May 22, 2009
UWI honours sixteen of the Region’s beacons

Governor General of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Sir Frederick Ballantyne GCMG (Knight Grand Cross) is one of sixteen individuals upon whom The University of the West Indies (UWI) will confer honorary degrees during graduation ceremonies on all the UWI campuses later this year.{{more}}

Sir Frederick will receive an Honorary Doctor of Sciences degree at the Cave Hill Campus of the University. Sir Frederick has been Governor General since September 2nd, 2002, and was knighted in November. He replaced Monica Dacon who had been interim Governor General after the death of Sir Charles Antrobus. He has had a long and distinguished career as a Medical Doctor, Educator and Administrator. He has also been a successful entrepreneur in St Vincent and the Grenadines with several business enterprises, including real estate, marina operations, pharmaceuticals and the hospitality industry.

Another Vincentian, Peggy Antrobus, will receive an LLD when The Open Campus graduation ceremony is held in St Lucia on October 17th. This dedicated social worker is well respected for her contributions to society as well as her support of the feminist ideology. She has been well recognised worldwide having received numerous international awards, including the Distinguished Service Award for the enhancement of women’s role in Caribbean societies (1990) and the UNIFEM Anniversary Award for extraordinary commitment to the world’s women (1995). Antrobus was also responsible for initiating the Women and Development Unit at the UWI School of Continuing Studies and the Commonwealth Save the Children Fund. Her commitment to social work is evident from her membership on more than 25 advisory boards. Antrobus has also distinguished herself as an academic through her numerous academic publications.

Other persons to receive degrees include The Honourable John Issa of Jamaica who will receive a Doctor of Laws degree at the Mona campus of the University. The degree DLitt honoris causa will be awarded to John Maxwell, veteran Jamaican journalist and environmental activist. Another recipient of the Doctor of Laws degree will be the Honourable Oliver F. Clarke, Chairman and Managing Director of the Gleaner Company in Jamaica. For her achievements as a publisher and cultural historian, the Honorary DLitt will be conferred on Dr. Anne Walmsley.

Professor Colin A Palmer will also receive a DLitt at the Mona Campus graduation ceremony. A prolific scholar and historian, he has produced over 60 publications with several papers still to be published. Paul Bernard Altman is also expected to be honoured with an LLD at the Cave Hill Campus. This entrepreneur has prospered as a leader in tourism development and heritage conservation in the Caribbean for over 30 years.

Sir Lloyd Erskine Sandiford will also receive and LLD at the Cave Hill Campus. This scholar wears several hats including statesman, author, educator, diplomat and politician. Having served as the fourth Prime Minister of Barbados, he has over 32 years of unbroken and devoted service to Parliament, and holds the record of the longest serving Minister of Education in Barbados.

Professor Zelma Edgell is expected to receive a DLitt at the Cave Hill Campus. A native of Belize, this accomplished novelist began her career as a reporter for the Jamaica Gleaner. She has struggled to advance the position of women in society, serving as the Director of both the Women’s Bureau in the Government of Belize, and the Department of Women’s Affairs.

At the St. Augustine Campus Graduation Ceremonies, Yesu Persaud is to receive an LLD for his entrepreneurial and philanthropic endeavours. The UWI will honour petroleum industry pioneer, Robert B. Riley with an LLD. As Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BP Trinidad and Tobago, he has been at the helm of a company which contributes 25% of the Trinidad and Tobago Government’s tax revenue.

Theatre artist and poet Christopher Laird will receive the honorary D Litt. Laird has devoted his life to developing the media, communication and film industries in Trinidad and Tobago.

Environmental Activist Angela Cropper will receive a DLitt from the University. Cropper will receive the award for her outstanding service to Trinidad and Tobago, the region and the world in relation to issues of the Environment and Sustainable Development. The noted biographer, Prof Arnold Rampersad, will receive the DLitt. Professor Rampersad is a Professor of English and the Sara Hart Kimball Professor in the Humanities at Stanford University.

The man who gave St. Lucia its greatest symbol of independence, The Honourable Dunstan St. Omer will receive a D Litt. St. Omer was the artist responsible for designing the National Flag of St. Lucia in 1967. He is also the father of the artistic genre known as ‘Prismism,’ which evolved out of his experimentation with the cubist style. St. Omer also served as editor of the leading newspaper, The Voice of St Lucia, from 1959 to 1962.