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N.C.B. Foundation Gifts $25m to UWI for Needy Students

(L-R) Chairman and CEO of the NCBFG, Dr. Patrick Hylton signs the symbolic cheque as Chairman of the N.C.B. Foundation, Dr. Thalia Lyn; Kimberly Scott an MBBS graduate and a recipient of a grant from the N.C.B Foundation, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of The UWI Mona Campus, Professor Dale Webber; CEO of the N.C.B. Foundation Nadeen Mathews-Blair and The UWI Mona Guild President, Sujae Boswell – all look on. They were pictured at the Handing-Over Ceremony hosted at The Mona Campus on Tuesday, November 10, 2020.

The University of the West Indies, Mona is the gracious beneficiary of a grant from the National Commercial Bank Financial Group (NCBFG) through its N.C.B. Foundation. The University was gifted JMD$25m to assist students in need of financial support. The Handing-Over Ceremony was hosted on Tuesday, November 10, 2020 at the Mona Campus.

Speaking at the Handing-Over Ceremony, Chairman and CEO of the NCBFG, Dr Patrick Hylton highlighted the fact that the UWI and NCB have been partners for a very long time and have partnered across a range of initiatives over many years. Dr Hylton noted that this particular initiative had its genesis in the establishment of the Gratitude Project last year when we (N.C.B. Foundation) donated $25m to assist with the payment of outstanding debts for students who were unable to graduate without those payments being made. He said the NCBFG is happy to see the impact it has had on the more than 220 beneficiaries.

Expressing his gratitude, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the UWI Mona Campus, Professor Dale Webber, said the NCB Financial Group through its Foundation has always exemplified excellent corporate citizenship and has been a great friend to the University.

“As a university, our Triple A Strategy of Access, Alignment and Agility guides our footsteps. This donation will further support our student’s ability to access education.

“Through this partnership, we have also realized alignment between NCBFG, who is a firm believer in the power of education being the great equalizer, and the UWI. Making this contribution, at this particular time when students are having great financial difficulties, we are demonstrating extreme agility. Therefore the NCBFG is helping us achieve our strategic plan,” Prof Webber said.

In her address to the Handing-Over Ceremony, Chairman of the N.C.B. Foundation, Dr Thalia Lyn stated “We gave scholarships when they are going in (to university), so we thought why not help as they are leaving, when they really need to get started. It is always a pleasure for us at N.C.B Foundation to support our students.”

Kimberly Scott, an MBBS graduate and a recipient of a grant from the N.C.B. Foundation, said she was brought to tears when she learned that she got a grant. “I was very excited when I got this grant from the N.C.B. Foundation. I was in my final year and my final semester and my family just could not find that money to pay off my tuition. I had many sleepless nights. It was a very difficult period, when I received this grant I was grateful, and I know my fellow students who received this grant are equally happy.”

Guild President, Mr Sujae Boswell welcomed the gift, he thanked the NCBFG for being an exemplary corporate citizen, one that other members of the private sector should seek to emulate.

“The challenges that we face especially now with COVID-19, it is real, it has exacerbated situations of past. We have needy students who need that financial support to get them across that finish line. I thank NCBFG for making this donation as they have now enabled many students to cross that line, and 220 students are now heading out there to make Jamaica a better place. This is an example of real corporate social responsibility, I hope other entities will be inspired to invest in our students as well, Mr Boswell said.

In congratulating the beneficiaries, Dr Hylton encouraged them to continue their process of learning and development as it is a lifelong process. “Education is very important, it was education that brought me from my own humble beginnings to where I am today.”

“One of the reasons I want to emphasize the need for continuous learning is the fact that we live in a world of rapid and constant change. We have seen how the world can change in a short period of time this year with the pandemic and the impact that it has had.”

“Many people, he said, have had to pivot, had to be agile, be flexible to respond to the changing environment and circumstances. What you find is that very often what we learn today, might not be relevant in a few years’ time. We are happy to have been able to be in a position to make this contribution and we are looking forward to the impact it will have on those who will be beneficiaries because they are the future of this country and our future depends on them.”

Gift of JMD $25m in 2019

In November 2019, as a part of their Gratitude Project, The NCBFG, through the N.C.B. Foundation committed a gift of JMD$25m to The UWI Mona Campus. The announcement was made by Mr Hylton after he was conferred with an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree for his contribution to the field of finance at The UWI Mona’s 2019 Graduation Exercise. The commitment was made to clear the outstanding account balances of the students who would have completed their studies at the end of the 2019/20 academic year but were unable to graduate. Following the donation over 220 students were assisted via the Office of Student Finance; a total of 134 students who had balances owing were able to complete their undergraduate programme in 2019/2020; and the remaining students were postgraduates and finalizing students in the 2020/2021 academic year - they were similarly assisted.

In closing Prof Webber said: “We are grateful for this contribution, it will certainly assist our students in these challenging times. We are thankful for the NCBFG’s continued support and generosity to the Mona Campus via donations like this as well as internship opportunities for students and the many events which they sponsor. Even more, we are also grateful for the symbolism, that is, the importance of gratitude and giving. We certainly hope this example will be followed by others in private and public sector, Prof. Webber said.

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