The University of the West Indies (The UWI) will confer 14 honorary degrees at its 2020 graduation ceremonies. The ceremonies, which are scheduled to take place from January 11–16, 2021, in a mix of blended, virtual formats, will celebrate a graduating class of approximately 8500 students across the region.
In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, The UWI graduations will retain the tradition of recognising Caribbean excellence through the conferral of honorary degrees awarded for a wide variety of fields such as music, theatre, public service, medicine, agricultural science and entrepreneurship among others. The awards were approved by the University Council, which has sanctioned over 500 honorary degrees since 1965. The 2020 honorary graduands to be recognised for their outstanding contributions to regional and international development are:
Sir Rodney Errey Lawrence Williams’ dedicated contribution to medicine and regional leadership have both demonstrated his commitment to the health of Caribbean society. The son of a career politician, the late Honourable Ernest Emmanuel Williams, Sir Rodney followed in his father’s footsteps serving as a Member of Parliament in Antigua for 20 years. During his political career he served as a Minister in various ministries including holding the portfolio of Education, Sport, Youth and Community. He also served as Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives and an Advisor to the Prime Minister. In addition to his political career, Sir Rodney’s public service included his contributions to the medical field serving as a District Medical Officer and then a private practitioner.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) in 1976, Sir Rodney spent four decades of his professional life as a medical doctor in Family Medicine with specialisation in Aviation and Sport Medicine. From 1979 to present he has represented Antigua and Barbuda in a medical capacity in several high-level sporting arena including CARIFTA, IAAF, Pan Am and the Olympic Games.
In 2014, Sir Rodney Williams was appointed Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda. In the same year he was honoured with two knighthood appointments by Her Majesty the Queen— Knight Grand Cross of St. Michael and St. George and Knight of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem.
In 2020, Sir Rodney was named Patron of the Commonwealth Heritage Forum (UK). He has also been a Patron of The UWI’s Global Giving programme since its inception in 2016. Together with his wife, HE Lady Williams, Sir Rodney is Patron of more than 30 non-profit organisations. He has received an honorary degree from the St. Mary’s College of Maryland, USA and a Professorship from the Kazakh-Russian Medical University and the Government of Kazakhstan for his work in Sport Medicine. In 2019 he was given the Freedom to the City of London and in 2020 was named Trustee of the London based West India Committee.
Cave Hill Campus
- Sonita Alleyne of Barbados for Entrepreneurship and contributions to Journalism – Doctor of Letters (DLitt)
- Professor Juliet M. Daniel of Barbados for her work in Medicine and Cancer research – Doctor of Science (DSc)
- Julio Frenk of the USA for Leadership in the field of Medicine – Doctor of Science (DSc)
- Franklyn McIntosh of St. Vincent and the Grenadines for his work as a Musical Director/Composer – Doctor of Letters (DLitt)
- His Excellency the Rt. Hon. Dr. Sir Kennedy Alphonse Simmonds of St. Kitts and Nevis for Public Service leadership – Doctor of Science (DSc)
- The Hon. Glen Christian of Jamaica for Entrepreneurship – Doctor of Laws (LLD)
- His Excellency Sir Rodney Errey Lawrence Williams of Antigua and Barbuda for Medicine and Public Service – Doctor of Science (DSc)
- Robert E. Levy of Jamaica for Entrepreneurship – Doctor of Laws (LLD)
- Professor E. Albert Reece of Jamaica/USA for leadership in the field of Medicine – Doctor of Science (DSc)
- Hilary Grace Sherlock of Jamaica for her work in Special Disabilities Education – Doctor of Laws (LLD)
St. Augustine Campus
- Paul Keens-Douglas of Trinidad and Tobago for his work in Culture and the Arts – Doctor of Letters (DLitt)
- Professor Edgar Julian Duncan of St. Vincent and the Grenadines for contributions to Caribbean Science and Agriculture – Doctor of Science (DSc)
- Dominico Felipe Martina of Curacao for Public Service leadership – Doctor of Laws (LLD)
- Len ‘Boogsie’ Sharpe of Trinidad and Tobago for steelpan arrangement, composition, and performance – Doctor of Letters (DLitt)
About The UWI Honorary Degrees
The UWI honorary degree is conferred on persons who have distinguished themselves by their substantial contribution to the development of the region and or the advancement of the University. Individuals upon whom such a high honour has been bestowed are not referred to as “Doctor” but are entitled to use the abbreviated honorary degree behind his or her name.