Celebrating 70 in February

February has been full of activities and many this year has a bit of that 70th spice added.


One of UWI’s oldest alumni, class of 1948 ūüí™ūüŹĹ¬†#UWI Homecoming¬†#Uwi70th

Research Days

Research day ran from February 7-9 and was hotly followed by Homecoming celebrations February 11 -16, 2018. FROM OUR RECORDS: RESEARCH DAY AT THE UWI¬†¬†we are aware that research day began in 1998. It was an initiative driven by former principal Sir Kenneth Hall to advance education and create knowledge through excellence in teaching, research, innovation, public service, intellectual leadership and outreach in order to support the inclusive (social, economic, political, cultural, environmental) development of the Caribbean region and beyond.‚ÄĚ (UWI Strategic Plan 2012-2017)

The 2018 theme is: UWI powering development through partnership in research and innovation with over 70 research projects on show. All within six categories: inclusive of new products, policies and practices. Research days are that time of year the UWI showcases what have been done through out the year building on the previous years.

Professor Eldemire-Shearer chair of the Research Days Committee explains that development is not just economic, UWI focuses on social development so medical and social sciences are important also.

Some of the highlight events included a Commemorative forum and Policy Wall. These highlighted UWI contribution to policy formation in the region. The policy wall focused primarily on the contribution of the Medical faculty as they too celebrated 70 years being the first faculty at the UCWI.

Professor Eldemire-Shearer noted that students that attend UWI Research days get ideas for their SBAs and often make contact with UWI researchers for further guidance and academic development. It is these connections that reaffirm UWI as the institution of choice.

Homecoming Week Celebrations

February 16, 1950 the first Chancellor, Princess Alice of Athlone, was installed. This date now marks the founding of the University, our Homecoming and now its 70th  anniversary.

Sandre Malcolm Student Outreach and Marketing Coordinator talking with Tashika Taylor of UWI Marketing Recruitment and Communication outlined a raft of events for this years celebrations. They began¬† Sunday February 11 with the ‚ÄėHats off to UWI Commemoration Service‚Äô. Attendees were invited to wear their fancy hats in a gesture to pay homage to UWI. This was followed by the UWI leave your mark. Student dipped their palms in paint and symbolically left their marks on a designated areas at UWI

Retro dress day aimed to highlight the 70 years of fashion over the life of the UWI. Then the Grand Homecoming Parade and Flag Raising Ceremony,  a staple for homecoming was followed by the jump up Homecoming integration.


Taylor Hall out to represent #UwiHomecoming #Uwi70th

Friday was a Caribbean day festival of food and culture, and in the afternoon Professor Sir George Alleyne gave a public lecture as he was the 2018 honouree.


Honouree 2018 Sir Gorge Alleyne, Chairperson Dr Bell Hutchinson and rexans and Moscot TRex #UwiHomecoming #Uwi70th

This was encapsulated by a week long display of UWI history via the ‘UWI @ 70 Time Portal’.


Pictures courtesy of UWI Mona Guild @UWIMonaGuild



Artistry turn scholarship

Every year in February we celebrate the achievements of talented Caribbean personalities. Previously we highlighted Professor Nettleford now Marley; both were born some time ago in February; between Marley and Nettleford, we may have the mostly widely known Caribbean artiste and the most widely published Caribbean Scholar https://uwiarchives.wordpress.com/2013/03/28/remembering-rex-nettleford/.

That said, there is quite a bit of academic study done on the work of Marley, here is a brief list of some of the audio resources you can find at UWI Archives:


Presenters TITLE Collection
Various Documentary on Bob Marley, TEACHING  MATERIALS
Rohlehr, Gordon Me and The Music – A Personal Encounter With Ska, Rocksteady, and Reggae ROBERT NESTA (B0B) MARLEY COLLECTION
Hickling, Frederick Annual Bob Marley Lecture   РWi Neva Kno Wi Wudda Reach Dis Far: The Psychology of Stardom in Jamaican Popular Culture ROBERT NESTA (B0B) MARLEY COLLECTION
Gutzmore, Cecil Annual Bob Marley Lecture   РIncline Thine Ear: Roots, Reality And Culture in Jamaican Dancehall DJ Music ROBERT NESTA (B0B) MARLEY COLLECTION
Anderson, Patricia 8th Bob Marley Lecture – “Inna Govament Yard: The Challenge of Community and Housing in Kingston’s Inner City” ROBERT NESTA (B0B) MARLEY COLLECTION
Devonish, Hubert Bob Marley Lecture – The Walter Rodney Story: Black MyStory, Not History ROBERT NESTA (B0B) MARLEY COLLECTION
Witter, Michael Bob Marley Lecture – The Business of Jamaican Music ROBERT NESTA (B0B) MARLEY COLLECTION
Davies, Omar Bob Marley Lecture – “Reggae and Our National Identity: The Forgotten Contribution of Peter Tosh ROBERT NESTA (B0B) MARLEY COLLECTION
Cooper, Carolyn; 4th Annual Bob Marley Lecture – “More Fire” Chanting Down Babylon From Bob Marley to Capleton” ROBERT NESTA (B0B) MARLEY COLLECTION
Planno, Mortimo “Christ; Bob Marley; And Rastafari ” – A Talk ROBERT NESTA (B0B) MARLEY COLLECTION
Sokei, Louis Chude Inaugural Bob Marley Lecture – “Dr. Satan’s Echo Chamber: Reggae Technology and the Diaspora Process ROBERT NESTA (B0B) MARLEY COLLECTION
Shaw, L. Bob Marley Lecture – a) Marley: Religious Prophet? B) Images of Royalty & Divinity in the Rhetoric of Bob Marley – Two-Day Seminar on Marley’s Music ROBERT NESTA (B0B) MARLEY COLLECTION
Cooper, Ibo; Selassi, Habte Bob Marley Lecture – Griot in the West; The Marley Legacy Betrayed – Two – Day Seminar on Marley’s Music, ROBERT NESTA (B0B) MARLEY COLLECTION
Various A Tribute to Jamaica: ¬†“Jamaica: Bob Marley and Me” ROBERT NESTA (B0B) MARLEY COLLECTION
Clough, Brent; Alleyne, Mike Bob Marley Lecture – Marley’s Legacy: Reggae in Australia; Capitalism and Commercialization of Marley’s Music, Tape ROBERT NESTA (B0B) MARLEY COLLECTION
Lindsay, Louis & Keisha; Whyte, Garth Bob Marley Lecture – Marley and Politics of Subversion; Marley’s Music Mix – ‘Beating Down Babylon’ ROBERT NESTA (B0B) MARLEY COLLECTION
Pereira, Joseph; Nettleford, Rex; Hall, Kenneth; Wint, Eleanor; Cooper, Carolyn, Davies, Omar ; Richards, Tereza 3rd Annual Bob Marley Lecture Р Reggae And Our National Identity: The Forgotten Contribution of Peter Tosh ROBERT NESTA (B0B) MARLEY COLLECTION
Cooper, Carolyn; 4th Annual Bob Marley Lecture – “More Fire” Chanting Down Babylon From Bob Marley to Capleton” ROBERT NESTA (B0B) MARLEY COLLECTION


UWI: Activism at our core 


The UWI¬†has¬†over many years¬†raised its¬†voice¬†to agitate for the rights and¬†dignity of¬†all¬†Caribbean¬†people¬†English¬†speaking¬†and¬†otherwise.¬†UWI¬†Vice¬†Chancellor¬†Professor Sir Hilary¬†Beckles has long¬†been¬†an exemplar¬†in¬†this championing.¬†He joined¬†the¬†dissenting voices this past weekend¬†critical¬†of the latest¬†spew¬†of¬†‘trumpism’¬†and the media headlines rang¬†out ‘Professor¬†Hilary Beckles says the United States needs to respect the Caribbean and Haiti in particular’.


The Past is Not Our Future. Coming in 2018| History and Archaeology, UWI Mona


On this ocassion, Caribbean people all over would stand with  UWI Vice Chancellor  and in solidarity with all the named countries especially Haiti. In addressing this recent miscalculation in the latest episode a January 14, 2018 Jamaica Observer article quotes the Vice Chancellor:

‚ÄúThe democratic, nation-building debt the American nation owes the Caribbean, and the Haitian nation in particular, that resides at its core, is not expected to be repaid but must be respected,‚ÄĚ

Sir Hilary pointed to Haiti‚Äôs Caribbean¬†vision as¬†illuminating “America‚Äôs way out of its colonial¬†darkness.”¬†Haiti¬†was the¬†first independent country to abolish slavery in the western hemisphere.

‚ÄúThis is the debt President Trump‚Äôs America owes Toussaint¬†L‚ÄôOuverture‚Äôs¬†Haiti,¬†It‚Äôs a debt of philosophical clarity and political maturity. It‚Äôs a debt of how to rise to its best human potential. It‚Äôs a debt of exposure to higher standards. Haiti is really America‚Äôs Statue of Liberty.”

The UWI activist role is not new¬†and puts¬†our¬†Vice¬†Chancellor Beckles’¬†at the forefront of his¬†plans to rekindle¬†the development revolution of the Caribbean‚ÄĚ.¬†During the 2017/¬†2018 academic calendar another¬†activist faculty was¬†celebrated, Professor Rupert Lewis a¬†foremost¬†Garvey¬†Scholar¬†with a mounted¬†exhibition by the¬†UWI Mona¬†Library:

Exhibition in Honour of Rupert Lewis: Teacher, Activist and Scholar

Activism is at the core of the UWI and many faculty members continue to fuel the fire.  See below a brief listing of audio recordings of various faculty members that added their voices to the discourse about Haiti.


Speaker(s) Title Subject Date
Dash, Michael 40 Years of Haitian Writing History 8-May-92


Casimir, Jean A Glimmer of Hope on the Horizon РA way out of the Haitian Crisis Government & Politics 5-May-99
Casimir, Jean Is There A Way Out Of The Haitian Crisis? The Cost of 1804 РIts Insoluble Problems History 28-Apr-99
Bogues,¬†Anthony ¬†¬† “Toussaint and The Haitian Revolution” History ¬†13-Oct-99


Charles, Rene UDOP 6th Conference “Challenge in Haiti” Health & Medicine Mar 2000
Cherime, Ednair; Williams, Yarborough Lavinia IT Haitian Drumming     Music (General) 1962
Various Panel Discussion:  Haiti: The Challenge of Freedom History & Archaelogy 20-Feb-04
Smith, Matthew; Tighe, Thomas; Franklyn, Delano; Rose, Junior 2nd Forum on Governance:   Haiti: 16-Mar-04


Pereira, Joseph; Bully, Alvin; Charles, Carolle LACC One-Day Symposium – The¬†Haiti¬† –¬† Jamaica Connection LACC 3-Apr-04
Gosse, Dave; Hutton, Clinton; Bryan, Patrick Haiti:  Then and Now (In Commemoration of the Haitian Bicentenary) Panel 1 The Haitian Revolution and its Regional Impact 20-Mar-04


Newland, Arthur Reggae Studies Series : Re-Sounding The Haitian Revolution in an Age of Science & Technology: From BIOS Cayman to Boukman Eksperyans Reggae Studies Series 30-Jan-04
Hutton, Clinton Exhibition Launch: The Haitian Revolution and 75 Years of Rastafari 18-Nov-05


Hutton, Clinton Book Launch: The Logic and Historical Significance of the Haitian Revolution 18-Nov-05
Geggos, David The Impact of the Haitian Revolution on the Atlantic World’ ELSA GOVEIA Memorial Lecture Series 8-Apr-99
Dash, Michael “Paved¬†With¬†Good Intentions: The Caribbean and Haiti” FRANK WORRELL MEMORIAL LECTURE SERIES 26-Apr-94
Dash, Michael 2000 AD And Beyond Lecture Series Р200 Years of Solitude: Haiti Then And Now Distinguished Lecture    2000 & BEYOND, UWI Lecture Series 15-Apr-04



We know he is a Caribbean man, but I don’t know if he likes “trini Doubles” or if he is a good reader of the dominoes game. However in this case we may have a world record on hand, a double Emeritus; it’s plural, so it may be an Emeriti.


Chancellor Emeritus Sir George Alleyne sharing a light moment with Dr Suzanne Francis-Brown

Warm and soft spoken, the former Chancellor, a true UWI man ‘through and through’, Sir George Alleyne has made an indelible mark on the history of The UWI. He has now been designated the honour of retaining the title of UWI Chancellor (Emeritus).

This is not totally new territory, Sir George Alleyne was already know to us as Professor Emeritus Sir George Alleyne. He carries his professorship honour, which he earned during one of his earlier UWI stints in the 1970s.

Sir George Alleyne, UWI Chancellor

Sir George Alleyne, UWI Chancellor, in action… (Image credit: Matriculation & Welcome Ceremony, 2007, UWI St Augustine, flickr)

Congrats to our Chancellor Emeritus, Professor Emeritus Sir George Alleyne. He has had a decorated career in teaching and research.¬† He moved to other professional roles over the years with similar gusto and flair in particular ascending to the leadership of PAHO in 1995 and then the Chancellor’s office at UWI in 2003.

Long live the Chancellor Emeritus!

UWI Archives, we do minutes!


WhatsApp Image 2017-12-06 at 12.13.15 PM.jpeg

At year end we take stock; reviewing, organizing and collating the various agendas, papers and minutes from University meetings managed by the Office of the University Registrar during the academic year. These minutes are organized with respect to file format, chronology, provenance, use and the University board or committees that generated the minutes. The process can be considered yearlong with the accrual and organization process taking place over a semester and in some cases over the academic year.  

WhatsApp Image 2017-12-06 at 12.13.15 PM (2).jpeg

However¬†now at year end¬†while we¬†enjoy the¬†cool breezes¬†of the season,¬†the¬†accrued stockpile is¬†reviewed¬†and all¬†included¬†components¬†are¬†verified,¬†guided by a predefined¬†organizational¬†structure. Arranged according to academic year, they¬†are¬†also¬†divided into ‘bookable’¬†groupings¬†and¬†assessed for appropriate¬†thickness for the¬†binding¬†process.¬†These¬†organized¬†‘bookable’¬†groupings are sometimes¬†revised¬†and refined to ensure the final bound volume will be user-friendly and manageable. Once each grouping is checked and¬†meets the established¬†requirements,¬†they are¬†sent to an approved¬†printery¬†to be secured and¬†fastened;¬†bound¬†into¬†user-friendly volumes.¬†These volumes are considered the official records of the various boards, committees, etc¬†

WhatsApp Image 2017-12-06 at 12.13.14 PM.jpeg

Once bound, they are listed described and arranged as new bound volumes for the perusal of UWI Archives users. At this year-end exercise the minutes reflect output from University Administration decision making bodies which includes: Appointments Committees, Finance and General Purposes Committee among other cross campus groups. 

 WhatsApp Image 2017-12-06 at 12.13.15 PM (1).jpeg

UWI Archives discovery begins here. 

Christmas breeze

December 1st came and it’s true the Christmas breeze is special!

I started to hum Home T4’s

Mek de Christmus ketch you inna good mood

Mek de christmus ketch you feeling fine

Put on your dancing shoes and…                     

It was late Friday evening, breeze blowing and all and the staff members at the Vice Chancellery, Regional headquarters building were surely in a fine mood. They unleashed their Christmas spirit and decorated a tall Christmas tree in the main lobby. Mr Plunkett was the daredevil in the bunch almost always atop the ladder carry out various decorating trickery.

The tree sparkled with Christmas cheer for each passerby when done.

WhatsApp Image 2017-12-04 at 3.06.29 PM.jpeg

Asha-Gaye Cowel of the Project Office is pleased with the progress of the decorating team

Of the course the UWI Archives was represented among the skilled decorators; our team member Vanessa Lyons participated in this after work event. The decorating team had staff members from various departments at the Vice Chancellery joining hands in this joyous task.

Joy to the…I’m feeling a Bolt “to the world” coming on. Joy to everyone, this is the time of the year for sharing Christmas cheer with family, friends, loved ones and making strangers feel welcomed like friends.

Heaven and nature sings as we surely have started to set the right tone.

Mek de Christmus ketch you inna good mood

Mek de christmus ketch you feeling fine

Put on your dancing shoes and… 

(Written by Mikey Bennett in 1980 and performed by Home T4)
Home T4.jpg

Image of Home T4 courtesy of YouTube

Peering into The UWI Meetings

Meetings form some of the archival records that help define UWI life. They take place at various levels; some being cross-campus while others are campus specific. They are concerned with the operations of The UWI, its future development as well as academic policies.

Cross-campus University Archives and Records Management Committee meeting

The UWI is a multi-campus institution distributed across campuses at Mona, Jamaica; St Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago; Cave Hill, Barbados; and UWI Open Campus, a campus spread across nearly 50 physical locations in 17 Caribbean countries. Various officers of The UWI are required to attend University meetings held at UWI locations across the Caribbean to participate in decision-making. Ok, that’s what we already know, what many don’t know is the responsibilities of cross-campus University meetings.

So let’s take a look at what constitutes cross-campus University meetings at The UWI.

Participants of cross-campus University meetings usually include The UWI Executive Management team, Members of Government, Academic Board, Guild of Graduates, and Guild of Undergraduates. Statutes in the University Charter define university meetings and the governance role in which they play. Interestingly, the first University Meeting was a meeting of the Provisional Council of the University College of the West Indies, which met for the first time in January 1947. The records of this Council are part of the holdings of The UWI Archives.


List of Attendees to the First Provisional Council Meeting, January1947

For The UWI,  The Council is the highest decision-making body. It meets once annually except when specially convened and the UWI Chancellor chairs this body. Its members receive campus reports and appoint Officers of The UWI such as Pro Vice-Chancellors, professors and senior administrative and professional staff, among other matters.


Early UCWI Staff Members with Hon. Sir Philip Sherlock in the front row

Senate meets as necessary and often via video conferencing. It recommends and reports to The Council on new ordinances and statutes, create new disciplinary regulations and amendments.

The slate of University meetings also includes:

Finance & General Purposes Committee

University Appointments Committee

Board for Undergraduate Studies

Board for Graduate Studies & Research

University Strategy & Planning Committee

Committee of Deans

University Archives and Records Management Committee

The UWI Press

Now the multi-campus UWI has distributed responsibilities at campus level and university level with university level receiving reports on decisions made at campus level. After this mouthful, it may be easier to understand that the Finance and General Purposes committee receives reports from the various Campus Finance and General Purposes Committees.

Cross-campus University meetings occur three times each year rotating across three of the landed campuses. Meetings by rotation are October at St Augustine, January ‚ÄďFebruary at Mona, and May ‚ÄďJune at Cave Hill. The Office of the University Registrar, UWI Vice Chancellery in the Regional Headquarters building, manages these schedules.

The University Registrar is responsible for University boards and committees and act as secretary for all meetings except UWI Press. For some of these meetings, the Registrar may designate an Assistant Registrar or a Senior Assistant Registrar to represent the Office. The role of the University Registrar is replicated at the Campus level, with the role of the Campus Registrar.

Cross-campus University meetings are an integral part of maintaining the cohesion of The UWI. They are that unique space where colleagues, who work at different UWI locations, meet each other and build workplace bonds. These meetings also provide the opportunity for the various arms of the university to combine efforts in achieving unified goals, one of which is the continued growth of The UWI.

Contributions from

Marjorie Rose-Parkes and Christine Moseley-Barrett

Office of Administration, UWI Vice Chancellery



The UWI Valedictory Address

Ladies and gentlemen, honoured guests and colleagues…

Graduation at UWI runs from October to November with several ceremonies held at various campus sites across the Caribbean. Usually UWI Open Campus graduation ceremony starts off the graduation season, then on to Cave Hill, St Augustine and finally Mona. How much fun it must be to wear your Sunday-best, pretty dan-dans and attend that last celebratory event at your university with your family, friends and colleagues. Graduation is a moment of jubilance but it must mean even more for a valedictorian.

The valedictory address is presented by a student candidate selected to represent his/her graduating cohort. Reviewing early graduation programmes held at the UWI Archives dating back as early as 1952, and speaking with a UWI alumnus (an archivist) who graduated in the 70s, the valedictory address appears to be a relatively new addition to the UWI Graduation Ceremony.


During the early UCWI years, students who completed studies awaited degree confirmation from the University of London and graduation was scheduled around senate meetings in January. This ensured firstly that there was enough time for students to receive their degree confirmation but also ensured attendance of the various senate members who were in meetings around this time.

From UWI archival records the earliest notation of a valedictorian appeared on the 1991 graduation programmes.  Can you confirm the first year of the valedictory address and say who were the first valedictorian on each campus?


Curiously, during the early 90s  the UWI was also transitioning from a three terms teaching year to a semestered academic year and had just installed a new Vice Chancellor; Sir Alister McIntyre. Adding the valedictory address would have been one of a few transitional events. However since these transitional years the valedictory address has grown in strength and is now one of the high points for the graduating ceremonies in recent times. As a point of note The UWI moved it’s graduation ceremonies from January to November in the 1973/74 academic year.


Today each UWI campus boasts its own valedictorian during their graduation ceremony. As for our current valedictorians we say ‚Äėgood going‚Äô; you are among a select few and congratulation to all graduates across the various campuses and disciplines. You are a light rising in the West.

Pan Africanist Royalty visits UWI Archives



Samia Nkrumah daughter of the late president of Ghana, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah toured the UWI Archives recently. Samia Nkrumah was one of the keynote speakers at the October 10 one-day seminar titled Post-Independence Cross Roads: Economic Growth, Sustainable Societies and Reparatory Justice. She was also interviewed by Professor Rupert Lewis for the weekly cable programme, Region Talk; aired on Caribvision. The UWI Archives Reading Room was again transformed into a television set. All the Reading Room usual paraphernalia were moved and stacked carefully. Then soft chairs, lights and camera were brought in to record the interview.

Pictures above courtesy of Odane Thompson, UWI TV

Nkrumah was elegant and gracious as she was introduced to various UWI Archives staff members and we took the opportunity to tell her more about the UWI Archives and it holdings. Senior Archives Assistant with responsibility for Audiovisuals, Sean Mockyen was ready and played a treasured piece from the collection that featured her father the late president Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. She smiled joyfully as she listened intently. The audiovisual record is a Radio Ghana transcription Service feature titled ‚ÄėThe Wind of Change‚Äô recalling some of the memorable statements made by Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah on Pan Africanism. Dr. Nkrumah was hailed as Osagyefo, which is from the akan language meaning ‚Äúredeemer‚ÄĚ.


Samia Nkrumah has been active in the ongoing reparation discourse, which is alive not only in the Caribbean but also further afield in many different countries across the world. Guyana Chronicle in an article dated July 24, 2017 reports on a meeting hosted by the Kwame Nkrumah Chair in African Studies at the University of Ghana. At this meeting both Samia Nkrumah and UWI Vice Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Chair of the Caribbean Community Reparations Commission were participants. Professor Beckles delivered a keynote address at this event and led the discussions on the reparations bid to seek from Europe various forms of compensation for atrocities caused by the system of African enslavement.


Samia Nkrumah left a record of her visit as she signed the UWI Archives visitors’ log.

Google? No, UWI Archives Maps

Have you been getting lost in google maps? Then check out UWI Archives maps and get another look at the story behind our beloved UWI, its landscape and more.


Mrs Caren Chambers Cox working on the Maps Collection  as part of her internship

UWI Archives holds a number of architectural records and maps. The architectural records include site plans, floor plans, finishing schedules, measurements, elevations and cross sections. The maps show location of various buildings on campus. As you may suspect many of the architectural records and maps detail the development of the Mona campus over the years. These archival records are informative and engaging, they share a fascinating part of the UWI story.

These records are useful in reviewing building designs and identifying building codes and trends across campus. They may also help in sparking design ideas, to communicate concepts and are records of completed work. Some of the earliest records in the collection date from the 1940’s and include dates as recent as 2005.


Mrs Chambers Cox and Dr Griffin discussing the archival processing and value of architectural records

We wonder out loud… could any of the records in our collection of architectural records and maps be useful to students analyzing structural and building systems challenges? Certainly, there is some historical data for consideration. Please feel free to visit the UWI Archives to view our collection of architectural records and maps as well as other resources.

Posted by Caren Chambers Cox (MLIS Candidate-Intern)

Mrs. Simpson-Miller @ UWI

I hear the strains of Shaggy’s song …

She’ll put a smile upon yah face

And take you to that higher place

So don’t you underestimate‚Ķ

‚Ķ and I‚Äôm reminded not to underestimate the ‚ÄėStrength of a woman‚Äô.

The Most Honourable Portia Simpson Miller, first female Prime Minister of Jamaica, was the fifth woman in the Caribbean region to have been elected/ appointed as head of government. Her predecessors include:

Lucina Elena da Costa Gomez-Matheeuws, who served as Prime Minister of the Netherland Antilles in 1977,

Dame Eugenia Charles, Prime Minister of Dominica in 1980,

Ertha Pascal-Trouillot, Acting President of Haiti in 1991 and

Janet Jagan, Prime Minister of Guyana in 1997.

The UWI conferred the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD) on her at a ceremony held at the UWI Mona Campus Assembly Hall. This LLD conferment is in recognition of her outstanding contribution to public life, and of course her phenomenal achievements as a woman from the working class community who, without privileges overcame obstacles and emerged as the first female Prime Minister of Jamaica.


Portia Simpson Miller as the seventh Prime Minister of Jamaica was the recipient of the Jamaican Order of the Nation in 2006. She reprised her role, elected in 2012 and served until 2016. As Prime Minister, she emphasized her commitment to regional integration and cooperation, a mantra she shares with the UWI.

UWI Vice Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles describes Prime Minister Simpson Miller as one in the ‚Äúlong tradition of no-nonsense women who have stood up and led society against the racial and class injustice endemic to our history and still manifested in contemporary Caribbean society. She stands tall within our political pantheon as a citizen and sister, woman and humanist. Much respected for her big heart and spontaneously loving spirit, she consistently gave much more than she asked for. The University of the West Indies is honoured to identify with her generosity and humanity and her triumph over unyielding strictures and structures.‚ÄĚ

Mrs. Simpson Miller is also a member of the Council of Women World Leaders, which is an international network of current and former women Presidents and Prime Ministers whose mission is to advance women’s issues. In keeping with the UWI celebrating prime ministerial leaders, Mrs. Simpson Miller has joined the UWI as an Honorary Distinguished Fellow with an affiliation to the Institute for Gender and Development Studies, IGDS. The Institute remains excited at the prospect of learning from Mrs. Simpson Miller, who, over the course of her political career, has been unswerving in her devotion to the education, health and empowerment of girls and women in Jamaica; and globally.

As the first female leader of a major political party, as President of the People’s National Party Women’s Movement, as Cabinet Minister and as Prime Minister, Mrs. Simpson Miller consistently lobbied and fought for social and economic opportunities for women. She lead the Jamaican delegation, as then Minister of Social Services and Welfare, to the Fourth World Conference on women which opened in Beijing on September 4, 1995, under the theme Equality, Development and Peace; and as Prime Minister, she appointed women to decision making positions in Cabinet, the Judiciary and State management.

The Institute looks forward to assisting Most Honourable Simpson Miller with her writing projects, which she announced at the June 12 meeting with the regional IGDS at an event to present her with an award for ‚Äúbreaking the glass ceiling in politics‚ÄĚ. The Institute also looks forward to benefiting from Mrs. Simpson Miller‚Äôs breadth of knowledge and experience as she continues to contribute to gender discourses nationally, regionally and internationally.

TV @ UWI Archives

It was lights, camera, action, and the UWI Archives EW Reading Room was transformed into a television set for ‚ÄúRegion Talk‚ÄĚ. This is one of the programmes UWI TV airs via the CaribVision cable channel around the Caribbean and North America, and can be found here:¬†Region Talk with Dr Stanley Griffin


UWI Archives continues its collaborative and supportive role with the UWI TV game changing mega project. UWI Archives also supports other arms and offices of the UWI and is actively aligned with the ‚ÄėOne UWI‚Äô identity. ¬†A UWI TV post-production suite has been housed within UWI Archives since the Vice Chancellery assumed lead in this project. As such one of the UWI Archives offices has been repurposed for their use. Additionally the EW Reading Room nimbly doubles as a television set. From time to time UWI Archives has been asked to restrict public access to the UWI Archives EW Reading Room so as to facilitate an agile reconfiguration for television productions such as “Region Talk”.


Dr Carolyn Cooper, former professor of literary and cultural studies, hosted the most recent episode of ‚ÄúRegion Talk‚ÄĚ. She interviewed UWI Archives Assistant Archivist and Officer in Charge, Dr Stanley Griffin and was fascinated by his early years growing up in various countries across the Caribbean. She calls him the poster man for ‚ÄúRegion Talk‚ÄĚ. Dr. Stanley Griffin also retold his experience working on the Dame Eugenia Charles collection, one of the high value collections, formerly managed by the West Indies Federal Archives Centre, and now accessible at the Sidney Martin Library, UWI Cave Hill Campus.

It was a case of star treatment as the production team patted and brushed, nudged and adjusted to ensure the best look for this shoot.


Dr. Griffin used his star role to talk about the various archives programmes, academic and administrative across the UWI. He also highlighted a new reader being written which will be used in academic programmes at the UWI.


That’s a wrap!

The Class of 67 Tours RHQ


The Class of ’67

It’s a week of …much ado, a golden jubilee spent at the Alma mater. 50 years since these students donned their caps and gowns and said farewell to their beloved UWI, they return to soak it all in once more.


Dr Suzanne Francis-Brown welcomes the Class of ’67 to the UWI Museum

A week at Mona, a week down memory lane, stirring up thoughts of ole times, and digging in  bridging some gaps while becoming reacquainted with the Mona campus. The class of 67 provided some enriching stories that linked much of our past as a growing institution. Many were enraptured relived their first year experience attending Martin Luther King’s presentation here on the Mona campus as they listened to a recording of the event.



Dr Stanley Griffin tells the class of ’67 about the UWI Archives

They began their UWI journey in 1964 (interestingly the year my uncle Jack graduated), and they completed their journey in 1967.  2017 marks their golden jubilee and this group does it in style. A Merritone Fete, a forum on building stronger ties, a gala evening and a morning chapel service, highlights the week of celebration.


Dr Stanley Griffin and Dr Suzanne Francis-Brown regaling the Class of ’67

The campus has changed, the UWI has grown and the class of ’67 wears their pelican pride proudly. 50 years is a big deal, let’s celebrate.




Chancellor’s New Robe

On Saturday, 16th of September, Chancellor Robert Bermudez was formally installed during a ceremony at St Augustine. It is an amazing order of events to have a new Chancellor ready to help mark the celebration of the university’s platinum jubilee.

The Saturday affair also marks an interesting new chapter at this regional university. Robert Bermudez with his distinguished business career joins a distinguished list of previous Chancellors among which are state heads, public policymakers and academicians. However he is the first entrepreneur and captain of industry to assume this role. Chancellor Bermudez has been said to be the right man for the right time. He assumes this leadership role at a time when Caribbean integration, innovation, enterprise, and international competitiveness are all critical elements in revitalizing Caribbean development. Chancellor Bermudez’ vision for the University as it approaches its 70th anniversary, encompasses a keen sense of the effectiveness of collaboration and relevance of the interdependence of academia and the economy. His business acumen will also serve The UWI as the institution seeks to grow into a more economically independent funding model for tertiary education in our region.

The Chancellor exercises powers and responsibilities laid down in The UWI Charter, Statutes, Ordinances and Regulations. He is respected as the highest office-holder in The UWI. The ceremonial installation incorporates academic regalia, an academic procession and other traditions of the early university. The order of proceedings has retained much of the original ceremony over the years, with a few minor changes. The Chancellor’s robe is one tradition that has retained its prominence in these proceedings. The original has been part of the Chancellor’s presentation since February 1950 worn by the very first Chancellor, Princess Alice of Athlone. All subsequent Chancellors including Sir George Alleyne, installed in 2003, have worn this Chancellor’s robe.


The first Chancellor’s Robe and Mortarboard on display in The UWI Museum. Chancellor Bermudez will be robed ceremoniously at his Installation as the 6th Chancellor of The UWI.

In 2004, An Ede and Ravenscroft (E&R) representative visiting Mona inspected the robe. It was sent off to E&R for repairs in 2006, as recommended and it was noted “the handmade gold ornaments date from the original robe made for Princess Alice in 1949. E&R also discovered that the robe was in poorer condition than originally anticipated: “…the amount of work that would be required to bring it up to scratch would have been extensive. I therefore decided that we should make you a new robe, and I am delighted to let you know that E&R will donate this to the University”. (Letters from Christopher Allan, E&R Specialist Operations Coordinator to Gloria Barrett-Sobers, UR, 20 Sept 2006 1 Dec, 2004 and 20 Sept 2006). Chancellor Robert Bermudez will be the first to be robed at installation ceremony in this new robe.

Representatives of governments, universities, businesses and other organizations and members of civic society at the regional and international levels, along with members of the University staff from across the region attended this special event. The public is invited to view the installation ceremony on UWI TV via: http://www.uwitv.org.

The 1st  Installation

The First Installation Ceremony of Her Royal Highness, Princess of Athlone as Chancellor of the then University College of the West Indies, in the open air at Mona, February, 1950. (UWI Archives)