University of the Cayman Islands Observatory Director Dr. Bill Hrudey is now a member of the British Empire, an award he earned for his contribution to promoting science in Cayman. Last night (4 January) friends and family were on hand for his investiture at Governor’s house, which was held ahead of schedule due to his ill-health.
“When I moved here 20 years ago my ambition was to do something for science on the Island,” said Dr. Bill Hrudey.
The University College of the Cayman Islands Observatory Director, Dr. Bill Hrudey was awarded the MBE Thursday night for his work in science.
“Thrilled, humbled and a whole lot of other words one could throw at it, I would never have expected this to happen quite frankly, but the fact that it has I am very pleased, I know my parents would be proud,” said Dr. Hrudey.
“The credit goes to Bill and as president, I am very very proud of what he has been able to achieve,” said Roy Bodden, President of UCCI.
According to the UCCI President if it was not for Dr. Hrudey, the college would not have made the strides it has when it comes to science technology engineering and mathematics.
“He came up to me and said, I like your vision for the college, would you like a telescope and I said yes, of course, and he gave us a 12.5 inch Newtonian telescope and he said not only am I going to give you the telescope but, I’ll help you find a place to put it,” said Roy Bodden.
On February 22nd of 2012 the Observation Tower was created and named after Dr. Hrudey.
“I think it’s fair to say that I made something of a contribution to UCCI in terms of the direction going with science, Roy has the vision that science is where it’s at and we’re on the same page with that question,” said Dr. Hrudey.
Dr. Hrudey was diagnosed with a carcinoma of the esophagus a form of cancer and his ceremony was moved up to Thursday due to his declining health.
“They ordinarily do this in May and I’m not so sure I’ll be here in May, so I asked if we could do it earlier and they agreed to do it tonight, now if the treatment that I’m getting works, I could be here next Christmas but I’m not counting on it,” said Dr. Hrudey.
However many are hoping for otherwise.
“Bill has always been a source of encouragement to me at the college, a source of inspiration and a true friend in the business of education and I’m a praying man, I’m praying for miracles,” said Mr. Bodden.
And after receiving his award, Dr. Hrudey donated two handcrafted catboat models to the Cayman Islands Government, one for the Governor’s Residence and another for Government Administration Building.