News Releases

Calling UWI Alumni, Staff, Students & Friends What’s Your Pelican Story?

For Release Upon Receipt - May 26, 2023


The UWI Regional Headquarters, Jamaica W.I. Friday, May 26, 2023 — This year marks the Diamond Jubilee of The University of the West Indies (UWI). As part of its year-long 75th anniversary celebrations, The UWI is calling on its 87,000 graduates, current students, present and retired staff, friends and partners scattered across the globe, to share the impact that The UWI has made on their lives, the people they will never forget, and any proud moment that remains with them. 

For 75 years, over the period 1948-2023, The UWI has been a pivotal force in every aspect of Caribbean development – through colonialism, independence, global disruptions and, more recently, a pandemic. Throughout the years, thousands of people have helped shape this regional institution into what is now – a great West Indian tradition. It was from that perspective that Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles announced theme: UWI at 75. Rooted. Ready. Rising.

Rooted, because the institution remains influenced by where it was built and its service to Caribbean people and their contributions; Ready, because The UWI is an advocate for the region, its needs and advancement with the ability to overcome challenges and build the Caribbean’s resilience; Rising, because The UWI recognises the need for continuous growth and improvement. Like the brown Pelican, which sits atop The UWI Coat of Arms, UWI will continue to soar. The brown Pelican is found only in the Americas. It was chosen as The UWI’s symbol since it represents the institution’s unique regional identity, and is known to nurture and protect its young – just as The UWI had done for the Caribbean for 75 years.

As The UWI reflects on its past, confronts the present and plans for the future a convening of its community is timely. All members of The UWI community, past and present are invited to reminisce on their best Pelican story and unforgettable memories via Share your stories with photo and video resources. Who knows? That story may just lead to a renewing of Pelican friendships and new collaborations.


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 for the past 75 years.

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 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). 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 in the World University Rankings, it is also in the top 25 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.

2023 marks The UWI’s 75th anniversary. The Diamond jubilee milestone themed “UWI at 75. Rooted. Ready. Rising.” features initiatives purposely designed and aligned to reflect on the past, confront the present, and articulate plans for the future of the regional University. 

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