News Releases

The UWI salutes alumna Paula-Mae Weekes on becoming President of T&T

For Release Upon Receipt - March 22, 2018


The University of the West Indies (The UWI) community is filled with great pride to have yet another member of its alumni ascend to one of the highest offices in the region. The UWI extends congratulations to Ms Paula-Mae Weekes on her appointment as the sixth President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. President Weekes who was inaugurated on Monday, 19 March 2018, created history, becoming the first female Head of State of the country. She joins the ranks of a few eminent women who have risen to this level of office in the English-speaking Caribbean.

President Weekes entered The UWI Cave Hill Campus, Barbados in 1977 and graduated in 1980 with a Bachelor of Laws degree with honours. She was called to the bar in Trinidad and Tobago in 1982 and maintained a distinguished legal career up to the rank of a Justice of Appeal of the Judiciary, until her retirement in 2016. In 2017, she was sworn in as a Judge of the Turks and Caicos Islands Court of Appeal to serve a three-year term, but resigned from the post upon confirmation of a unanimous nod from Trinidad and Tobago’s Electoral College on January 19, 2018. She was also the sole nominee for a new President.

In a statement, Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles expressed his personal congratulations to President Weekes, adding, “This is another momentous occasion for our University. It is also a timely reminder as we celebrate our 70th anniversary, that our alumni are found in all areas of public life and have brought the University tremendous honour through their regional and global achievements and contributions.”

Pro Vice-Chancellor and Campus Principal, Professor Eudine Barriteau also extended congratulations to President Weekes on behalf of The UWI, Cave Hill. She said, “The Cave Hill Campus is very proud that yet another of its graduates has been called to serve their country at the highest level. The Campus offers its heartiest congratulations to the first female President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and wishes her a long and successful tenure.”


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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, 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 & Technology, Social Sciences and Sport. The 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:  

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