This is the title of a display of framed photographs, citations and awards from the collection of the late Professor the Hon. Rex Nettleford, Vice Chancellor of the UWI 1998-2004, which the University Archives and the University Museum have mounted in the corridor of the East Wing of the UWI Regional Headquarters Building. The items must have been highly prized by Rex Nettleford for they were in his Office of Vice Chancellor Emeritus from which location they were transferred to the University Archives.
The portraits – one of which is a painting – depicts him in various poses and reflects various periods of his life. The citations are from a number of institutions including the University of Technology, the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation and the UWI itself.
The Citation from the UWI was given to him to mark the Commemoration Celebrations and Alumini Week in 2004, a few months before he demitted office as Vice Chancellor. After extolling his work and linking his career to the life of the University itself, the Citation ends with the following majestic words:
Qualis lux? Talis Homo! Rex Universitatis Nostrae!
What a light! What a Man! King Indeed of our University!
About Rex Nettleford
Professor the Hon Rex Nettleford‘s Vice Chancellorship was special. He is the University’s first graduate to assume the office of the Vice Chancellor. Professor Nettleford was an internationally renowned Caribbean scholar, trade union educator, social and cultural historian, political analyst and a man of the performing arts. Oxford University, to mark the centenary of the Rhodes Scholarship, selected him, out of 4000 Rhodes Scholars, as one of 4 to be conferred with the Doctor of Civil Laws honoris causa, describing him as “a man of the greatest versatility, effective in action, outstanding in erudition, and most supple in dance”. He was the founder, Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer of the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica. His service to the international community was tremendous. He received numerous awards both within Jamaica, including the high national honour of Order of Merit, and outside Jamaica. His honorary degrees are numerous. He is only the third Caribbean scholar on which Oxford Doctor of Civil Laws honoris causa has been conferred. Throughout the years, from Director of Extra Mural Studies to Vice Chancellor, Rex Nettleford’s mark on The UWI is such that the names Rex Nettleford and The UWI seem synonymous.