In a historic moment, Sir David Okete Vuvuiri Vunagi, Governor General of the Solomon Islands, was officially installed as the 30th Chancellor of The University of the South Pacific (USP).
The installation ceremony took place on Thursday during the Laucala Campus graduation ceremony held at the Vodafone Arena in Suva, Fiji.
Vunagi’s term as Chancellor is set for one year, from September 1, 2023, to August 31, 2024.
The role of the Chancellor encompasses the conferring of degrees, diplomas, and certificates, making Vunagi a pivotal figure in the academic journey of countless graduates. In his inaugural speech, he expressed his deep sense of honour and responsibility to the university.
“I pledge to continue upholding and maintaining the integrity of the role as was done by the previous 29 Chancellors before me. I pledge to give my support and do whatever I can to help with the university’s operations,” he said.
USP’s Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Pal Ahluwalia, highlighted the role Vunagi will play in connecting the university to the broader community.
“We are confident that Hon Vunagi will make a great ambassador for the university in the region and internationally,” Professor Ahluwalia said.
“As a proud Alumni, I feel very humbled to be installed as the 30th Chancellor of this university. It is very special for me, as I remember being a student here at USP in the good old days almost 50 years ago,” Vunagi said.
His commitment to the university’s mission was further underscored by his plans to visit USP’s regional campuses during his tenure. This hands-on approach aims to reinforce the bonds within the USP community and ensure that the institution continues to thrive on a regional and global scale.