Sankat, a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, who took up the position in February, was officially installed in a ceremony on July 27 at the St John’s Anglican Cathedral of Belize, Belize, that included an academic procession and musical interludes that included an ensemble by UWI academic and conductor Jessel Murray.
Murray had performed an ensemble in 2008 at Sankat’s installation as principal and pro vice-chancellor of UWI St Augustine Campus.
A UB release said that Sankat was installed by the university’s board of trustees’ chairman Harrison Pilgrim. Belize Governor General Sir Colville Young robed him with his new academic gown.
The ceremony was blessed by Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Belize, the Rt Rev Philip S Wright. Among those present were government ministers and elected public officials, members of the diplomatic community, and representatives of the UWI, and representatives of UB students, staff, and alumni.
Sankat, an engineer by training spoke of his priorities for the transformation of the university.
Sankat said, it was imperative that national universities in small developing countries be supported in their roles because of the challenges they face in fragile economies. He said they also needed to be creative themselves so as to enhance and sustain human and national development.
“I hope that I will be able, as your leader, to bring the knowledge resident at the university to shape, and develop a pathway for Belize’s development through leadership, research, creativity and innovation and altogether bringing service and engagement to the people of Belize,” he said.