News Releases

Scotiabank commits $600K Canadian in support of scholarships at The UWI

For Release Upon Receipt - June 23, 2023


undefinedUWI Toronto Benefit Awards Patrons and 2023 Honourees (l-r) Ms .Anya Schnoor, Mr. Kevin Hibbert; Dr. Dodridge Miller, Mr. Dahabo Ahmed-Omer of the BlackNorth Initiative, Mr. Ray Williams, Min. The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Prof. Sir Hilary Beckles, (front) Dr. Donette Chin-Loy Chang.

The UWI Regional Headquarters, Jamaica W.I. Friday, June 23, 2023—At the 14th Annual UWI Toronto Benefit Awards held in at the Ritz Carlton on April 29, Scotiabank, Lead Sponsor of the event since its inception in 2010, committed $600,000.00 Canadian Dollars in support of The UWI’s scholarship programme over the next six years. 

In his address Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies expressed his appreciation for the kind offer as he stated "we know that a country's potential for economic development is an expression of the number of its citizens who have had skills training, professional training and academic development. We are on a quest to defeat the forces of our history and uplift the children of the vast majority."

Ms. Anya Schnoor, Scotiabank Executive Vice President, Caribbean, Central America & Uruguay made the announcement, much to the delight of the 450 guests at what has become a fixture on the Toronto social calendar, noting that "Investing in the future of our Caribbean youth and providing them the means and tools to shape their future, will in turn propel our region to overcome many of the challenges it faces today." 


Ms Anya Schnoor, Scotiabank Executive Vice President, Caribbean, Central America & Uruguay.

“The ‘sold out’ event exceeded expectations in its fundraising efforts to support Caribbean students attending The UWI” noted Mrs. Elizabeth Buchanan-Hind, Chairperson for the UWI Toronto Benefit Awards Committee. 

Another surprise announcement came from Luminary Award recipient, Dr. the Honourable Sheryl Lee Ralph, OJ, Emmy Award Winning Actress, Singer, Philanthropist and Activist who announced in her acceptance speech that she would be awarding scholarships to UWI students in the name of herself and her family. 


Dr. the Honourable Sheryl Lee Ralph 

Other honourees included: 

G. Raymond Chang Award: Dr. Dodridge Miller – (Former) Group President and Chief Executive Officer, Sagicor Financial Company Ltd.

Chancellor’s Award: Black North Initiative (BNI) - A social justice initiative designed to remove anti-Black systemic barriers negatively affecting the lives of Black Canadians.

Vice Chancellor’s Award: Mr. Kevin Hibbert - Chief Financial Officer, Senior Managing Partner & Co-Head of Enterprise Shared Services Group, Sprott Inc.

Vice Chancellor’s Award:  Mr. Ray Williams - Vice Chairman & Managing Director - Financial Markets at National Bank Financial 

The UWI Toronto Benefit Awards receives tremendous support from the Canadian corporate sector continuing in the tradition of the long rich relationship between The University of the West Indies and Canada.  Many of its graduates can be found in leadership positions in all sectors of society making seminal contribution to the growth and development of Canada. 

“For 14 years we have gathered like-minded individuals amongst the corporate and other sectors, for a cause thousands of miles away.  I am pleased with this year’s event as more and more of corporate Canada comes on board. This fundraiser continues to showcase the best of the Caribbean community in Canada and the world - especially the diversity that brings us together for one common cause - to uplift and support these students,” said Dr. Donette Chin-Loy Chang, UWI Toronto Benefit Awards Co-Patron.  

About the UWI Toronto Benefit Awards

The University of the West Indies (UWI) Toronto Benefit Awards is an extraordinary event on the Toronto social calendar that brings together corporate, public and individual supporters for an inspiring evening of giving, sharing and celebrating.

The event supports a scholarship fund for outstanding academic achievers in the Caribbean, who lack the funds necessary to realize their fullest potential. It also recognizes greatness and tireless work through our honourees who continue to shine a light of hope for the next generation. 

Lead Chair: Scotiabank

Lead Sponsors: Kingsdale Advisors, Sprott Inc., Sagicor Financial Co. Ltd, and the G. Raymond Chang Foundation.

UWI Toronto Benefit Awards Chair: Mrs. Elizabeth Buchanan-Hind.

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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