Events Releases

Record-Breaking Graduation Ceremonies at St Augustine Campus

For Release Upon Receipt - November 1, 2007

St. Augustine

The University of the West Indies (UWI) 2007 Graduation Ceremonies will break two significant records. A total of 2,780 degrees will be conferred, continuing the St Augustine campus’ general trend over this decade of yearly increase in number of graduates. The Graduation Ceremonies will also see the conferral of twelve honorary degrees: four at St Augustine Campus, four at Cave Hill Campus (Barbados) and four at Mona Campus (Jamaica).


The total number of degrees conferred this year is a composite of 2,362 first degrees (a significant rise from 1,896 in 2005-2006), and 418 higher degrees (down from 655 last year). Among the first degrees, the Faculty of Social Sciences took the lion’s share of the crop (731). Of the 418 higher degrees, virtually 50 per cent were from the Faculty of Humanities (208), while the Faculty of Medical Sciences had only six. Female students captured approximately 65% of the first degrees awarded and approximately 63% of the higher degrees. This year’s overall number of degrees awarded represents an increase of over 240 per cent from the 1996-1997 total of 1,140.


This year is also the first time that so many are to be so honoured by The University of the West Indies in the annual ritual of recognising outstanding contributors to the region. At the UWI St. Augustine Campus, two Doctor of Letters (DLitt) and two Doctor of Laws (LLD) degrees will be awarded. Trinidadian ceramic artist, Mrs Vera Baney, has consistently achieved excellence in the field of sculpture and pottery and has exhibited in many countries, including Canada, the UK, Trinidad and Tobago, the USA and in the former Yugoslavia. Her contribution to the Fine Arts was acknowledged and recognised by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago with the award, in 1982, of the Gold Hummingbird Medal. Mrs Baney will be conferred with the Honorary Doctor of Letters degree.


Trinidadian journalist, Miss Camini Marajh, will also receive the Doctor of Letters degree. Miss Marajh is an Investigations Editor with the Trinidad Express newspaper and over the years has reported in depth on a wide range of issues, including crime, the legislature and the environment in Trinidad and Tobago. For several years, she was recipient of the Royal Bank Media Excellence Award for ‘Best Investigative Report’ and ‘Journalist of the Year’.


Justice Desiree Patricia Bernard, the first female judge of the Caribbean Court of Justice, was also the first female Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Guyana and the first female Chancellor of the Judiciary of Guyana. A native of Guyana, Justice Desiree Bernard has had an outstanding career in the legal profession and is highly acclaimed regionally as well as internationally. She will be conferred with the Doctor of Laws degree.


Grenadian agriculturalist, Mr Edward Kent, has made significant contributions to agricultural management and cattle-breeding in St Lucia, Grenada, Guyana and other Caribbean countries and will be awarded the Honorary Doctor of Laws degree.


The four persons to receive the LLD degree, Honoris Causa at the Cave Hill Campus ceremonies are Barbadian economist and international business consultant, Sir Courtney Blackman; Barbadian entrepreneur extraordinaire, Mr Geoffrey Cave; Anguillan Queen’s Counsel, Dame Bernice Lake; and Dominican Jurist, Dr Nicholas Liverpool.


The four eminent persons who will receive honorary doctorates at the two graduation ceremonies scheduled for the UWI Mona Campus are Dr G. Raymond Chang, Father Gregory Ramkissoon, Dame Ivy Dumont and Professor Franklin Knight.