News Releases

Regional University names fifteen Honorary Graduands

For Release Upon Receipt - August 18, 2010

St. Augustine


Fifteen lights rising from the West will shine bright in October when The University of the West Indies (UWI) confers honorary degrees in the annual Graduation Ceremonies to be held throughout its four campuses.

The ceremonies begin on October 16th at the Open Campus Graduation, where Mrs Beverley Steele, CBE, MH and Professor Caryl Phillips will receive the honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) and Doctor of Letters (DLitt) degrees respectively. On October 23rd, the celebrations move to the Cave Hill Campus in Barbados, where Rev. Dr. Donald Henry Kortright Davis, The Honourable Elliott Mottley, QC, Professor Naana Jane Opuku-Agyemang and Charles Straker will receive the honorary LLD. On October 29th and 30th, the celebrations move to the St Augustine Campus in Trinidad and Tobago, where the honorary LLD will be conferred onto Mr Doddridge Alleyne, Mr Hans Hanoomansingh, Mrs Diana Mahabir Wyatt, while Mr Thomas Gatcliffe will receive the honorary Doctor of Sciences degree (DSc.). Finally, on November 5th and 6th, the Mona Campus in Jamaica will host the closing celebration, where Mr George Neville Ashenheim and the Honourable William Mc Connell, OJ, CD will receive the LLD, while Dr. Knox Hagley and Dr. Renn Holness will receive the DSc., and Professor Edward Alston Cecil Baugh the DLitt.


Open Campus

If you have any questions about Grenada, Beverley Steele can provide the answers or tell you where you can find them. Ms. Steele holds a BSc in Economics and an MSc in Sociology from The University of the West Indies. She lectured at the St. Augustine Campus between 1968 –1972, then between 1972-2005 she worked with the UWI School of Continuing Studies as Resident Tutor and Head of the Grenada Centre. A native of Jamaica, Ms. Steele has produced several scholarly publications detailing the history of Grenada. From politics and women’s affairs to dance and national dress, her works offer some of the most definitive accounts of the development of the Spice Isle and its people.

Caryl Phillips is recognised as one of the most prolific young writers today whose works to date include nine novels, four plays, two screenplays as well as dramas and documentaries for radio and television. Born in St. Kitts and raised in the United Kingdom, he holds a BA in English Literature from Oxford University. His work explores issues of identity, particularly in the Caribbean, African and Jewish diasporas and has garnered or been shortlisted for some twenty-three awards, including the 1992 Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year, the 2004 Commonwealth Writers Prize and Britain's oldest literary award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize (1993).


Cave Hill Campus

Kortright Davis has straddled the worlds of formal academia and denominational religion. In 1969, three years after his ordination as a priest of the Anglican Church in St Kitt’s, he became a Tutor at Codrington College, Barbados. A quarter century later, in 1994, he preached at the consecration of the Bishop of the Windward Islands, and in the same year accepted an appointment as Director of the Doctor of Ministry programme at the Howard University School of Divinity. The Antiguan-born theologian and educator, who holds the Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Sussex, is the rector of the Holy Comforter Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C.

Elliott Mottley, is the recipient of the 2007 American Foundation for The University of the West Indies Caribbean Luminary Award. Appointed Queen's Counsel in 1980, Mottley has served as Justice of Appeal for Cayman Island, Barbados, Turks & Caicos and Belize and President of the Court of Appeal in Belize. Mottley is a former President of the Organisation of Caribbean Bar Associations, former Attorney General for the Island of Bermuda. The lionised Caribbean jurist has taken on numerous high-profile cases. In 2001, for example, he was appointed by West Indies Cricket Board to investigate and report on cricket match-fixing allegations made against former West Indies cricket captain Brian Lara.

Ghanaian Professor Naana Opoku-Agyemang is the Vice Chancellor of the University of the Cape Coast (UCC) in Ghana; she is, in fact, the first female Vice Chancellor in Ghana. Elected Ghana's representative to the Executive Board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in October 2009, she heads a University which plays a role that is unique and vital to the education enterprise of the nation. Established in 1962 out of a dire need for highly qualified and skilled manpower in education, UCC has grown from a fledgling University College to a giant institution of excellence and choice in Africa and the world.

Charles Straker has performed for Royalty, played at major concert halls around the world and appeared with some of the biggest names in international show business. The long string of accolades which he has already received—including the Pride of Barbados Award in 1998 and the Barbados Centennial Honour at the turn of the century—has come in recognition of not only his talent but his untiring philanthropy and passion for cultural development. He served on the Barbados Tourist Board and was the first Crop Over committee chairman. He has also served on the board of the Barbados Community College, and the Council of the Barbados National Trust.


St Augustine Campus

Doddridge Alleyne, 83 years and counting, has been dedicated to his craft since the day he graduated from Balliol College in Oxford with a B.A. in Philosophy, Politics and Economics.  He has given forty of those eighty-three years to the Public Service-serving as Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Petroleum and Mines and the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Development. Mr. Alleyne’s service also extended to the United Nations when he served as Petroleum Advisor to the Government of Kenya from 1980-1982. His induction into the Queen’s Royal College Hall of Honour in 2003 and the Chaconia Gold Medal he received for long and Meritorious Service to Trinidad and Tobago honored his many years of service to his country.

The holder of the Chaconia Gold Medal for business enterprise, Mr. Thomas Gatcliffe is respected by many in the business arena. Recently retired from the Board of Directors of the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business— on which he served since its inception— Mr. Gatcliffe has never had a dull moment. Chemist, Chairman of Angostura Limited, Director of the Caribbean Communications Network, Chairman of the Caribbean Association of Industry and Commerce, Mr. Gatcliffe has worn many hats and respect for this man is profoundly evident. A notable feather in his hat is that he is one of only six privileged persons who knows the secret formula of the world-famous Angostura Aromatic Bitters. 

Hans Hanoomansingh, Chairman and CEO of Heritage Communications Limited, has recently been inducted into the 103FM Hall of Fame (2010) and bestowed the Trinidad and Tobago Publishers’ and Broadcasters’ Association (TTPBA) Excellence in Media Award (2009). He has produced, narrated and directed many highly acclaimed documentaries, biographies and televised features over the years; most renowned are the life stories of Sir Solomon Hochoy, Sir Ellis Clarke, Justice Noor Hassanali and Mr. Arthur N.R. Robinson. Over the years Hans has interviewed thousands of international and national leaders and legendary personalities; among them Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa and Mother Teresa of Calcutta.  Recipient of the 1990 Hummingbird Gold Medal for long and meritorious service in the areas of culture and broadcasting, Mr. Hanoomansingh has been ever present in the areas of Public Relations, Travel and Tourism and Public Service.


Dianna Mahabir Wyatt has been an untiring champion for the rights of domestic workers, women, children and the elderly for more than three decades. A Canadian by birth she has lived and worked most of her adult life in Trinidad & Tobago. An HR and Industrial Relations Consultant by profession, she is co-founder of the Shelter for Battered Women and Children and the Coalition Against Domestic Violence. As a member of the Trinidad and Tobago Senate for 12 years she vigorously pursued changes to legislation governing children, industrial relations and equal opportunities for minorities as well as amendments to the Domestic Violence Act, the Sexual Offences Act and the Cohabitation Act.


Mona Campus

Born in 1932 to the late Sir Neville and Lady Ashenheim, George Ashenheim earned a Master of Arts degree in Jurisprudence from Wadham College, Oxford University before eventually becoming a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Jamaica in 1957. The Jamaican entrepreneur has served on various Boards, including Barclays Bank Jamaica Limited, Priory School Trust Society and the Jamaica Branch of the British Red Cross. He is also former chairman of Caribbean Cement Company Limited, Lascelles deMercado & Co. Limited and Carreras Jamaica Limited.

Born in Montego Bay, Jamaica in 1947, Hon. William Anthony McConnell, O.J., C.D., J.P., F.C.A became a Chartered Accountant and joined J. Wray & Nephew Limited in 1973, he was soon appointed Managing Director of Wray & Nephew Group of Companies in 1977 and in 1990 he was appointed Managing Director of the Wray & Nephew’s parent company, Lascelles deMercado &Co. Limited. In 1996 he was conferred with the Order of Distinction-with the rank of Commander- for his outstanding and important services to Jamaica in the development of commerce and export and in 2006 Mr. McConnell he received the Order of Jamaica for distinguished Leadership in Business and Export Industry.

Dr. Knox E. W. Hagley has served the region for almost half a century in the field of medicine as a clinician and public health worker in Jamaica, as well as a teacher and administrator at the UWI. He graduated from the University College of the West Indies (UCWI) in 1957 and later developed an interest in Endocrinology while pursuing postgraduate training in the United Kingdom. Between 1984 and 1991 Dr Hagley was seconded to the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) and worked with governments across the region on programmes particularly to address Chronic Non-communicable Diseases as well as Substance Abuse, Mental Health, Eye Care and issues affecting the Elderly.

Born in Jamaica towards the end of World War II, Dr. Holness has had an illustrious career. He has achieved many firsts. He was the first UWI student selected to do a BSc Med (Anat, London); he was among the first interns to work in the newly opened Medical Branch of the University of Port of Spain in 1967 and he made history by being the first Neurosurgeon in Canada to perform a fetal-tissue neural transplant into the brain of a patient with Parkinson’s Disease involving the use of cells from an aborted fetus. He has served as a teacher and visiting professor at UWI Mona; arranged for Caribbean medical students to go to Canada for electives and assisted in arranging residencies for several UWI graduates. In 2005 he was awarded the Dr. John Savage Memorial Award in International Health for his extensive humanitarian work, and he has also been awarded the Pelican Award from the University of the West Indies for excellence in the field of neurosurgery.

Professor Emeritus Edward Baugh’s books have gained him an international reputation as an authority on Anglophone Caribbean poetry in general, and on the work of Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott in particular. A critically acclaimed poet himself, Baugh has a distinguished record of creative contributions to the field of Caribbean literature. He is also an exemplary career as a teacher and administrator, with a demonstrated passion for public service. He has figured prominently as a leader in national, regional and international literary and academic associations, and he has adjudicated international literary prizes. His service to The UWI has been selfless and totally dedicated to building bridges between the university and society.

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, with main campuses in Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, and Centres in Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Christopher (St Kitts) & Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent & the Grenadines. UWI recently launched its Open Campus, a virtual campus with over 50 physical site locations across the region, serving over 20 countries in the English-speaking Caribbean. UWI is an international university with faculty and students from over 40 countries and collaborative links with over 60 universities around the world. Through its seven Faculties, UWI offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Pure & Applied Sciences, Science and Agriculture, and Social Sciences. For more information, please visit