News Releases

US Congress Proclaims Nigel Harris Day, AFUWI Honours Him Too

For Release Upon Receipt - February 19, 2015


February 13, 2015: February 11, 2015, was proclaimed “A Day in Honour of Dr. Eon Nigel Harris”, Vice Chancellor, The University of the West Indies, by the Congress of the United States House of Representatives.

The proclamation was signed by Charles B. Rangel, Dean, New York Congressional Delegation, Representative of the 13th Congressional District of New York in the 114th Congress, First Session.

It traced Prof. Harris’ academic accomplishments through studies at Howard University, Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania in the USA and The UWI, Mona, where he gained the post-graduate degree Doctor of Medicine in 1981 and his professional achievements as Dean and Senior VP for Academic Affairs at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta and now as Vice Chancellor of The UWI.

Prof. Harris is internationally known for his work as a Rheumatologist and for helping with Doctors Aziz Gharaui and Graham Hughes in London, to help define a disorder which they called the Antiphospholiped Syndrome and devised a diagnostic test for it.  The three men won the Giba-Geigy prize awarded by the International League Against Rheumatism (ILAR) in 1990 and for his contributions to the field of Rheumatology, Prof. Harris was made a Master of the American College of Rheumatology in October 2014.

The US Congress proclamation which called for “people of my District to observe this day with appropriate celebrations in his honour” was presented to Prof. Harris at the American Foundation for the University of the West Indies (AFUWI) 18th, annual awards gala in New York where much to his surprise, he was also honoured for his leadership of the AFUWI and The UWI.

The AFUWI event raises funds to provide bursaries and scholarships for financially challenged students at the UWI.

Noting that this is the last gala that Prof. Harris will be attending as Vice Chancellor due to his announced retirement in May, 2015, Chancellor of The UWI, Sir George Alleyne said in his message to the gala “I trust you will thank him profusely for his contribution to the University and the Caribbean over the past 10 years.  He has been consistent in promoting The University’s vision and values and is passionately committed to seeing that The University retains its place as the tertiary institution par excellence in the commonwealth Caribbean.”

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Photo Caption:

Vice Chacellor of The University of the West Indies (The UWI), Prof. E. Nigel Harris (4th left) with the award presented to him by the Board of the American Foundation for the University of the West Indies (AFUWI)”, at the AFUWI 18th annual awards gala in New York on February 11, 2015.

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 over 50,000 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.

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