Colonia-- Yap. Every diver knows there are reef sharks in Yap but it might have still been a surprise to see a large shark at the center of a parade circling Chamorro Bay in Colonia on March 29th. The revelers marching and riding on the float with a hand-made, open-mouthed, teeth-bearing shark’s head devouring the truck’s cab were students, alumni and faculty from the College of Micronesia-FSM who were celebrating the institution’s 25th anniversary.
Among the dignitaries walking the parade route and waving to bystanders were Captain Peter Olive, Deputy Mission Commander of Pacific Partnership 2018, and U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission to FSM Joanne Cummings. The VIPs were led by the FSM FMI Corps of Cadets marching in formation followed by the much less formal marchers of the U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet "Deep Six Brass Band" who added to the festivities with a lively playlist including When the Saints Go Marching In.
The college’s Yap campus has been celebrating the school’s silver anniversary since January beginning with the Goodwill Games featuring basketball, volleyball and table tennis competitions, an essay contest about climate change for high school students, and a quiz bowl. The celebration culminated on March 30th with speeches, trophy and award presentations, traditional dances and a raffle drawing at the Yap Living History Museum.
The COM-FSM Yap campus serves approximately 200 students each semester and during the summer session, with more than 50 percent of the student population coming from the neighboring islands of the State. The school offers an Associate of Science degree in Teacher Education – Elementary, Associate of Applied Science Degrees in Telecommunications Technology, Electronics Technology, and Building Technology in addition to Certificate of Achievement programs. The FSM Fisheries and Maritime Institute is also a division of COM-FSM in Yap offering three majors in Navigation, Marine Engineering and Fishing Technology.