Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies (The UWI) Professor Sir Hilary Beckles says the university has proven to be resilient and relevant over its 75 years of service to the Caribbean.
He was addressing the 26th Annual Awards Gala of the American Foundation for The University of the West Indies (AFUWI) in New York on April 20—a day proclaimed “The UWI Day” by New York’s Mayor Eric Campbell.
Hilary said that the past two years were particularly significant, demonstrating “The UWI’s finest hour in service to the region, evidenced by how we were able to rise up and survive the COVID-19 pandemic”.
He said, “The university was able to roll up its sleeves and get work done delivering courses virtually and keeping our students on course to their chosen careers.”
Singling out for special mention, The UWI’s medical graduates worldwide, whether in hospitals on health councils and committees, Hilary said, “We saved thousands of lives and I am proud to be leading an organisation such as this.”
Beckles said that “while the university is still committed to a face-to-face modality, it still also boasts hybrid programmes and is also now multilingual and multinational”.
The annual awards raises funds to provide scholarships for students of The UWI.
Honoured this year were: Sandra L Richards, managing director, head of global sports and entertainment and segment sales, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management; Mark AG Brantley, Premier of Nevis; Dr Farley R Cleghorn, chief medical officer and global head, health practice, The Palladium Group; Busta Rhymes, American rapper; Robert “Don Pooh” Cummins, veteran music industry executive and entrepreneur; Dr Hazel Carter, associate professor and programme director of educational leadership, City College of New York; and Beverley Hunter, administrative officer, institutional advancement division, office of the vice-chancellor, The University of the West Indies.