JIS News

Chancellor of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Sir George Alleyne, said that the UWI should be proud of its achievements over the past six decades.
Sir Alleyne, who was delivering the keynote address at the University’s 60th anniversary commemorative service at the Trinity Episcopal Church, Washington, D.C. on Sunday (June 1), said that a total of 75,000 students have graduated from the institution over the period and can be found all over the world, making tremendous contribution in every facet of the society.
“The University has produced most of the region’s Prime Ministers. I believe seven sitting heads of government are our alumni and several of the Leaders of the Opposition are as well. There are Governor-Generals, Chief Justices, numerous Members of Parliament, civil servants and business men and women, who are our alumni, and there is no doubt about the contribution our graduates have made in every sphere of Caribbean life. Let me predict that the renaissance of West Indies Cricket will be spurred by current developments at the university,” he stated.
Sir George pointed out that “at this time of celebration, we should rejoice that the UWI has grown from a little acorn represented by 24 intrepid students to now become a mighty tree with over 35,000 students from 40 countries in the world. It is no longer an institution with a single geographical focus.”
The UWI Chancellor said he is “thankful that UWI is still a public institution as I would not wish such an institution so central to Caribbean development, the only one dedicated to producing regional public goods, to be a predominantly private institution. Our trajectory is towards a mixed enterprise and therefore we need the support of private individuals, and this 60th anniversary is for us a time to make a direct and open plea to a wide range of persons and institutions for support.”
In his remarks, Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Anthony Johnson said that “in this era of educational and academic transformation, we must all make every effort to ensure that UWI remains in the front rank of tertiary institutions. The tremendous competition at that level requires all Jamaicans, whether they received tertiary education or not, to help UWI in every possible way.”
In her welcome address, Sha-Shana Crichton, President of the UWI’s Alumni Association Washington D.C. Chapter, noted that “UWI is the oldest, fully regional institution of higher learning in the Commonwealth Caribbean and it is safe to say that the Caribbean region and countries around the world, which are impacted or influenced by UWI, would not have made the strides that they made over the past decades without UWI.”
Ms. Crichton added that all efforts should be made to make UWI the first in the region and the first global institution with respect to Caribbean knowledge and development and the first choice for people in the Caribbean seeking higher education.
Rhoda M. Jackson, Minister-Counsellor, Embassy of the Bahamas, brought greetings on behalf of CARICOM.
The service was attended by members of the Caribbean diplomatic corps, representatives of various organizations and alumni of UWI residing in Baltimore, Virginia and the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area. The service was organized by the UWI’s Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area chapter.