News Releases

UWI Open Campus hosts its first Graduation

For Release Upon Receipt - October 13, 2009

St. Augustine

The Open Campus of The University of the West Indies (UWI) will host its first Graduation Ceremony on Saturday, October 17, 2009, at the Beausejour Indoor Practice Facility in Gros Islet, Saint Lucia at 5:00 p.m. The historic ceremony will also be streamed live online.

The Graduation Address will be delivered by The Honourable Dunstan St. Omer, one of the two persons to receive honorary degrees from the UWI Open Campus at the first-time ceremony. The renowned St. Lucian artist, cultural hero and designer of St. Lucia’s national flag, will be conferred with the Doctor of Letters (DLitt). St. Omer is the recipient of the national award, the St. Lucia Cross, and a papal medal from the Roman Catholic Church for his outstanding church murals. Hailed as the “Michelangelo of the Caribbean,” his Prometheus Mural is on an external wall of the UWI’s Open Campus in St. Lucia.

Dr. Peggy Antrobus, a distinguished Grenadian/Vincentian, dedicated social worker and lifetime advocate of the role of women in development, will be awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD). Antrobus was responsible for initiating the Women and Development Unit at the UWI School of Continuing Studies, one of the antecedents of the Open Campus. She also facilitated the formation of regional and international organisations, including the Caribbean Association for Feminist Research and Action (CAFRA) and the network of Third Word feminists promoting Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN).

Montserratian, Ms. Denise Gordon is named Valedictorian of the 2009 Open Campus graduating class. Gordon, who will receive her BSc in Management Studies (with first-class honours), and hopes to continue on to pursue graduate studies in Economics/Financial Economics said, “I chose to study via distance learning because I could not afford the cost to go on another UWI campus to pursue my preferred area of study which was Economics with Mathematics or Finance”.

The inaugural ceremony will be presided over by UWI Chancellor Sir George Alleyne, Vice Chancellor Professor E. Nigel Harris, and Open Campus Principal Professor Hazel Simmons-McDonald.

The Open Campus plans to rotate its Graduation ceremonies across the Caribbean. Beginning with St. Lucia as the first host country, it joins in the University’s tradition of graduation celebrations held annually by all UWI campuses.

For more information about the inaugural Open Campus graduation, see or contact The UWI Open Campus Marketing & Communications Unit at or (876) 927-1201 or 970-0720 or (Fax) 876-977-3443.


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About The UWI Open Campus

The newest UWI campus was formally launched in June 2008 and offers multi-mode teaching and learning services in over 40 physical site locations and virtual locations across 16 English-speaking Caribbean including Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago and the Turks & Caicos Islands.  The UWI Open Campus offers an open and flexible learning environment for pre-university, professional development, undergraduate and graduate courses and programmes in online, face-to-face and blended format.


About UWI

Over the last six decades, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged University with over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest and most longstanding higher education provider in the English-speaking Caribbean, consisting of four campuses in Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, and the new Open Campus. UWI is an international university with faculty and students from over 40 countries and collaborative links with over 100 universities around the world. Through its seven Faculties, UWI offers undergraduate and postgraduate certificate, diploma and degree options in Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Pure & Applied Sciences, Science and Agriculture, and Social Sciences. As an icon of Caribbean integration and culture, UWI remains committed to enhancing every aspect of Caribbean development and improving the well-being of the people of the Caribbean.