Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in St. Kitts and Nevis reaffirmed its relationship with the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis on Thursday with the groundbreaking of a EC$67.5 million expansion programme.
President of the Healthcare Group at DeVry Inc., Mr. Bill Hughson speaking at the ceremony listed three achievements which represent an investment of more than EC$84 million and confidence in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.
"First, we affirm our relationship with the Federation and commit Ross to invest at least EC$67.5 in the further development of this beautiful campus. This commitment was documented in the signing of a Partnership Renewal Agreement on October 31 of last year. Second, we affirm our commitment to the Federation by purchasing 24 acres of land which we currently lease from the Government. The purchase is at the appraised fair market value, which was established to be approximately EC$16 million and the signing of the land purchase agreement for the construction of the expansion and investment in this campus," said Mr. Hughson to invited guests including Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas; Minister of Education, Sen. the Hon. Nigel Carty,; Minister of Tourism and International Trade, the Hon. Richard "Ricky" Skerritt; Parliamentary Representative, the Hon. Sam Condor; Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Joseph Edmeade and Commissioner of Police, Mr. C.G. Walwyn.
He said the multi-million investment is an indication of "confidence in the Federation as a home for the more than 1,200 faculty, staff and student members of the Ross community, confidence in the safety and security of this Federation, which has improved so dramatically in the past year and confidence in the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine and in the future of veterinary medical education."
"Importantly, our partnership with the Federation goes well beyond the formalities of our partnership agreement. For 30 years now, Ross has strived to be a good member of the local community here in St. Kitts," said Mr. Hughson.
He also pointed out that more than 200 of Ross’ 300 valued colleagues are local nationals.
"More than 900 of our students live and study in St. Kitts, contributing to the local economy by renting homes, making purchases at local businesses and dining in local restaurants. More than 2,800 graduates improve animal welfare, ensure the safety of our food supply, and contribute to the science of veterinary medicine around the world," Mr. Hughson pointed out.
"We are pleased that one of those graduates is Dr. Tracey Challenger, the Chief Veterinary Officer for the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis," said Mr. Hughson, who joined Prime Minister Douglas, Education Minister Carty, Ross Dean Dr. Elaine Watson and Zachary Wilcox, Ross Student Government Association President in turning the sod.