News Releases

“Pan Man par excellence” inducted

For Release Upon Receipt - July 10, 2017

St. Augustine

“We now have a ‘Pan Man’ par excellence to add to our team as we percuss the region’s needs.  Principal Copeland, without doubt, we know that under your leadership there will be sweet music coming out of St Augustine Campus.” These sentiments were expressed by Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of The UWI Open Campus, Dr. Luz Longsworth at the Induction Ceremony for Professor Brian Copeland. On Saturday 8 July, 2017, Professor Copeland was formally inducted as 8th Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus. Professor Copeland officially took up duties as Campus Principal in July 2016.

The Ceremony, held at Daaga Auditorium chronicled Professor Copeland’s career and highlighted contribution to Trinidad and Tobago culture. These achievements included his work on the Genesis Pan (G-Pan) and Percussive Harmonic Instrument (P.H.I.).  For his works in the development of the G-Pan, Professor Copeland was awarded the nation’s highest award, the Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in 2008. The P.H.I. is gaining popularity locally and internationally, having been used in international music videos and is a staple in many live Carnival bands.

His work in developing steelpan technology is credited to his parents, particularly his father who nurtured in him a love for the arts and Caribbean culture. “My father was also a carnival bandleader of no small acclaim, having won Band of the Year in San Fernando for five consecutive years.... As a child, I saw vignettes of the early civilizations of Central and South America, native North Americans, the Vikings, the Court of Queen Elizabeth I, the tribes of Africa, creatures and characters from Greek mythology and the Assyrian Empire of King Nebuchadnezzar come to life before my fascinated eyes.”

The newly inducted Principal also expressed his hope to see the vision of a Federation realized and that “despite increasing separation, Caribbean nations will unite under a common flag”.  He sees The UWI playing a fundamental role in seeing this realized. Through the active collaboration of governments, nongovernmental organizations, industries and tertiary level institutions, this unification is possible, according to Professor Copeland.

In addition to Dr. Longsworth, bringing greetings at the ceremony were Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, the Honourable Anthony Garcia, Minister of Education, Campus Principals of The UWI Mona and Cave Hill, President of the University of Trinidad and Tobago, Professor Dyer Narinesingh, Mr. Jonathan St. Louis-Nahous, President of the UWI St. Augustine Guild of Students, Mr. Gerry Brooks, President, National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago (NGC), Mr. Jerry Medford, President, UWI Alumni Association (T&T Chapter) and Dr. Bishnu Ragoonath, President, West Indies Group of University Teachers.

To further recap Induction Ceremony, visit

About The UWI

Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (The 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. 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