Jamaican business leader and senator, Don Wehby, Group CEO of GraceKennedy, one of the Caribbean’s largest conglomerates with operations spanning Jamaica, several other Caribbean islands, North and Central America, the United Kingdom and several European countries, along with three of the Caribbean region’s Heads of State, are among a group of eight distinguished recipients of the 25th Anniversary Awards of the American Foundation for the University of the West Indies (AFUWI).
Mr. Wehby will receive the AFUWI Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Global Business Leadership and the GraceKennedy Group will receive the AFUWI Corporate Award for Global Business Excellence. AFUWI Legacy Awards will be presented to Hon. Gaston A. Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda and Dr. The Hon. Timothy J. Harris, Prime Minister of St. Kitts & Nevis and the Vice Chancellor’s Award to Dr. The Hon. Mark A. Brantley, Premier of Nevis.
The other four honourees receiving awards on Thursday, April 21, 2022 at the AFUWI 25th Anniversary Gala at the prestigious 583 Park Avenue event hall will be Wayne Berson, CPA, Chief Executive Officer, BDO USA who will receive the Pinnacle Award for Excellence in Financial Advisory Services; Dawnn Lewis, Grammy Award-Winning Songwriter, Producer and Actress who will receive the Bob Marley Award; Ambassador Ralph S. Thomas the Pelican Award and Graham Robinson, SVP & President, STANLEY Industrial, the Caribbean Luminary Award.
The AFUWI Awards are conferred annually on notable individuals and companies which represent high levels of achievement within their respective fields of industry, enterprise and in service in their communities, by the US – based AFUWI which partners with UWI alumni, the Caribbean Community in the USA, American foundations and corporations to raise funds for projects, scholarships and academic programmes on the university’s four physical and one virtual campuses.
Prof. Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West Indies said that “the 2022 awardees are indeed a distinguished group deserving of acknowledgement at the 25th anniversary of the AFUWI Awards Gala. This is a time too, when we must pay homage to the many sponsors of the event and the persons who annually attend the gala thus contributing to the raising of scholarship funds for hundreds of worthy students”.
Sir Hilary noted that “The UWI which is preparing to celebrate its 75th anniversary next year, has worked tirelessly to develop sustainable strategies in the face of many economic challenges that have caused many governments to reduce student support and of course, most recently, the Covid-19 pandemic, which has made our situation even more difficult.”
He said that The UWI has forged linkages between industry and academia, sports, entertainment, and culture, to deliver innovation and value for the economic growth of Caribbean nations and will soon be going to the bond market to raise to raise US$ 60-m to finance the establishment of an offshore medical university in Trinidad and Tobago as part of a range of measures to place the institution on a sound financial footing.
“The UWI is working to transform itself into a global university providing education to 100, 000 students all over the world, online. We have already forged partnerships with leading universities in Africa, Cuba, the USA, England, and China. Soon there will be a UWI in every continent”, Sir Hilary declared.
A 501(c) (3) charitable organisation, the American Foundation for The University of the West Indies (AFUWI) was established in 1956 to develop an endowment fund in the United States for The University of the West Indies (UWI). Today, its mission is to source and administer private donations, maximise philanthropic efforts, and develop strategic alliances with American corporations, foundations, alumni and other organisations, primarily to provide scholarships, support academic programmes and facilitate development projects at The UWI. The Foundation has more recently intensified its focus on supporting the University’s scholarship programme because of the urgent and increasing demand for financial aid from many in the student population who are talented, ambitious and determined to break the cycle of poverty, but face severe economic hardships. In addition, the Foundation also seeks to facilitate activities which promote the well-being and strengthening of the West Indian society through community service, research programmes and public service endeavours for the preservation/creation of a robust cultural and social legacy. Visit: www.afuwi.org.
About The UWI
For over 70 years The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has provided service and leadership to the Caribbean region and wider world. The UWI has evolved from a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948 to an internationally respected, regional university with near 50,000 students and five campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda and an Open Campus. As part of its robust globalization agenda, The UWI has established partnering centres with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, and Africa including the State University of New York (SUNY)-UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development; the Canada-Caribbean Studies Institute with Brock University; the Strategic Alliance for Hemispheric Development with Universidad de los Andes (UNIANDES); the UWI-China Institute of Information Technology, the University of Lagos (UNILAG)-UWI Institute of African and Diaspora Studies and the Institute for Global African Affairs with the University of Johannesburg (UJ). The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science & Technology, Social Sciences and Sport.
As the region’s premier research academy, The UWI’s foremost objective is driving the growth and development of the regional economy. The world’s most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education, has ranked The UWI among the top 600 universities in the world for 2019 and 2020, and the 40 best universities in Latin America and the Caribbean for 2018 and 2019. The UWI has been the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists. For more, visit www.uwi.edu.