Fortunately, someone—I don’t remember who—suggested I give education another chance and take a course at the newly created College of the Virgin Islands. And so I did. While still a high school student, I took first one and then more courses in the evening over a period of three years. There I interacted with hardworking adults who taught me by their example the value of getting an education. After completing a full day’s work at a full-time job, and after attending to their families, they traveled to what was then the “country” in St. Thomas to go to CVI at night. They did it to better themselves and their families. Their hard work and sacrifice taught me how easy my life as a bored high school student was compared to theirs; they taught me that even at (what seemed to me at the time) their advanced stage in life, despite how much they had achieved and had experienced, they still saw the value of education and worked hard to get it in order to improve their present and to perfect their lives. By extension, they showed me that education could be a doorway to a better future, not an obstacle to my present. Without realizing it, these adults were my mentors.
As a result, from 1964-66, I took evening courses in math, accounting and business law. By the time I became a full-time student, I already had a half-year’s worth of credits under my belt. This was long before there was an early admissions program at CVI.
First CVI fund raising campaign in the late 1970's. From the left
are Orville Kean, Robert Moss, Enid Baa, Sam Hall, Olivia Stanford,
Alexander Farrelly, Rehenia Gabriel, Ivan Williams and Desmond Maynard.
Farrelly and Hall were co-chairs.
As we celebrate UVI’s Golden Jubilee, all alumni must be mindful of the fact that we are the ones to whom much has been given, and from whom much is required. I encourage all to give back to UVI by donating to it. This can be done online by clicking on the Support UVI/Donate Now button. Maybe we can help ensure that the doorway to a better future remains open for others just as it was open for us.
Atty. Sam Hall is now Legal Counsel to UVI’s Board of Trustees.