News Releases

Black Stalin among Honorary Doctorates at 2008 UWI Graduation Ceremonies

For Release Upon Receipt - April 30, 2008

St. Augustine

A record sixteen persons are to be conferred with honorary doctorates at the UWI graduation ceremonies in October and November this year—six at the Mona Campus and five each at the Cave Hill and St Augustine campuses. A Baroness, an Ashanti King, a culture czar and Trinidadian calypsonian Black Stalin are among the sixteen persons to be conferred with honorary doctorates at the annual ritual of recognising outstanding contributors to the region and the wider Diaspora.

The Doctor of Letters (DLitt) will be conferred on Mr Leroy Calliste, the Trinidadian calypsonian known as Black Stalin, at the St Augustine ceremonies. Calliste is considered to be one of the major practitioners of traditional Calypso, providing insightful social and political commentary in his compositions. In recognition of his tremendous contribution to Trinidadian culture, Black Stalin was awarded the Hummingbird Medal (Silver) in 1987.

The five honourees at the St Augustine ceremonies will include two women – Mrs Angela Cropper, an environmentalist and Professor Kari Polanyi Levitt, an economist and scholar. An alumna of The University of the West Indies, Mrs Angela Cropper was recently appointed an Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations. She is also Deputy Executive Director of the UN Environmental Programme and is best known for her leadership and commitment to sustainable development through her work with the Cropper Foundation.

Hungarian-born Canadian, Professor Kari Levitt, has been associated with scholarship and development policy in the Caribbean for nearly 50 years. During the 1970s she served as advisor on National Accounts to the Government of Trinidad and Tobago. Professor Levitt is Professor Emerita at McGill University in Canada. She will be conferred the honorary degree Doctor of Laws (LLD).

Mr Kynaston McShine, Trinidadian curator and art historian, will be awarded the Doctor of Letters (DLitt) honoris causa. Mr McShine has devoted his life to the visual arts and is the Chief Curator at Large of the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York. His expert work and achievements have been recognised with several awards, including an honorary doctorate from the San Francisco Art Institute. Finally, Bahamian public servant and statesman, His Excellency the Hon Arthur D. Hanna will receive an honorary LLD. A champion of civil rights in the Bahamas, His Excellency was appointed the seventh Governor-General of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. The Governor General is also a legal luminary and served as Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of Government Business in the House of Representatives of The Bahamas from 1967 to 1984.

At the Cave Hill ceremonies, a Baroness, an Ashanti King, a physicist, a philanthropist and a prominent entrepreneur will be honoured. A native Dominican and first black female Queen’s Counsel in Britain, Baroness Patricia Scotland, will be conferred an honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) degree in recognition of her stellar legal career. Baroness Scotland of Asthal scored another first when she was named England’s first female Attorney General. Otumfuo Osei Tutu II,The Asantehene King of Ghana, will also receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree for his tireless work in support of the development and survival of African Universities. The Asantehene is Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology in Ghana. Barbadian physicist, Dr Cardinal Warde will be conferred with an honorary Doctor of Sciences (DSc) for his contribution to the development of compact optoelectronic neural network processors. Dr Warde is a prolific researcher and inventor and holds nearly one dozen patents on spatial light modulators and optical processing systems. Sir Peter Moores, visual arts educator and philanthropist will be conferred with a Doctor of Letters honoris causa (DLitt). An Englishman, Sir Peter is patron and founder of the Peter Moores Barbados Trust, through which he channels his charitable endeavours in support of the arts and for environmental and social causes. Barbadian business leader and entrepreneur, Mr Dodridge Miller will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in recognition of his exemplary leadership in the Financial Sector. Mr Miller is President and CEO of one of the largest financial institutions in the region, Sagicor Financial Corporation, which he has even introduced into the financial markets of Europe and the USA.

The Mona graduation ceremonies which, for the first time will be staged in three sessions, will see the conferral of honorary degrees on Mr Havelock Brewster, Dame Karlene C. Davis, The Hon Gilbert Passos Gil Moreira, Mr Michael Lee-Chin, Mr Douglas Orane and Mr Rogerick Rainford. Mr Havelock Brewster, an international consultant, will receive the award of Doctor of Laws (LLD). A Guyanese national, Mr Brewster has had a sterling career as an international civil servant. He worked for many years as an economist in international organisations including the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the Inter-American Development Bank and CARICOM and also served as Guyana’s Ambassador to the European Union, Austria, Belgium and Germany.

A Jamaican living in Britain, Dame Darlene C. Davis, will be conferred with the Doctor of Sciences degree (DSc) for her outstanding career in midwifery, education and development. Dame Karlene plays a major role in the arena of healthcare in the UK and has led the UK’s Royal College of Midwives for more than a decade. She is currently President of the International Confederation of Midwives. Acclaimed musician and Brazilian culture czar, The Hon Gilberto Passos Gil Moreira, will be honoured with the Doctor of Letters (DLitt) honoris causa. He began his career as a bossa nova artiste but Gilberta Gil has since widened his musical expertise and has mastered the art of blending contrasting musical styles. Indeed, Gilberto is considered to be one of Brazil’s revered pop stars and is also the country’s Minister of Culture.

Jamaican/Canadian entrepreneur extraordinaire, Mr Michael Lee-Chin, will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws. A graduate of Ontario’s McMaster University with a degree in Civil Engineering, Mr Lee-Chin has returned to Jamaica and made good his dream of contributing to his native country by investing heavily in several development projects, buttressed by his significant financial services empire in Canada as well as in Jamaica. Another outstanding Jamaican entrepreneur and engineer by profession, Mr Douglas Orane will also receive an LLD honorary degree. Mr Orane has, since 1995, headed one of the Caribbean’s leading conglomerates, the Grace Kennedy Group of Companies and has shown foresight and courage in his leadership of the CSME-ready business which currently boasts some 36 subsidiaries across the region. The sixth honorary degree will be awarded to Jamaican consultant and public servant, Mr Roderick Rainford. He will receive the LLD degree honoris causa. A former Governor of the Central Bank of Jamaica, Mr Rainford was named one of the ten most outstanding UWI Alumni during the institutions fortieth anniversary celebrations in 1988. For three years he served as Deputy Secretary-General of CARICOM and subsequently became the Secretary General, serving from 1983 to 1992.