News Releases

Dame Sandra Mason to receive Honorary Doctorate during a Special Convocation

For Release Upon Receipt - September 29, 2021

St. Augustine



The UWI Regional Headquarters, Jamaica. W.I. Wednesday, September 29, 2021.— Governor General of Barbados, Her Excellency Dame Sandra Mason GCMG, D.A., Q.C., will be conferred an honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) degree at a special convocation on Saturday October 2 in recognition of her outstanding contribution to public service. 

She will receive the scroll during a virtual ceremony which will be broadcast at 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Caribbean).  The event will be streamed live on UWItv and social media platforms

Dame Sandra is one of 16 eminent persons to be honoured this year by The UWI. A special convocation was permitted earlier in July to confer an Honorary Doctor of Science degree (DSc) on Dr Ruby Lake-Richards, one of the first 33 medical students who attended The UWI (then University College of the West Indies). The 14 other honorary graduands will receive their recognition during this year’s round of virtual graduation ceremonies slated from October 10 to November 5 across the university’s five regional campuses. 

The former jurist was born on January 17, 1949 in East Point, St Philip, and attended the St Catherine’s Primary School and Queen’s College. 

Before embarking on her legal career, Dame Sandra was a teacher at the Princess Margaret Secondary School and later worked at Barclays Bank in Barbados and Jamaica. 

She obtained a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from The University of the West Indies Cave Campus in 1973, and a Certificate of Legal Education at the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad in 1975. 

The former lecturer at The UWI Cave Hill Campus has distinguished herself in the legal profession, and achieved several firsts throughout her career. She is the first Barbadian female attorney-at-law to graduate from the Hugh Wooding Law School, the first Barbadian to be appointed as a member of the London-based Commonwealth Secretariat Arbitral Tribunal, the first female president of that tribunal, and the first female Court of Appeal Judge of the Supreme Court of Barbados. 

Dame Sandra has held several roles in the administration of justice: She was Magistrate of the Juvenile and Family Court in Barbados and a High Court Judge of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court. She is also a former Chief Magistrate and Registrar of the Supreme Court. 

Additionally, she has been a member of several organisations including the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Chair of the Community Legal Services Commission, and a member of the Judicial and Legal Services Commission. 

She is also a former diplomat who served as Ambassador to Venezuela, Chile, Colombia and Brazil. 

On January 8, 2018, Her Excellency officially took up her appointment as the eighth Governor General of Barbados and was conferred with Dame Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and St George (GCMG). Upon assuming office, Dame Sandra became the Chancellor of the Order and the principal Dame of St. Andrew (DA), under the Order of Barbados. 

Dame Sandra enjoys reading, playing scrabble, watching cricket and travelling. She has one son, Matthew, who is also an Attorney-at-Law. 



About The UWI 

The UWI has been and continues to be a pivotal force in every aspect of Caribbean development; residing at the centre of all efforts to improve the well-being of people across the region.  

From a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948, The UWI is today an internationally respected, global university with near 50,000 students and five campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda and its Open Campus, and 10 global centres in partnership with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe

The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Culture, Creative and Performing Arts, Food and Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities and Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology, Social Sciences, and Sport. As the Caribbean’s leading university, it possesses the largest pool of Caribbean intellect and expertise committed to confronting the critical issues of our region and wider world. 

Ranked among the top universities in the world, by the most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher EducationThe UWI is the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists. In 2020, it earned ‘Triple 1st’ rankings—topping the Caribbean; and in the top in the tables for Latin America and the Caribbean, and global Golden Age universities (between 50 and 80 years old).  The UWI is also featured among the top universities on THE’s Impact Rankings for its response to the world’s biggest concerns, outlined in the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Good Health and Wellbeing; Gender Equality and Climate Action. 

For more, visit

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