News Releases

UWI launches US$1.5 million endowment for medical sciences: Medical alumni give to fund scholarships

For Release Upon Receipt - November 22, 2021


The UWI Regional Headquarters, Jamaica. Monday, November 22, 2021. — The University of the West Indies (The UWI) through its Medical Alumni Association (UWIMAA) has launched an Endowment of US$1.5 million.

Though in its early days, the fund – under the patronage of Sir George Alleyne, Chancellor Emeritus of The UWI and globally celebrated contributor to the fields of international medical and public health, is already attracting interest and donations from alumni and organisations within the Caribbean and internationally. Contributing to student scholarships and funding for medical faculties, donors are pleased to support the UWIMAA’s bid to catalyze and assure the future development of the Medical fraternity, ultimately in service of the Caribbean.

Medicine is the founding faculty of The UWI and its medical graduates form the backbone of the health services of the Caribbean – the importance of which is ever more evident during the current COVID-19 pandemic. The UWIMAA now in its 33rd year is undergoing a process of revitalization. Mobilizing medical alumni to contribute to the fund is one way of marking the 75th anniversary of the Caribbean’s premier higher education institution and honouring the original 33 medical students who entered in 1948 – four of whom are still with us.  

The Medical Alumni Association, birthed at the Mona campus, now incorporates thousands of medical graduates from across the institution. It has provided material support to the faculties and recognized medical students in various ways. The proceeds from this new endowment will build on the UWIMAA’s track record, assisting medical faculties, providing merit and needs-based student scholarships and stimulating excellence through prizes and awards.

One of the early benefactors is UWI alumnus Dr. Edward Doyle Slifer (class of 1968) who has donated US$50,000. Appreciative of the University’s role in his training and professional development he said, "We all owe a great deal of gratitude to The UWI for a first-class education and we need to provide support so that others less fortunate can have the same opportunities that we have had. Giving forward is an important part of our responsibilities as alumni of this great institution.” Dr. Slifer has contributed generously to the University over the years and in 2020 established the Doyle and Linda Slifer Endowment Fund of US$250,000 to provide scholarships for disadvantaged medical students.

Responding to Dr. Slifer’s latest donation, Dr. Peter Wong, President UWIMAA said, “The UWIMAA thanks Dr. Edward Slifer for his generous gift to the Endowment. His contribution is an important step in supporting the Faculty of Medical Sciences and needy students who want to study medicine. We know that our alumni in the Caribbean and across the world will help us to reach our goal.”

University Dean of Medicine, Dr. Peter Adams in turn commended the UWIMAA for taking on the challenge of fund-raising. “An investment of US$1.5 million in our students and research agendas has the potential to meaningfully impact the medical fraternity, public health and the quality of life for Caribbean citizens. As a Faculty we have always been extremely proud of the life-saving contributions of our graduates. To every alumnus or stakeholder who will decide to contribute financially to this endowment, it is one more way we are saving lives.”

The UWIMAA Endowment is being launched on the heels of The UWI’s annual Global Giving campaign which in 2021 raised an outstanding US$650,000 toward scholarships and bursaries for students affected by COVID-19. Mrs. Elizabeth Buchanan-Hind, Executive Director, Institutional Advancement Division and UWI Global Giving Chair shared her thoughts on the new endowment; “We are heartened by the establishment of the UWIMAA Endowment in collaboration with UWI Global Giving as it will provide tremendous opportunities for The UWI, staff, faculty and most of all students in need.  The UWI Global Giving has grown exponentially, garnering support from UWI alumni, friends, corporations and foundations. We encourage support of the UWIMAA Endowment and the strengthening of the University's medical programme which is already comparable to the best anywhere in the world.”

For further information on the UWIMAA Endowment, interested persons may contact Mrs. Elizabeth Buchanan-Hind, Institutional Advancement Division in the Office of the Vice-Chancellor at 876-977-0052 or email



About The University of the West Indies

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.

The UWI has been consistently ranked among the top universities globally by the most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education (THE). In the latest World University Rankings 2022, released in September 2021, The UWI moved up an impressive 94 places from last year. In the current global field of some 30,000 universities and elite research institutes, The UWI stands among the top 1.5%.

The UWI is the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists since its debut in the rankings in 2018. In addition to its leading position in the Caribbean, it is also in the top 20 for Latin America and the Caribbean and the top 100 global Golden Age universities (between 50 and 80 years old).  The UWI is also featured among the leading 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.