Local college marks 40-year milestone

| 01/10/2010

(CNS): More than 300 people attended the 40th anniversary banquet for the International College of the Cayman Islands last weekend. Attendees included alumnus, students, faculty, and supporters from both the private and public sectors. International College graduate and keynote speaker Carlyle McLaughlin paid tribute to the founder, the late Hugh Cummings, ThD, who took special interest in the young man’s college education when his family could not afford college and scholarships were limited in the 1970s.

“Dr. Hugh approached me and told me to come to ICCI. I said I couldn’t afford it, and he said, ‘Don’t worry about it. We’ll get you a scholarship,” McLaughlin revealed at the diner at the Westin Causurina resort
Obtaining a degree from International College would become the stepping-stone for McLaughlin’s successful 25-year career at Ernst & Young.  
International College president emerita Elsa Cummings, PhD, who helped establish the non-profit, private institution in 1970 with her late husband said that the school has made a difference in hundreds of lives. 
“Dr. Hugh truly loved people and they, in turn, loved him back,” said Cummings. “They say that if you make a difference in one person’s life, it makes whatever you do worthwhile. I am satisfied that over 40 years, we have touched the lives of several thousands of young and older adults in a positive way and helped to improve the standard of living of many Caymanians and international students.“
President John Cummings, PhD, said the legacy of college education that was started 40 years ago is still growing and will continue to grow into the future. “It is vital that the Cayman Islands has an option to obtain a college or university education on island without having to go overseas,” said Dr. Cummings. “Particularly in an economic downturn where obtaining an college education becomes even more important to stay competitive in the work force.”
Trustee and president of Friends of ICCI, Amy Gage, said the anniversary celebrations were personally meaningful because her father, Victor Thornton Wood from Cayman Brac, encouraged her to help the Cummings get the International College started when both the Cummings and the Gages lived in Portland, Oregon. “My father felt that if students had a chance for higher education here at home, it would strengthen the Caymans, and prepare the Islands for what he saw coming in the financial and tourist industries especially,” said Gage. “He was right, and this gathering was the proof.”
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