News Releases

Past Celebrity Honourees to be saluted at UWI Fundraising Gala

For Release Upon Receipt - February 23, 2017


The 20th American Foundation for The University of West Indies (AFUWI) Legacy Awards Gala will feature a salute to 20 of its past honourees.  The annual fundraising event takes place on February 23, 2017 at the Pierre Hotel in New York City. AFUWI will pay tribute to the likes of: actress Cicely Tyson; athlete Usain Bolt, businessmen Lowell Hawthorne, Ken Chenault and Vincent Hosang, performing artists Judith Jamison and Jessye Norman, author Malcolm Gladwell, orthopaedic surgeon, Answorth Allen and philanthropist Susan Taylor for their continued contributions to their communities, to education and to the Caribbean over the years. 

“As AFUWI celebrates its 20th Anniversary, we are exceedingly proud and delighted to salute twenty illustrious and internationally renowned individuals who represent the highest level of achievement within their respective fields, and whose creativity, commitment and integrity have demonstrated that through dedication great things are truly possible and can and will be achieved. The 20 outstanding Caribbean luminaries selected, are fitting examples of the many scholarship winners past, present and future who have or will have the privilege of benefiting from and contributing to AFUWI”, said Lloyd Williams, Chair of the Gala Planning Committee.

The Gala continues to attract the support and attention of a diverse range of American and Caribbean entities as well as distinguished and influential persons who have graciously served on the Honorary Committee.   This year’s awards will be held under the auspices of Honorary Patron, Dr. the Hon. Harry Belafonte, O.J.  and The Hon. David N. Dinkins, 106th Mayor of New York City, who will again join the celebration as the Honorary Dinner Chair and Paxton Baker as Gala Chair who will be joined by Janell Snowden as Co-Chair.

It begins with a reception and auction at 6:00 p.m. followed by the dinner and programme starting at 7:00 pm. Tickets start at $500 USD. Proceeds from the Gala provide an average of 50 scholarships annually for students across The UWI’s four campuses. To reserve or purchase tickets, and for further information please call 1-212-7599345 or visit




The American Foundation for the University of the West Indies (AFUWI) was established in 1956 to develop an endowment fund in the United States for The University of the West Indies (The UWI). Over the past decades, AFUWI has provided scholarships and grants and funded many special projects to foster the development of the University of the West Indies. The original patrons of the Foundation included such distinguished individuals as Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and Her Royal Highness, Princess Alice. Today, AFUWI patrons include actor and songwriter Dr Harry Belafonte; Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott; and Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, individuals that are committed to creating increased educational opportunities for generations of West Indian people to come.


About The UWI

Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged, regional University with well over 40,000 students. Today, The UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in BarbadosJamaicaTrinidad and Tobago, and the Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology and Social Sciences. The UWI’s seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation. For more information, visit

(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)