The UWI Regional Headquarters, Jamaica. 10 August 2016.  Members of the Council of The University of the West Indies (The UWI) approved 11 honorary degrees to be awarded at the University’s 2016 graduation ceremonies. The ceremonies are expected to kick off at the Open Campus in St Kitts and Nevis on 8 October, followed by the Cave Hill Campus in Barbados on 15 October, the St Augustine Campus in Trinidad and Tobago on 20-22 October and will conclude with the Mona Campus in Jamaica on 28-29 October.

The decision to confer the degrees was confirmed at the annual meeting of The UWI’s University Council held earlier this year. The Council awards honorary degrees to persons of eminence in the arts and sciences or other fields of intellectual endeavour, or persons who have made outstanding regional or international contributions. These honorary degrees are traditionally presented by UWI Chancellor, Sir George Alleyne during the annual graduation ceremonies.

Of the 11 persons to be conferred this year, one will be at the Open Campus graduation ceremony, four at the Cave Hill Campus ceremonies, and three at the St Augustine Campus and Mona campus ceremonies respectively. The recipients are as follows:

Open Campus (8 October, 2016)

Dr Sir Prince Ramsey – DSc

Cave Hill Campus (15 October, 2016)

Mr Richard Anthony Best – DLitt

Sir Trevor Carmichael – LLD

Dr Carissa Etienne – DSc

Dr Carol Jacobs – DSc

St Augustine Campus (20-22 October, 2016)

Professor KE Bingsheng –DLitt

Reverend Daniel Teelucksingh – LLD

Mr Anthony Williams –DLitt

Mona Campus (28-29 October)

Mrs Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce – LLD

Mr Daniel ‘Danny’ Glover – DLitt

Ms Lorna Goodison – DLitt

More on the recipients of the honorary degrees:

Open Campus

Dr Sir Prince Ramsey – DSc

Dr Sir Prince Ramsey, a graduate of The University of the West Indies, is a Family Physician in private practice in Antigua.  For more than 25 years, he has lectured in over 20 Caribbean countries, the USA and Canada, free of cost, primarily on Family Planning, STDs, sexual disorders, and HIV/AIDS. Dr Ramsey presently treats all HIV/AIDS patients in Antigua and Barbuda. For the last 17 years, he has been providing them with care and, until they were made available by the government in 2005, anti-retroviral medications free of charge. He is that country’s AIDS Clinical Care Coordinator. He has served as unpaid medical doctor for the Antigua & Barbuda Defence Force as well as for the policemen stationed in St. John’s in 1991-1992 and is the founder and chairman of the Friends of Fiennes Institute – Home for the Elderly and Destitute. An aficionado of Calypso, he has written in excess of 100 calypsoes for 50 calypsonians, produced 45 calypso albums, and served as a calypso judge in Antigua and the US Virgin Islands.

Cave Hill Campus

Mr Richard Anthony Best – DLitt

Mr ‘Tony’ Best, as he is more familiarly known, is an outstanding Caribbean and international journalist. For more than five decades he has been providing commentaries and analyses on economic and social issues affecting developing nations of Africa, the Caribbean, the Pacific and Latin America. He is a broadcast journalist, newspaper editor, former general manager of a radio and television station in the Caribbean, and  has covered the United Nations and the Organisation of American States for over 40 years. A graduate of Pace University in New York, Mr Best was awarded a Bachelor’s degree in professional studies in 1976. He has served as a communications consultant for the International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region; the United Nations Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, the Caribbean Family Planning Affiliation, the Inter-American Parliamentary Group on Population and Development, the United Nations Population Fund, and the United Nations Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. Mr Best was the founding president of the Caribbean Media Association in the United States.

Sir Trevor Carmichael – LLD

Barbados-born Sir Trevor Austin Carmichael received his law degree from the Mona Campus of The University of the West Indies. After pursuing postgraduate studies in the United States, he was called to the United Kingdom Bar as a member of the Middle Temple in London and the Barbados Bar in 1977. He is the founder of Chancery Chambers, a Barbados law firm engaged primarily in international business law, environmental law, and the law relating to charities. The author of more than 100 articles and monographs in the areas of Law, Economics and Public Policy, he serves as a Panel Member of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes of the World Bank as well as on several other international committees. Sir Trevor is one of eight Organisation of American States experts responsible for drafting a new OAS Convention on International Contracts. He is the recipient of several honours including: Governor-General of Canada’s Medallion for his contribution to strengthening relations between Canada and Barbados (2012); Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order (2013); and Knight of St Andrew in the 2013 Barbados Independence Honours.  In March 2013, he was appointed an Independent Senator to Barbados’ Upper Chamber.

Dr Carissa Etienne – DSc

Dr Carissa Etienne, Director of the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), is a distinguished graduate of The University of the West Indies, receiving both her Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from the Mona Campus. She also obtained an MSc in Community Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London. For more than a decade she has held senior positions at PAHO and the World Health Organisation (WHO). During her tenures, she led the efforts to renew primary health care and to strengthen health systems based on primary health care, promoting integration and improved functioning of health systems. Dr Etienne began her career as a medical officer at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Dominica where she eventually became the Chief Medical Officer. In Dominica, she has also been the Coordinator of the National Aids Programme, Disaster Coordinator for the Ministry of Health, Chair of the National Advisory Council for HIV/AIDS, and Director of Primary Health Care Services. She is the recipient of the 2015 Dominica Award of Honour for Public Health and International Affairs.

Dr Carol Jacobs – DSc

Carol “Lady” Haynes, or Dr Carol Jacobs, as she is known in her private medical practice, has made significant contributions to the fight against HIV/AIDS in Barbados and the Caribbean. Dr Jacobs is a graduate of The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus and her early experience as a medical doctor was gained at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados. She has had her own private practice in family medicine since 1979. Her involvement in the HIV/AIDS Programme began in 1988 and, from 2001-2008, she chaired the Barbados National HIV Commission and served as the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy in this regard. Her unanimous election in 2005 to the Chair of the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, made her the first Caribbean person and the first woman to hold this international office. In 2005, she received the UNAIDS Gold Medal of Achievement for her work in this arena. Under her stewardship, the Barbados National Policy Document 2008 and the National Strategic Plan for HIV Prevention and Control 2008-2013 were approved by Cabinet and laid in the Barbados Parliament. She is the current Chair of the Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership against HIV/AIDS. In 2000 she was conferred with the Barbados Centennial Honour and in 2006 received the first-ever awarded Barbados Gold Medal of Achievement. She was appointed an Independent Senator to the Barbados Senate in 2015.

St Augustine Campus

Professor KE Bingsheng – DLitt

Professor KE Bingsheng, President of the China Agricultural University, earned his BSc from Peking University, his MSc in Economics from Beijing Agricultural University (now China Agricultural University) and his PhD in Agronomy from the University of Hohenheim in Germany. He has a long record of research accomplishments on issues related to agricultural policy and rural development. He is author or co-author of 12 books and his publications include some 100 papers in Chinese journals and 30 in international journals and proceedings of international conferences. Professor Bingsheng has received several national awards for his contributions to agricultural and rural development policy research in China. He is the Vice President of the Chinese Association of Agricultural Economists, Vice Chair of the Ministry of Agriculture’s Science Committee, and a member of the Degree Awarding Committee of the State Council. Under his direct leadership, the St Augustine Campus of The University of the West Indies and the China Agricultural University developed a strategic relationship, beginning with the opening of a Confucius Institute in 2013 at the Campus. His commitment to The UWI and to furthering the educational, cultural and social bonds between China and Trinidad and Tobago has been further demonstrated with the establishment of an Agricultural Innovation Park at the Faculty of Food and Agriculture in Orange Grove. The work in this area will have a profound impact upon the food security, health and wellbeing of the peoples of Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean.

Reverend Daniel Teelucksingh – LLD

Reverend Daniel Teelucksingh is a former Chaplain at The UWI, St Augustine Campus, and Minister of the Presbyterian Church in Trinidad and Tobago. He served at The St Augustine Campus during the 1970s and spent a total of 48 years leading the Presbyterian Church in Trinidad and Tobago.

Reverend Teelucksingh’s formal training and education include studies at the United School of Theology in Jamaica from 1963 to 1967. He also became ordained an Minister of religion in 1967. In 1970 he earned a Bachelor of Divinity degree from the University of London International followed by a Master of Scared Theology degree from the Union Theological Seminary in New York, USA in 1974 and then returned to Trinidad and Tobago to continue his service.

A decade of Reverend Teelucksingh’s career was also spent as an Independent Senator in the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago from 1991-2001. During this time he served on numerous parliamentary committees and became known for being vociferous on matters pertaining to family life such as domestic violence, sexual offences and women’s and children’s rights.

Reverend Teelucksingh has also worked as a motivational speaker, teacher and lecturer and his work has earned him a number of awards including an award for national and community service and a public service medal of merit from the Inter-religious Organisation of Trinidad and Tobago.

Mr Anthony Williams – DLitt

Mr Anthony Williams is, perhaps, the most significant contributor to the development of the technology of the steelpan musical instrument and the associated art in performance, because of his triple role as an inventor, arranger, and steel orchestra captain. In the 1950s, Mr Williams invented the 4ths-and-5ths note layout pattern, now standard on the tenor steelpan and the basis of the note layouts on three of the four G-pans invented at The UWI in 2007. The pattern was first used on his spiderweb pan, which he tuned so that the anti-clockwise sequence of notes around any given ring, assumes a progression of musical 5ths while the note sequence along a sector defined by two adjacent radii produces a progression of musical octaves. His inventions were all music-driven and came during his tenure as captain, musical director and tuner of the Pan Am North Stars Steel Orchestra. This steelband was the first to appear on US nationwide television (the Ed Sullivan show in 1964); the first to transpose music for symphonic orchestras into steelband scores (Johann Strauss’s Voices of Spring in the 1962 Trinidad and Tobago Music Festival) which set the template for steelband arrangements for years to come.

In 1968 Pan Am North Stars joined with Trinidad and Tobago’s internationally celebrated pianist, Winifred Atwell, in a series of performances locally, in the Bahamas and at Madison Square Garden in New York. By placing bass pans on wheels, he made it possible for the road band to remain mobile and perform full orchestral arrangements. Six decades ago he was emphasizing the importance of music literacy for all pannists and, though self-taught, established classes in his North Stars panyard. In recognition of his experience and competence, Mr Williams was made a member of the first steelpan technology research team at the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute. He has been recognised by the National Institute of Higher Education Research Science and Technology (NIHERST) as a Caribbean Icon and was awarded the Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, the nation’s highest award in 2008.

Mona Campus

Mrs Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce – LLD

In 2008, sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce became the first Jamaican woman to win the 100-metre Olympic gold medal. She won her second straight 100-metre Olympic gold at the 2012 Summer Olympics and successfully defended her title as the fastest female sprinter at the IAAF Championships in 2009, 2013, and 2015. Known as the ‘pocket rocket’, Mrs Fraser-Pryce is just 5 feet tall but the fourth fastest 100-metre female sprinter of all time. Off the track, she is an exemplary ambassador for Jamaica and a role model for Jamaican youth. She has never forgotten her humble beginnings and, through her Pocket Rocket Foundation, she continues to demonstrate her commitment to bettering the lives of youth in her hometown of Waterhouse, a depressed area of Kingston.

Mrs Fraser-Pryce holds a degree from UTech, Jamaica in Early Childhood Care and Development and as the first national Goodwill Ambassador of UNICEF Jamaica, her focus is on early childhood development and education.

Mr Daniel ‘Danny’ Glover – DLitt

Mr Daniel Lebern ‘Danny’ Glover is an American actor and film director. Off-screen, Mr Glover has gained respect for his wide-reaching community activism and philanthropic efforts. Internationally, Glover has served as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Program, focusing on issues of poverty, disease and economic development in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. He currently serves as UNICEF Ambassador. He attended the San Francisco State University in the late 1960s. Although he did not graduate from there, he was a member of the Black Students Union which, along with the Third World Liberation Front and the American Federation of Teachers, collaborated in a five-month student-led strike to establish a Department of Black Studies. The strike – the longest student walkout in US history – helped create the first Department of Black Studies and the first School of Ethnic Studies in the United States. The university later awarded him an honorary degree. He went on to train at the Black Actors’ Workshop of the American Conservatory Theatre. Following the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Mr Glover issued a statement calling for a new form of international partnership with Haiti and other Caribbean nations. He raised awareness of the scale and devastation of the earthquake comparing it to the predicament other island nations may face as a result of the failed Copenhagen Summit the previous year.

Professor Emerita Lorna Goodison – DLitt

Professor Lorna Goodison is an internationally celebrated Jamaican writer, author of 12 volumes of poetry, three short story collections, and a memoir. In a remarkable oeuvre spanning more than three decades, beginning with Tamarind Season in 1980, she has explored a plurality of thematic concerns, including, inter alia, Afro-Jamaican culture, Jamaican social history, Caribbean migrations, the filiation between the Caribbean and the African continent, familial bonds, the role of the woman as mother and lover, and universal quest for truth and harmony. Professor Goodison’s national distinctions include the Order of Distinction (Commander) from the Government of Jamaica in 2013; the Gold Musgrave medal from the Institute of Jamaica in 1999; the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Poetry (Americas region) in 1987; and the prestigious British Columbia National Prize for Canadian Non-Fiction in 2008 for her memoir From Harvey River. Though she has lived and taught in North America for many years, Professor Goodison remains deeply committed to the Caribbean and has been generous in her contribution to the intellectual life of The University of the West Indies and in her engagement with Caribbean audiences. She has delivered guest lectures to students, conducted Writers’ Workshops at both the Mona and Cave Hill campuses and participated in various literary festivals, readings and discussions.


About The UWI

Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged, regional University with well over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology and Social Sciences. UWI’s seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation. For more information, visit www.uwi.edu

(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)

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