Sunday, February 5, 2012

Arah C. Lockhart - 1978

Arah Lockhart
Prior to my enrollment as a ‘CVI’ student in August of 1974, I had already visited the Virgin Islands on several occasions to spend time with my father who resided on St. Thomas. During those periods, we spoke many times about his dream (which was gradually becoming my nightmare), of his children, not only relocating from Antigua to St. Thomas but of our opportunity to attend the “prestigious” College of the Virgin Islands. He would always reflect on the many people from the “islands” who went to and graduated from CVI, and were doing well here in this community and abroad. He wanted nothing less for ‘his’ children! Therefore, exactly five days after completing High School in Antigua, I was on the plane heading to St. Thomas.

As with most new experiences, on registration day, I was scared yet confident that I would survive. That was, until I learned that the only gym (physical education) class open was SWIMMING! This was the worst news I had heard in a long time. Notwithstanding that I was born on and frequented many of Antigua’s 365 beaches – I could not swim, and was prepared to quit college rather than take swimming as a class!

Arah Lockhart - 1976 Yearbook
With encouragement from my PE teacher Mr. Eugene Werts, I not only registered but survived and enjoyed the experience. I also earned a “B” grade! This was only the beginning of many other lasting and memorable experiences at CVI. My orientation to “dorm life” as a resident of Harvey Student Center… Hey ‘PURGERS’!... coupled with the classroom, campus and associated stories for each experience would require another fifty pages of documentation.

I am extremely proud that through my involvement in all facets of campus/college life, I have contributed to the CVI history and UVI legacy. Most memorable among these include: representing the Student Council at the Chase Auditorium dedication, reviving the CVI Carnival Troupe and our 1st Prize winning entry/trophy; the BUCS Volleyball Team practice tortures and victories… (Thank you, Blaiko!). This pride in my alma mater extended to New York where I attended Pace University, and where several other alumni decided to establish the Alumni Association New York Chapter. The déjà vu moments were surreal!

Sincere thanks and kudos to CVI (UVI) and special greetings to the graduation class of 1978 – WE ARE TRULY “UVI”!

Arah C. Lockhart is an assistant commissioner
at the VI Department of Labor.

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