News Releases

Harry Belafonte, Digicel CEO, among Honourees at UWI Gala

For Release Upon Receipt - January 25, 2008


Dr. the Hon. Harry Belafonte, well regarded as a pioneer in popularising Caribbean music forms overseas and Digicel CEO & Founder, Dennis O’Brian, top the list of awardees to be honoured at the 11th American Foundation for the University of the West Indies (AFUWI) black-tie gala at the Waldorf Astoria, New York on Monday 28th January, 2008.

Dr. Belafonte, Patron of the event since its inception, is being recognised for his commitment to the University of the West Indies for the past ten years, and in celebration of his 80th birthday.

The annual gala is a stellar event on the programme of AFUWI, which was established in 1956 to develop an endowment fund in the USA for the University of the West Indies and now serves as the primary vehicle for the UWI in its capital campaign and fundraising efforts there.

This year’s gala will see special awards being presented to three UWI Lecturers for their contributions to the Inter-Governmental Panel for Climate Control (IPCC), which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with the former Vice President of the United States, Al Gore. The three Lecturers are Dr Anthony Chen, a retired Jamaican Professor in Physics at UWI Mona Campus, Jamaica; Dr Leonard Nurse, a Barbadian Lecturer in Coastal Management at UWI Cave Hill Campus, Barbados; and Dr John Agard, a Trinidadian and Senior Lecturer in Life Sciences at UWI St Augustine Campus, Trinidad, and Chairman of the Environmental Management Authority (EMA).

Luminary Awards which are given to Caribbean persons who have made outstanding contributions in their respective fields will be awarded to Dr. Rollin Bertrand, CEO of TCL Group of Companies; Winston Bayley, Chief Financial Officer of The University of the West Indies; Paul Altman, Managing Director, Altman Real Estate; Vincent HoSang, Founder and CEO, Caribbean Food Delights and Stephen Cozier, Vice President for Caribbean and Central America at the Bank of Nova Scotia.

The Vice Chancellor’s Achievement Awards for persons of Caribbean heritage in North America who are rising stars in their organizations will be awarded to Marc Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League; Reggie Canal, First Vice President of HSBC; Noel Hankin, Sr. Vice President of Moet Hennessy; Ray Goldburn, Executive Vice President of Black Entertainment Television; Colbert Narcisse, Chief Administrative Officer of Merrill Lynch and Roy Hastick, Founder of the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc.

Mr. Kenneth DeGhetto, Retired Chairman of Foster Wheeler Incorporated and former chairman of the American Foundation for The University of the West Indies will receive an award for his service to the Foundation and the University.

Successive AFUWI galas have honoured a host of individuals and organizations linked to the Caribbean who have made exceptional contributions to the world around them. They have included: Maya Angelou, Colin Powell, Sidney Poitier, Whoopi Goldberg, Johnetta Cole, Cicely Tyson, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Al Roker and Hon. Dr. Jimmy Cliff. Several companies including AMOCO, ALCAN, Chevron Texaco, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Bank of Nova Scotia, Citibank and Atlantic LNG, have also been recognized.

Seven Caribbean Prime Ministers were honoured in 2002, including: The Rt. Hon. P.J. Patterson, Jamaica; Dr. the Hon. Kenny Anthony, St. Lucia; The Rt. Hon. Owen Arthur, Barbados; Dr. the Hon. Denzil Douglas, St. Kitts & Nevis; Dr. the Hon. Ralph Gonsalves, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, The Hon. Patrick Manning, Trinidad & Tobago and Dr. the Hon. Keith Mitchell of Grenada.

Maurice Dubois, Co-Anchor of CBS2 News and Brenda Blackmon, Lead Anchor, WWOR-TV will once again be the Masters of Ceremonies and Susan Taylor of Essence will make the presentation to Dr. The Honourable Harry Belafonte.AFUWI has over the past decade provided many scholarships and grants and funded special projects to foster the development of the UWI.


  • Ms. Marcia Erskine

  • Tel.: (876) 960 3170.
  • Email: