jamaica’s opposition party (People’s National Party).
“We are deeply privileged to welcome Ms. Portia Simpson Miller to help celebrate the accomplishments of our graduates at National Commencement,” said Roger H. Sublett, president of Union Institute & University. “She is truly a global ambassador who exemplifies the university’s mission, vision, and values in her words and deeds. She, like so many Union alumni and students, pursued her education against all odds in order to engage, enlighten, and empower those she serves.”
Ms. Simpson Miller says that she chose to study at Union Institute & University to broaden her knowledge base and solidify her academic credentials, which became necessary to advance in a political career that began while she was still in high school.
She, like so many Union alumni and students pursued her education against all odds.
“It did not matter that I had served my apprenticeship in the intensive workshop of politics and government and had been schooled in the University of Life,” said Simpson Miller who completed her UI&U degree in 1997. “It did not matter that I was routinely called upon to represent my country at conferences all over the world. The absence of a college degree remained an issue in my life.”
Ms. Simpson Miller’s ascension to Jamaica’s highest political office came after having served for 17 years as a Cabinet Minister with portfolio responsibility for Labor, Social Security and Sport; Tourism, Entertainment and Sport; and Local Government, Community Development and Sport; in addition to Women’s Affairs.
Mrs. Simpson Miller has received several local and international awards and accolades, including:
- In March 2007, she was awarded the International Olympic Committee’s World Women and Sport Trophy for outstanding dedication to women in Jamaican Sports – both athletes and administrators.
- In 2009, she received the Distinguished Award for her dedication and commitment to urban renewal and community development from the Mayor of the City of Miami.
- She received the Bureau of Women’s Affairs Award for outstanding contribution to the advancement of women’s affairs in Jamaica.
- She was inducted into the International Women’s Forum (IWF) Hall of Fame in recognition of the ‘incredible impact that women of courage, creativity, and passion have made towards improving society, inspiring others, and building better leadership in the world.”
- In 2012, Time Magazine named her among its “100 Most Influential Persons in the World.”
Mrs. Simpson Miller holds a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration from Union Institute & University. She also completed the Executive Program for Leaders in Development at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. In 2001, Prime Minister Simpson Miller was awarded Union Institute & University’s highest honor, the Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters: Honoris Causa, in recognition of her achievements and commitment to transform lives and communities. She holds an Honorary Doctorate of Public Service from the Northern Caribbean University, and an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD) from the University of the West Indies, Jamaica.
More than 75 graduates will receive their undergraduate, master’s or doctoral degrees and join the UI&U 53-year legacy of highly motivated adults positioned to pursue professional goals and a lifetime of learning, service, and social responsibility at the National Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, October 28, 2017 at 11 a.m. at the Hilton Netherland Plaza in downtown Cincinnati.
About Union Institute & University
Union Institute & University is a non-profit, regionally accredited university specializing in providing quality higher education degrees for adults nationwide. Founded in 1964, Union’s academic programs and services are the result of more than five decades of identifying and refining ways to structure and deliver education to meet the needs of adults. Distinguished as the pioneer in adult education, Union perfected the concepts now common in higher education such as the hybrid model, a blend of online and traditional classroom instruction, interdisciplinary studies, and student centered education with socially relevant and applicable learning outcomes in its undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degree programs. The university is guided by its core mission to educate highly motivated adults who seek academic programs to engage, enlighten, and empower them to pursue professional goals and a lifetime of learning, service, and social responsibility.
Union is a national university with five academic centers located in: Ohio, Florida, California, and Vermont.
For more information about Union Institute & University, visit www.myunion.edu or call 1- 800-861-6400.