News Releases

UWI Open Campus celebrates its first Graduating Class

For Release Upon Receipt - October 26, 2009

St. Augustine

The University of the West Indies (UWI) celebrated an historic first with the inaugural Graduation Ceremony of its newest campus, the Open Campus, at the Beausejour Indoor Sports Facility in St Lucia on Saturday, October 17, 2009. 

Almost 150 of the 700+ qualified graduands from across UWI’s 15 contributing Caribbean states assembled in St. Lucia for the special ceremony presided over by UWI Chancellor, Professor the Hon. Sir George Alleyne. Also present to celebrate the occasion were four Caribbean Heads of State, including Her Excellency, Dame Pearlette Louisy, the Governor General of St. Lucia; His Excellency Sir Cuthbert Sebastian, Governor General of St. Kitts & Nevis; Her Excellency Dame Louise Lake-Tack, Governor General of Antigua & Barbuda; and His Excellency Sir Carlyle Glean, Governor General of Grenada, the Education Ministers of Montserrat and St. Kitts & Nevis, as well as eminent members of the Open Campus Council and the University community, members of the diplomatic corps in St. Lucia, other government ministers, faculty, parents, friends, and relatives of the graduates. The inaugural Open Campus Graduation Ceremony was also streamed live online. 

Addressing a full audience at the Beausejour Indoor Sports Facility, the Chancellor spoke about leadership and encouraged the graduating class to aim high for success. He reiterated that the establishment of the Open Campus was a core area of focus in the University’s current strategic agenda to facilitate the University expansion of its scope and service to the region. He also acknowledged that the Open Campus had, in a short time, “traversed a challenging but rewarding journey.”  

In his feature address, Honorary Graduate, the Hon. Dunstan St. Omer highlighted that this time in our Caribbean history was one when nobility was in great demand and called on the class of 2009 to strive towards the nobility of his own generation as it is their heritage and their responsibility.  

“A country that does not grow is a country that’s dying and you are fortunate to herald the new age, the new Renaissance. We in St. Lucia and the West Indies are depending on you to lead us into our Golden Age,” he said.  

Valedictorian, Ms. Denise Gordon of Montserrat earned a standing ovation for her remarks. She described the UWI Open Campus experience as “life-changing…even with all the challenges”, and on behalf of her fellow graduates, saluted the vision of The UWI that led to the founding of the Open Campus. The BSc Management Studies (first class honours) graduate articulated the need for “all in the region to come together in community and to leave fractiousness behind in order to build the region”.  

The inaugural Open Campus Graduation followed the formal induction ceremony for the first Open Campus Principal and Pro Vice Chancellor Professor Hazel Simmons-McDonald, which was held the day before at Government House.  

Notes to the Editor: For photos please see 

Honorary Degrees

At its inaugural graduation ceremony, The UWI Open Campus conferred The Honourable Dunstan St. Omer renowned St. Lucian artist, cultural hero and designer of St. Lucia’s national flag with the honorary Doctor of Letters (DLitt) degree. Dr. Peggy Antrobus, a distinguished Grenadian/Vincentian, dedicated social worker and lifetime advocate of the role of women in development, was also awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD). For more information about the Open Campus graduation ceremony, contact:

Ms. Suzette Wolfe,The Marketing & Communications Unit, The University of the West Indies, Open Campus

Tel: 876-927-1201 or 876-970-0720

Fax: 876-977-3443E-mail:



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. The UWI Open Campus is an amalgamation of three former departments – the Office of the Board for Non-Campus Countries & Distance Education (BNNCDE), the School of Continuing Studies (SCS), the UWI Distance Education Centre (UWIDEC), and the Tertiary Level Institutions Unit (TLIU). All programmes and courses at the Open Campus have been designed in direct response to a need for high quality continuing and professional development in many key areas in the Caribbean and global markets.  


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. 


  • Ms. Suzette Wolfe, The Marketing & Communications Unit, UWI Open Campus

  • Tel.: 876-927-1201 or 876-970-0720
  • Email: