News Releases

UWI ushers in 60th Anniversary Celebrations

For Release Upon Receipt - January 2, 2008

St. Augustine

The University of the West Indies (UWI) has declared Monday 7th January, 2008 to be UWI Day, signalling the start of a year of celebrations in commemoration of the regional icon’s 60th Anniversary. Celebratory events will take place across the English-speaking Caribbean and the Caribbean Diaspora in the US, Canada and UK throughout 2008.

The launch date holds special significance to UWI. On January 7th, 1947, the first governing body of the University College of the West Indies (UCWI), assembled for its first meeting in the house of the British Council in Jamaica. It was at this first meeting that the decision was taken that the lands at Mona, Jamaica were most suitable for establishing the first campus of The University of the West Indies.

Several local committees will work to plan celebrations on a national scale, while a central planning committee chaired by UWI Vice Chancellor, Prof. E. Nigel Harris, will coordinate UWI staff, students and alumni to organise signature, region-wide 60th anniversary events.

The 60th Anniversary Celebrations will be launched with a formal Opening Ceremony on Saturday 12th January, 2008 at UWI Cave Hill, Barbados, and the special Convocation Week on July 12th to 19th, 2008 at UWI Mona, Jamaica. The Convocation Week will include an official reception hosted by UWI Chancellor, Sir George Alleyne, and a formal banquet to be attended by several regional heads of state. As the culmination of the yearlong celebrations, a gala black-tie dinner will be hosted by UWI St. Augustine Campus on December 12th, 2008.

Proceeds from all UWI 60th Anniversary initiatives will be channelled into a special UWI Regional Endowment Fund, which will be launched during the 2008 celebrations. This fund will facilitate infrastructural projects across the region, such as a Commuting Students’ facility for students at UWI Mona; a new Hall of Residence to accommodate 800-1000 students at UWI St. Augustine; an Inter-faith Chapel at UWI Cave Hill and a Cultural Studies Institute for the UWI-12 territories.

For more information on the UWI 60th Anniversary, please visit, or contact the UWI 60th Anniversary Secretariat at; or (Tel.) 876 977 0014, Ext. 2525. For more information on the UWI Nobel Laureate Celebrations, please visit the official Nobel Laureate Celebrations website at


The University of the West Indies (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 Bahams, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Christopher (St Kitts) & Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent & the Grenadines. 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.