Oliver Samuels & Alia Atkinson amongst 14 Eminent Regional Figures to receive UWI Honorary Degrees

Fourteen eminent Caribbean people will receive honorary degrees from the University of the West Indies (UWI) at the 2021 graduation ceremony in recognition of their outstanding contributions to regional and global development. Among those to be presented with honorary degrees at UWI’s Mona campus are Jamaican swimming legend Alia Atkinson, philanthropist Gary “Butch” Craig Hendrickson, poet Linton Kwesi Johnson, and cultural icon Oliver Samuels. They will receive their degrees on November 4 and 5, 2021.

Atkinson, who previously received the Jamaican National Honor of CD, will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) degree, as will Henrickson. Johnson will receive a Doctor of Letters (DLitt) degree, and Samuels, who was presented with the Jamaican honors of OD and CD, will also receive the honorary Doctor of Letters (DLitt) degree.

Alia Atkinson Jamaican Olympian Swimmer

The conferral of honorary degrees is an annual tradition followed by UWI. The nominations, which were made across all UWI’s five campuses were approved by the University Council on April 30, 2021. The newly honored individuals will be added to the list of over 450 recipients of honorary degrees presented by the regional institution since 1965. The 2021 presentations will be held virtually in 2021 as they were in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, the degrees will be presented during the traditional “graduation season” in October and November.

Among the other recipients of honorary degrees are physician Dr. George Mansoor, cricketer Sir Anderson Roberts, international auditor George Willie, musician Nicholas Brancker, cricketer Sir Gordon Greenidge, musician Ray Holman, medical practitioner Dr. Roshan Parasram, philanthropist Sieunarine Persad Coosal, and attorney Lynette Seebaran-Suit. Additionally, a special convocation was held to present an Honorary Doctor of Science degree (DSc) to Dr. Ruby Lake-Richards, 99, who was one of the first 33 medical students to attend UWI, then known as the University College of the West Indies, and the first female UWI graduate from Antigua and Barbuda. Another special ceremony will take place in September 2021 to present a Doctor of Laws degree to Her Excellency Dame Sandra Prunella Mason, the governor general of Barbados.

Photo: Oliver Samuels Facebook