News Releases

UWI to confer 20 Honorary Degrees in 2014 Graduation Ceremonies

For Release Upon Receipt - June 6, 2014


UWI Regional Headquarters, Jamaica – The 2014 graduation ceremonies at The University of the West Indies (The UWI) will see the conferral of 20 honorary degrees: four at the Cave Hill Campus, six at the Mona Campus, two at the Open Campus, and eight at the St. Augustine Campus. The following awardees will receive honorary doctorates in recognition of their stellar contributions to Caribbean development:  


  • Dame Maizie Barker-Welch –Women’s Rights Activist, Barbados - LLD
  • Dame Irina Bokova – Politician/UNESCO Director General, Bulgaria- LLD
  • Dame Cécile Ellen La Grenade – Food Scientist, Grenada - LLD
  • Dame Billie Miller – Politician, Barbados - LLD 


  • Mr Nicholas Brathwaite – Global Technology Industry Executive, Philanthropist, United States- DLitt
  • Mr Ryland T. Campbell – Educator, Banker, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, Jamaica- LLD
  • Dr Marjorie Patricia Downes-Grant – President, CEO of Sagicor Life, Barbados - LLD
  • The Hon Michael Fennell – Sports Administrator/Retired Business Executive, JamaicaLLD
  • Professor Alan Jackson – Scientist, United Kingdom/Jamaica - DSc
  • Dr Robert Jeremy Poynting – Founder, Director of Peepal Tree Press, United Kingdom - DLitt 


  • Sir Brian G.K. Alleyne – Diplomat/Lawyer, Dominica - LLD
  • Dr Earl Long – Parasitologist, St. Lucia - DSc 


  • H.E. Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona – 5th President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Trinidad & Tobago - LLD
  • Mr Adrian Camps-Campins – Historian/Artist, Trinidad & Tobago - DLitt
  • Ms Catherine Rukmini Kumar – Business Executive, Trinidad & Tobago - LLD
  • Ms Rhonda Mary Maingot – Philanthropist, Trinidad & Tobago – LLD
  • Dr Robert Moore – Public Servant/Politician/Writer/Journalist, Guyana - DLitt
  • Mr SubeshRamjattan – Entrepreneur/Philanthropist/Author, Trinidad and Tobago - DLitt 
  • Sir Ronald Sanders – International Consultant/Writer/Former Diplomat, Guyana - DLitt
  • Mrs McCartha Linda Sandy-Lewis (“Calypso Rose”) – Calypsonian/Cultural Ambassador, Trinidad and Tobago - DLitt

UWI Chancellor Sir George Alleyne will confer the degrees at UWI graduation exercises during the months of October and November. As is customary, one of the honorary graduands will address the audience at each of the ceremonies. The Open Campus will be the first of the four campuses to host its graduation ceremony on Saturday October 11 in St. Lucia. The graduation ceremony at Cave Hill, Barbados will follow on Saturday October 18 with St Augustine and Mona ceremonies hosted on October 23 through 25 and October 31 through November 1 respectively.  

Campus Marketing & Communications Offices will provide, in due course, more information on the speakers, dates, times and other campus specific, graduation related activities.


About the Honorary Graduands 


Dame Maizie Barker-Welch – LLD

Dame Maizie Barker-Welch has a distinguished record of service at the national, regional and international levels in the fields of community and women in development, ageing, and politics. Her developmental work in Barbados and the region spans seven decades. She is the founder of the St. Joseph Action Group, an NGO which helped to address the concerns of women in rural areas in Barbados. She has served in senior positions in various national and regional organisations devoted to those causes, and represented Barbados repeatedly on the global stage. She has also had a political career, and has received a number of outstanding awards.  

Madame Irina Bokova - LLD

Madame Irina Bokova is the current Director General of UNESCO, an exceptional partner of The UWI. Director-General Bokova is the first woman to have been elected head of UNESCO. She has held important parliamentary and diplomatic positions in her home country of Bulgaria, and she participated in the drafting of Bulgaria’s new Constitution, which contributed significantly to the country’s accession to the European Union. As an active member of many international expert networks, civil society, and, in particular, as chairperson and founding member of the European Policy Forum, she has worked to overcome European divisions and to foster the values of dialogue, diversity, human dignity and human-rights. Madame Irina Bokova has been conferred with honorary doctorates by many prestigious universities across the world.  

Dame Billie Miller  LLD

From 1969-1976, and 1987-1994, Dame Billie Miller worked as a practising Barrister and attorney-at-law specialising in family law. She was the only woman practising at the private Bar in Barbados at the time. She has had an active and prolonged political career, and was the first woman to sit in the Cabinet of Barbados. The accolade Dame of St. Andrew (Barbados’ highest honour), was conferred on her by the Governor General in 2003 in recognition of her distinguished career and her outstanding contribution to Barbados, to international organisations and to politics. In 2008, she was Laureate for the United Nations Population Award in recognition of her stellar contribution to the awareness of population issues.  

Dame Cécile Ellen La GrenadeLLD

Dame Cécile La Grenade is a Grenadian food scientist who was sworn in as a Governor-General of Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinique in 2013. She is Grenada’s first female governor-general.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from The UWI, as well as a Master’s degree and doctorate in Food Science from the University of Maryland, Washington. Dame Cécile was also appointed a Dame Grand Cross of the order of St. Michael and St. George by Queen Elizabeth II in 2013.  


Mr Nicholas Brathwaite - DLitt

Nicholas Earle Brathwaite is a Silicon Valley technology entrepreneur and international business executive. He has been instrumental in creating and/or leading multinational “high tech” businesses in many countries. Mr Brathwaite is a co-founder and partner of the technology investment firm, Riverwood Capital based in Menlo Park, California. Nicholas Brathwaite currently serves on the boards of several private and public companies in the United States, China and Argentina. He is currently a member of the board of directors of two publicly traded companies: Power Integrations, Inc., Tessera Technologies Inc. A prolific philanthropist, he is the holder of several patents, author of many international publications, a successful entrepreneur and highly accomplished, globally respected technology industry executive.  

Mr Ryland T. Campbell LLD

Ryland T. Campbell has made significant and long-lasting contributions to the development and sustainability of Jamaica’s education system, and has occupied several prestigious positions in this field for over three decades. In addition to being a positive force in education, Mr Campbell is renowned for his business acumen and his transformational capabilities in the financial sector. He has served for several years as Chairman, Group President and CEO of Capital and Credit Financial Group Ltd – a group he co-founded. A business entrepreneur with extraordinary vision, Mr Campbell is deemed the epitome of success in the Jamaican business sector and is viewed as an inspirational leader and mentor by many rising entrepreneurs.  

Dr Marjorie Patricia Downes-Grant - LLD

Dr Marjorie Patricia Downes-Grant stands at the top of the finance industry in Barbados, where she is President and CEO of Sagicor Life, Barbados Ltd., the largest financial conglomerate in Barbados and the OECS. Not only is she the leading woman in corporate Barbados, but is also a transformational leader who has done a great deal to ensure that The UWI benefits from her success. She has had extensive experience in business consulting, financial services and development banking, and has been with Sagicor Life since 1991. Dr Downes-Grant is also director of a number of statutory boards and private companies in Barbados.  

The Hon Michael Fennell – LLD

The Hon Michael S. Fennell, OJ, CD, is an outstanding Jamaican who has served in various leadership positions at the local, regional and international levels. At The UWI, Mona Campus, he has served as the Chair of the Placement and Career Services Board for over 26 years, advising on different aspects of students’ career development. His career also includes distinguished sports leadership at the national, regional and international levels, including membership on the International Olympic Committee Programme Commission and the IOC Women in Sports Committee. He also served as Chairman of the Commonwealth Games Federation (1994-2003) and President (2003-2001), and Vice-President of the Pan American Sports Organisation (PASO).  For his contribution to sports in Jamaica he was awarded the national honour of Order of Jamaica in 2005. 

Professor Alan Jackson DScProf Alan Jackson is currently the director at the National Institute for Health Research Southampton Biomedical Research Centre in nutrition. Professor Jackson became the first UK professor of human nutrition in 1985, and has been a central driver of Southampton's leadership in the field since. Having trained as a paediatrician, Professor Jackson’s early research to determine the pathophysiology of severe acute malnutrition in children helped establish the principles of prevention and care for global application. It was also the basis for the principles of nutrition support for severely sick people in the UK.  His international roles include President of the Association for Nutrition; Chair of: the International Malnutrition Task Force of IUNS and World Cancer Research Fund, and elected member of the Caribbean Health Research Council.  

Dr Robert Jeremy Poynting - DLitt

Jeremy Poynting, who for years has been an authority on Caribbean literature and culture, is recognised for his work as editor and director of Peepal Tree Press and his invaluable contributions to Caribbean literature. After 25 years of operation, the medium-sized literary publishing house can now be said to be the leading publishers of Caribbean writers. At the heart of the press is Dr Poynting, founder and director. Through his vision Peepal Tree Press has grown steadily and expanded in remarkable ways. 


Sir Brian G.K. Alleyne LLD

Sir Brian George Keith Alleyne, SC, KCN, entered politics and served 16 years in the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Dominica. He was variously Senator, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Minister of Home Affairs, and Minister of External Affairs. A renowned Queen’s Council, he also served as Attorney General of the Windward Islands, and acting Judge of the Windward and Leeward Islands High Court. For his outstanding diplomacy, the Republic of China in 1990 awarded him the Order of the Brilliant Star. His elevation to Senior Counsel (SC) of the Commonwealth of Dominica Bar followed in 1991. On July 1, 1996 Justice Brian Alleyne was appointed High Court Judge of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court. He was later elevated to Justice of Appeal on September 1, 2003, and subsequently Acting Chief Justice on March 1, 2005, a position which he held until his retirement on April 28, 2008. Throughout his career, Justice Alleyne has consistently shown outstanding political and legal leadership, integrity, selflessness and a generous spirit. Fittingly, Justice Alleyne was knighted in July 2007, for his distinguished service to the OECS region and to the Law. 

Dr Earl Long - DSc

In 1990, Dr Earl Long published the first description of the tropical intestinal parasite, Cyclospora cayetanensis and documented its diagnostic characteristics. A native of St Lucia, he developed systems for disease diagnosis in three developing countries – Vietnam, Congo and Malaysia, and these systems were adopted in 14 other countries. Dr Long is an Advisor to the World Health Organisation and a Technical Advisor to the US Agency for International Development. In 1990, he published the first description and diagnosis characteristics of a pathogenic specimen from an AIDS patient suffering from diarrhoea that would later become known as Cyclospora cayetanensis. While in the Congo, Dr Long conducted research on malaria, tuberculosis, AIDS and gastroenterology, working under conditions in which there was no cable-transmitted electricity. With the help of an engineer, he designed the battery-powered “E.A.R.L light” – the External Autonomous Repositionable Lightweight Light, which became a valuable resource for field use. 

In 1996, Dr Long established collaborative research and training activities between the University of the West Indies School of Medicine, the Morehouse School of Medicine and the Centres for Disease Control (CDC). He left the CDC in 2004.Dr Long currently works at the Division of Parasitic Diseases in the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID), where he conducts training activities and research on parasitic and other infectious diseases. He is also a dedicated author of fiction, who counts West Indian authors like Vidya Naipaul and Derek Walcott as his inspirations. He has written four novels set in the West Indies: Consolation, Voices from a Drum, Leaves in a River and Slicer.  


H.E. Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona – LLD

His Excellency, President Anthony Carmona is currently the fifth President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, having taken the oath of office on March 18, 2013. In 2002 he was conferred the status of Senior Counsel and in 2004 was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of Trinidad and Tobago, and subsequently, a Judge of the International Criminal Court.  A graduate of The UWI, he obtained his BA at the Mona Campus and his LLB at the Cave Hill Campus before being called to the Bar of Trinidad and Tobago in 1983. In addition to his distinguished legal career, His Excellency has a wealth of experience as an educator, having taught at both primary and secondary schools. At the tertiary level, he was a lecturer and senior tutor at technical institutes as well as at The UWI, St Augustine Campus.  

Mr Adrian Camps-CampinsDLitt

Adrian Camps-Campins began his career in the Insurance industry rising to senior positions by the 1970s. History and painting were, however, his first loves and by 1974, he had reverted to his favourite areas and found fame. He has staged exhibitions in Paris and Washington, and lectured on his art in Trinidad and in the UK at Oxford University. The works of Mr Camps-Campins are considered to portray vividly the vibrancy of the Caribbean.  

Ms Catherine Rukmini Kumar LLD

Ms Kumar has had remarkable success as a female executive in the male-dominated corporate sector of Trinidad and Tobago. Her many achievements have had a profound impact on the advancement for other females in the commercial and financial sectors. She was the first female senior executive in the local subsidiary of a large international insurance company, as well as the first female Inspector of Banks and Inspector of Financial Institutions of the Financial Supervision Unit in the Central bank; first female Chief Executive Officer of a large local bank; first female Chair of the banking Association of Trinidad and Tobago, and the first female president of the American Chamber of Commerce. She currently holds the position of Chief Executive Officer and Secretary to the Board of Directors of the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Commerce.  

Ms Rhonda Mary MaingotLLD

Ms Maingot is a Consecrated Sister in Household Community. Her life and works centre on her dedication to the care of socially deprived persons and the terminally ill. She currently holds the position of Director of the Living Water Community, and the New Life Ministries Ltd., the Food for the Poor Inc. in Florida, USA, and Camsel Services: Archdiocesan Catholic Communications. Ms Maingot has founded many homes, missions and schools, and is also the recipient of many awards for her ceaseless and willing service to humanity. 

Dr Robert Moore – DLitt

Dr Moore is recognised both in his land of birth, Guyana, and internationally as a brilliant scholar, a prolific writer, a pre-eminent public speaker and a person of rare integrity and multi-faceted talents. However, it is Bobby Moore the communicator who people love best. He first developed his communication techniques through radio broadcasting. He became one of the founding fathers of the first regional and hugely popular newspaper, Caribbean Contact, which would become the conscience of the Caribbean. In the mid-seventies, Dr Moore took up the position of Guyana’s High Commissioner to Canada, working closely with both secular and religious NGOs devoted to the alleviation of poverty in the Global South. He received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Saskatchewan, and the title of Distinguished Graduate from The UWI. He also is the recipient of the coveted Lignum Vitae Lifetime Achievement Award of Guyana.  

Mr Subesh Ramjattan - DLitt 

Mr Subesh Ramjattan is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Bridge of Hope in Sangre Grande, a home which accommodates underprivileged youths with the help of corporate organisations. He also established the Olive House, a home for retired persons in need of professional care in their senior years. He is a successful entrepreneur, and is also the author of three monographs. 

Sir Ronald Sanders DLitt

Sir Ronald Sanders has had an outstanding career in the media as a broadcaster, presenter and manager, and has exemplified excellence in the field of broadcasting and communications in the Caribbean. For a number of years, Sir Ronald has written on a vast variety of subjects for publication by Caribbean and international outlets He was, for some years, also a diplomat and high commissioner. As a High Commissioner he represented his country and the Caribbean with dignity and honour, with a clear understanding of the standards required of Caribbean diplomats. He gained recognition for his work at the Commonwealth level, and was named one of the Commonwealth’s Eminent Persons.  

Mrs McCartha Linda Sandy-Lewis (“Calypso Rose”) – DLitt

The Caribbean’s premiere female calypsonian, Calypso Rose as she is fondly called, is well-known in the calypso world as a witty composer, a charismatic performer and a cultural ambassador. Being a female calypsonian in a male-dominated arena, she faced many challenges but was determined to make it in the calypso world. She has toured throughout the Caribbean and internationally, and is the recipient of many cultural and achievements awards. She has been honoured by the Mayor of St Catherine’s, Ontario, Canada, and has also been featured in several documentaries.  

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, UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad 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. Website:


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