14 to receive honorary doctorates at The UWI’s 2020 Graduation ceremonies
Regional Headquarters, Jamaica. Thursday, November 12, 2020 — 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:
Cave Hill Campus
- Ms. 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)
- Dr. Julio Frenk of the USA for Leadership in the field of Medicine – Doctor of Science (DSc)
- Mr. 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)
- Mr. 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)
- Ms. Hilary Grace Sherlock of Jamaica for her work in Special Disabilities Education – Doctor of Laws (LLD)
St. Augustine Campus
- Mr. 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)
- Mr. Dominico Felipe Martina of Curacao for Public Service leadership – Doctor of Laws (LLD)
- Mr. 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.
More about the 2020 Honorary Graduands
Cave Hill Campus
Ms. Sonita Alleyne – DLitt
Barbadian born Entrepreneur and Journalist, Sonita Alleyne is currently Master of Jesus College, one of the 31 colleges in the University of Cambridge, making her the first woman to lead the College since its inception in 1496.
Ms. Alleyne is committed to seeing the public and private sectors work together for positive, societal change. Her public service includes her role as a member of the London Legacy Development Corporation; Director of the Cultural Capital Fund and Governor of the Museum of London.
Previously, she served on the British Board of Film Classification (2009-2019), the BBC Trust (2012-2017), where she was the Lead Trustee for Diversity. She was a Board member of Archant, a regional newspaper group; a Director of the Local Radio Company PLC (2004-2008) and an Advisory Board Member – Ashbridge Business School.
Ms. Alleyne holds a BA (Hons.) in Philosophy from Cambridge University. She has worked extensively in broadcasting and journalism receiving the Carlton Multicultural Achievement Award for TV and Radio (2001). In 2013 Ms. Alleyne founded a private company called The Yes Programme. It was established to provide career information at the early stages of education. She was also the Founder/CEO of Somethin’ Else, a radio production company which she grew into an award-winning UK digital agency.
Sonita Alleyne has received the European Federation of Black Women Business Owners’ Award for Excellence (2000), has been featured among the top ten women in the UK Black Power List and was also named among the top ten BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) professionals within the public sector in 2016.
Professor Juliet M. Daniel – DSc
Juliet M. Daniel is a Cancer Biologist whose research led to her discovery of a new gene, ‘Kaiso’, named for the Barbados native’s favourite music – calypso. 'Kaiso’ regulates the expression of genes that control cell proliferation, cell adhesion and cell motility. Consequently, Kaiso’s malfunction leads to developmental disorders, aggressive tumour growth and spread in various human cancers including breast, colon and prostate cancers.
Her current research focuses on the aggressive and difficult to treat triple negative breast cancers (TNBC) that are prevalent in young women of African and Hispanic ancestry. Her aim is to identify unique DNA mutations or markers in cells that may explain this ethnic disparity. Her impactful work has been funded by several national and international agencies; most recently a five-year grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) valued at CDN $805,000.
In recognition of her research, Professor Daniel has received several awards including The UWI Vice-Chancellor’s Award (2019), the Barbados Ball Canada Aid’s Errol Walton Barrow Award of Excellence (2009), the Barbados National Honour – Gold Crown of Merit (2009) and the Ontario Premier’s Research Excellence Award (2001-2006).
Professor Daniel holds a BSc in Life Sciences from Queen’s University and a PhD in Microbiology from the University of British Columbia. She is currently a Professor and Acting Associate Dean of Research and External Relations in the Faculty of Science at McMaster University. Professor Daniel also serves as a Faculty Advisor and mentor for student-led initiatives such as the Black Aspiring Physicians of McMaster and the McMaster National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). Over the past 25 years, she has been a passionate advocate and mentor for Women in Science and Engineering (WISE). In 2007, Professor Daniel co-founded the Canadian Multicultural LEAD Organisation, a programme to help 15-18-year-old students consider their employment options.
Dr. Julio Frenk – DSc
A Physician who has dedicated his life to health equality, Dr. Julio Frenk is arguably one of the most distinguished public health professionals in the Americas. His work as a researcher, educator and public servant in the field of Public Health has promoted healthy populations and health systems with the aim of eradicating inequities in access.
Dr. Frenk is currently President of the University of Miami and previously served as Dean of the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. His public service has included his role as Minister of Health, Mexico; Senior Fellow, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Executive Director, Evidence and Information for Policy Cluster – World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Executive Vice President and Director of the Center for Health and the Economy, Mexican Health Foundation. Dr. Frenk also had the distinction of serving as Founding Director General for both the National Institute of Public Health and the Center for Public Health Research – Ministry of Health, both in Mexico.
Dr. Frenk received his medical degree from the National University of Mexico in 1979. He also holds a Master of Public Health (1981), an MA in Sociology (1982), and a PhD (1983) from the University of Michigan as well as certification from the University of Miami and Harvard University. He has authored or co-authored 27 books, 17 monographs, 92 book chapters, 184 journal articles, and 152 articles in cultural magazines and daily newspapers.
For his work in Public Health, Dr. Frenk has received various awards and distinctions. These have included more than 10 honorary degrees from universities across the world including Harvard University, Massachusetts, USA; York University, Ontario, Canada; Université de Genève, Geneva, Switzerland and Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico.
In 2011, Dr. Frenk received Mexico’s highest Public Health award the Medalla al Merito Sanitario. In 2018, Dr. Frenk co-founded the Hemispheric University Consortium (HUC) which comprises universities across Latin America, the Caribbean, Canada, and the United States, including The UWI.
Mr. Franklyn McIntosh – DLitt
Born into a musical family, Franklyn ‘Frankie’ McIntosh was always surrounded by music. He trained in classical piano as a young boy, joined his father’s popular dance band, the Melotones at age 10 and formed his own band at the age of 14.
In 1968 Mr. McIntosh moved to New York to attend Brooklyn College where he earned a Bachelor of Music and later a Master’s degree from the New York University. During his studies he played keyboard with several Caribbean R&B and Jazz groups. He went on to study with several musical icons including John Lewis of the Modern Jazz Quartet, Zenon Fishbein and US composer, Robert Starer.
In 1976/77 Mr. McIntosh first forayed into the world of Calypso arranging for calypsonian Becket’s successful 1977 Disco Calypso album. In 1978 he connected with fellow Vincentian and Brooklyn’s premier record producer at the time, Granville Straker. The two went on to forge a musical alliance that would last decades.
Serving as musical director and technical producer, McIntosh arranged for dozens of Straker’s calypsonians including Chalkdust (Dr. Hollis Liverpool), Shadow, Calypso Rose, Winston Soso, Poser, Scorcher, Singing Francine, Duke, King Wellington, young Machel Montano, Lord Shorty and others. His classic arrangements won the Trinidad and Tobago Calypso Monarch for Chalkdust in 1981 ‘Things that Worry Me’ and 1989 ‘Chauffer Wanted’. His work also won the Road March for Sparrow in 1984 ‘Doh Back Back’ and Duke in 1987 ‘Thunder’.
From Calypso to gospel and reggae, Franklyn McIntosh has worked his magic on music from every English-speaking Caribbean island. His work has been honoured with an induction into the Sunshine Awards Hall of Fame in New York (2015) and recognition by the Borough of Brooklyn, the City of New York and the United States Congress – House of Representatives. He has appeared on a stamp in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and is recognised as a diplomat.
His Excellency The Right Honourable Dr. Sir Kennedy Simmonds – DSc
As a regional leader Sir Kennedy Simmonds is praised for leading the tiny country of St. Kitts and Nevis into full independence from Great Britain in 1983.
Sir Kennedy became a founding member of the People’s Action Movement (PAM) in 1965 formed as an Opposition party to the ruling St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party. In 1976 he was elected President of the PAM and in 1979 contested and won a by-election to fill the seat left vacant after the death of Premier Robert Bradshaw. Sir Kennedy’s win, though not recognised by the ruling party, made him the first elected representative in St. Kitts who did not belong to the Labour Party. In response, the Parliament was dissolved and General Elections were called. PAM won three seats and formed a coalition government with the Nevis Reformation Party (NRP).
When he took office in 1980 as Premier, Sir Kennedy became the first UWI alumnus elected to lead a Caribbean country. In 1983 he became the first Prime Minister of the newly independent St. Kitts and Nevis. He led St. Kitts and Nevis through a turbulent time, working with Sir Simeon Daniel to prevent secession by Nevis. Prime Minister Simmonds’ visionary leadership between 1980 and 1995 birthed the Citizenship by Investment Programme, Port Zante and the SELF (Student Education and Learning) Fund.
Sir Kennedy graduated from the University College of the West Indies with a medical degree in 1962. During a leave of absence from his budding political career he specialised in Anaesthesiology. He became a member of the heart transplant team in Pittsburgh under the leadership of the renowned Dr. George Magovern. He also pioneered the use of the mechanical ventilator and the ECG monitor in the operating theatre in St. Kitts and Nevis. After serving as Prime Minister of St. Kitts Nevis, Sir Kennedy would again practice medicine serving as Anguilla’s Anaesthesiologist from 2002-2013 then the Director of Medical Services at Anguilla’s Health Authority.
Sir Kennedy has received several awards including a Knighthood from Her Majesty the Queen dubbing him a Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George (2004). He also received the Anguillan Medal of Honour (2005) and Venezuela’s highest civilian honour, The Order of Liberator. In 2015, Sir Kennedy received St. Kitts and Nevis’ highest national honour and was named a national hero. He is the nation’s only living national hero.
The Honourable Glen Christian – LLD
Entrepreneur and philanthropist, Glen Christian entered the pharmaceutical industry in 1971. In 1986, he started his own pharmaceutical distribution company, Cari-Med Limited. Today, Mr. Christian is Chairman of the Cari-Med Group which employs over 900 persons.
Mr. Christian has committedly supported early childhood education, health care and community development in Jamaica through the Cari-Med Foundation. In 2010 the Foundation built the Evelyn Mitchell Infant School, a state of the art Early Childhood institution in Brandon Hill, Clarendon – Mr. Christian’s hometown. The facility, named for his mother, was handed over to the Ministry of Education and has been designated a Centre of Excellence by the Ministry. In 2015, the Cari-Med Foundation collaborated with private and public partners to build a similar facility in inner city Kingston. This school, the Union Gardens Infant School, is also managed by the Ministry of Education.
For his public service, Mr. Christian has received several honours and awards. These include the Governor General’s Award for Community Service and Jamaica’s national awards the Order of Distinction and the Order of Jamaica. In 2014, he was inducted into the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica’s Hall of Fame and in 2019, he was presented with the prestigious International Humanitarian Award from the American Friends of Jamaica for his philanthropic work. Mr. Christian has also received honorary degrees from his alma maters The Mico University College and the University of Technology.
Mr. Christian has been a valued stakeholder of The UWI. He is a major donor to the Office of the Honorary Distinguished Fellow at the Mona Campus and also conceptualised and serves as Chairman of the Jamaica STEM for Growth Initiative, a collaboration between the private sector and The UWI and Mico University College which prepares persons to function in the technology-dominated world.
His Excellency Sir Rodney Errey Lawrence Williams – DSc
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.
The Honourable Robert E. Levy, OJ, LLD
Mr. Levy has made significant contributions to the Jamaican private sector. Currently the Chairman of Jamaica Broilers Group Limited, a company he has served for over 50 years, Mr. Levy is committed to innovation and development in the agriculture and livestock industry.
Mr. Levy has served the public through his numerous Board appointments. These have included his role as a Trustee of Regent University, Virginia; Chairman of the National Foundation for the Development of Science and Technology; Director of Back to the Bible, Jamaica; Director of the King’s House Foundation; Chairman of the Moorland’s Christian Camp; Chairman of the Sugar Company of Jamaica; Director of the Caribbean Poultry Association; President of the Caribbean Christian Centre for the Deaf and President of the American Chamber of Commerce.
His contributions have been recognised by his induction into both the Caribbean Poultry Association Hall of Fame and the Private Sector of Jamaica Hall of Fame. Mr. Levy is also the holder of the National award the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Commander (2002) for his contributions to the development of Jamaica’s livestock industry and the Order of Jamaica (2019) for outstanding service in the Agricultural Sector and Philanthropy. In 2014, he received the prestigious American Friends of Jamaica’s Humanitarian Award.
Mr. Levy completed the Owner/President Management Programme at Harvard Business School in 1996 and has also been awarded honorary degrees by the Caribbean Graduate School of Theology (2008) and the Northern Caribbean University (2009).
Professor E. Albert Reece – (DSc)
Jamaican born, Professor E. Albert Reece is one of the world’s leading experts on diabetes-induced birth defects and prenatal diagnosis. In 1982, he started studying why diabetic women have more children with birth defects. He then pioneered a technique called embryofetoscopy to detect fetal birth defects. Professor Reece has made key discoveries in the biomolecular causes for diabetes-induced birth defects, and has initiated prevention studies.
Professor Reece received Bachelor’s degrees with honours (Magna Cum Laude) from Long Island University and his medical degree (MD) from New York University. He completed an internship and residency in obstetrics and gynaecology at Columbia University Medical Center and a post-doctoral fellowship in Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Yale University. He also holds an MBA from Temple University’s Fox School of Business and Management, and a PhD in Biochemistry from The University of the West Indies. He has published extensively including 12 books, 5 monographs and more than 500 articles, chapters and abstracts.
Professor Reece has held senior academic positions at Yale University and Temple University. He has served as Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the College of Medicine at the University of Arkansas. In 2006, Professor Reece moved to the University of Maryland in his current position as Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor, and Dean of the School of Medicine. In 2010, he served as Acting President of the University of Maryland.
Professor Reece is a member of the prestigious National Academy of Medicine, has served on many national committees including the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH); has received several awards including the American Diabetes Association’s Nobert Freinkel Research Award (2012), honorary doctorates degrees from Northern Caribbean University, and the University of South Florida.
Ms. Hilary Grace Sherlock – LLD
Special Educator, Hilary Grace Sherlock has contributed significantly to the development of Special Education in the Caribbean. She believes that every child should feel motivated, cherished and appreciated – ‘No child should be excluded’ and that is precisely what her work at the School for Therapy, Education and Parenting of Children with multiple Disabilities (STEP Centre) is dedicated to making happen.
Ms. Sherlock, the daughter of renowned Jamaican educator Sir Philip Sherlock and Lady Sherlock developed an early passion for education as she observed her father work to help establish the University College of the West Indies’ St. Augustine Campus. She graduated Oberlin College in 1968 then gained her MSc in Education at the Bank Street College of Education (now incorporated into Columbia University).
In 1998, after almost two decades directing several community development projects in Portland, Jamaica funded by the government of the Netherlands, Ms. Sherlock returned to Kingston and joined the STEP Centre as Principal. Her vision for the school was broad and today, the STEP Centre is a unique learning institute, recognised by the Jamaican Ministry of Education, which serves children from ages 2-18 years who have learning and developmental disabilities.
Ms. Sherlock has been praised for taking a revolutionary approach which prioritises a rounded experience, catering for individualised interventions for each child and the full immersion of teachers.
Under Ms. Sherlock’s leadership, a partnership with the Digicel Foundation produced a new purpose-built facility for the STEP Centre in 2014.
Ms. Hilary Sherlock has co-authored a book with her father – “Ears and Tails and Common Sense’’ and has served as an Advisor to the Ministry of Education on policy and curriculum development for the education of children with special needs.
St. Augustine Campus
Mr. Paul Keens-Douglas – DLitt
Known as Mr. Tim Tim in the world of theatre, Trinidad and Tobago-born cultural icon Paul Keens-Douglas is one of the Caribbean’s best-known social commenters and storytellers.
His childhood interest in drama developed into a wide and varied background in Theatre and Cultural Arts. Mr. Keens-Douglas is well known for storytelling which highlights the Trinidad and Tobago and Eastern Caribbean vernacular. As a writer, performer and producer, he dedicatedly promotes Caribbean oral traditions, a commitment which birthed his annual Tim Tim Show and Carnival Talk Tent launched in 1975 and 1983. Today, he has become well known for his dramatic motivational speaking.
A self-published author, Mr. Keens-Douglas has produced ten volumes including Tanti At De Oval (1975) which was translated and published in Japanese, German and French Creole. The story has been included in the MCC anthology of cricket verse: ‘A Breathless Hush...” and several other cricket anthologies. Mr. Keens-Douglas’ work has also been featured by the National Geographic, the BBC and across Caribbean and North American media. Over the course of his career Mr. Keens-Douglas has produced 30 recordings, 3 videos, 2 DVDs and has toured extensively.
Paul Keens-Douglas holds international diplomas in Commercial Broadcasting and Radio/TV Production; a Bachelor's degree (Hons.) in Sociology from Sir George Williams University (Concordia) (Montreal) and was appointed Poet Laureate of Trinidad and Tobago (2017-2019).
His work profile includes Rediffusion, Radio Trinidad and Creative Director McCann-Erickson (Trinidad) Ltd. Through his company Keensdee Productions Ltd., Mr. Keens-Douglas offers specialised inter-personal and cross-cultural communication training. His contribution to Caribbean cultural development has been widely recognised and honoured. His accolades include the Trinidad and Tobago National Award – Hummingbird Silver (1994) and acknowledgment at the level of CARICOM.
Professor Edgar Julian Duncan – DSc
Professor Edgar Julian Duncan’s pioneering work in Plant Biotechnology (Plant Tissue Culture) has benefited the region in very practical ways including the mass production of banana, plantain, pineapple, orchid and anthurium plants to supply Caribbean farmers.
Professor Duncan holds a BSc in Botany and Zoology (University College of the West Indies, Mona) and received the first Sir James Irvine Memorial Scholarship tenable at the University of St. Andrews Scotland. There, he earned a PhD in Fungal Cytology and Genetics. He went on to teach at his alma mater, The UWI, graduating to the position of Head of Department of Life Sciences and Deputy Dean for Postgraduate Studies and Research in the Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Sciences. In 1996 he introduced Plant Tissue Culture as a discipline at The UWI St. Augustine Campus, establishing a laboratory and developing a course in the discipline. In 1999 he was named Professor Emeritus at The UWI and to date continues to mentor researchers, teachers and students.
Professor Duncan has published two books; namely A Guide to Wild Flowers of Trinidad and Tobago with the Asa Wright Nature Centre and a co-authored manuscript Life Along the Seashore of Trinidad and Tobago (2018) with Lori Lee Lum. He also published 3 book chapters, 30 peer reviewed journal articles and a further 6 in local journals. Professor Duncan's services to the region, include the setting up of national Tissue Culture Laboratories in Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana, on consultancies for the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
Professor Duncan received The UWI Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and Administration (1994) and the Lifetime Achievement Award in Agriculture for his pioneering contribution of Plant Tissue Culture research and Development from the National Institute of Education Research, Science and Technology (NIHERST) in 2002.
Mr. Dominico Felipe Martina – LLD
Dominico ‘Don’ Martina has made his mark as a respected politician and leader of the Netherland Antilles. In 1971 he co-founded the Movementu Antia Nobo (MAN) and in a political career spanning more than 30 years, Don Martina served as a member of Parliament six times, including four terms as Prime Minister of the Netherland Antilles.
An alumnus of The University of the West Indies, Don Martina gained his BSc (Hons.) in Mechanical Engineering in 1967. He went on to attain an MSc in Management and Industrial Engineering from the Columbia University, New York in 1968.
Prior to becoming Prime Minister in 1979, Don Martina served as Labour Inspector in the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs; Head of Social and Labour Affairs, Netherland Antilles; Commissioner, Island Government of Curacao; and a member of the Netherland Antilles Parliament.
In addition to national leadership, his service to the region has included his role as National Coordinator OECD/Caribbean Rim Investment Initiative and Senior Advisor to Government of Curacao for Constitutional Affairs. Don Martina is also known for his role as President of the Commission to Rehabilitate Tula and the successful recommendation to proclaim Tula – a slave who led the 1795 Curacao Slave revolt – a national hero.
For his contributions Don Martina has received the award: Knight in the Order of the Lion of the Netherlands (1983) and the Grand Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau (1995) from the Kingdom of the Netherlands. He has also received the Order of Francisco de Miranda en la Primera Clase (1983) and the Order del Liberta en el grado de Gran Cordon (1983) from the Republic of Venezuela.
Mr. Len ‘Boogsie’ Sharpe – DLitt
Len Sharpe, better known as Len ‘Boogsie’ Sharpe or simply ‘Boogsie’, is a very successful and popular player, arranger and composer of steelpan music from Trinidad and Tobago. As a soloist extraordinaire or as part of a group, he has amazed audiences in North America, Europe and Asia. His life has been one of breaking boundaries in the pan world – in his composition style, in his management of his band and in his outspokenness on the business of pan.
His gift of "perfect pitch" and the ability to immediately recreate almost anything that he heard was realised at a young age. He began playing at age four, and at nine, he tried his hand at composing. One year later, he completed his first arrangement. By the time he was a teenager, Sharpe had mastered the art of playing different pans and was already being hailed as a genius.
Soon after he began playing with professional steelbands, he started his own steelband, Phase II Pan Groove in 1972. Boogsie has taken his band to over thirty Panorama competition finals—the most by any arranger. He copped the first place with Phase II in 1987 making history by winning Panorama without sponsorship, with his own composition entitled "This Feeling Nice", a double first. In Panorama competitions overall, Boogsie has over 20 victories with various bands in different categories. Pan aficionados and enthusiasts worldwide converge annually on the Phase II panyard to observe the “maestro of steelpan” as he shapes his Panorama arrangements for the final night of the competition.
Sharpe has also arranged for many steelbands across the Caribbean, UK and USA. He has made several recordings encompassing a variety of musical genres including calypso, classical and jazz. Among these is the very first CD recording using the PHI, an electronic steelpan innovation developed at The UWI which was inspired by Boogsie’s incredible mastery.
His versatility has taken him to bandstands, workshops and recording studios with such Jazz greats as: Wynton Marsalis, Grover Washington Jr., Art Blakey, Randy Weston, Gary Burton, Ginger Baker, Monty Alexander, Max Roach and Tony Williams.
The 2020 virtual and blended UWI graduation ceremonies to be held in January 2021, will be broadcast live via UWItv on www.uwitv.org, www.facebook.com/UWITV and Cable TV channels on the FLOW EVO network. The dates across the five campuses are as follows:
- Five Islands Campus (Antigua & Barbuda) – Sunday, January 10, 2021
- St Augustine Campus (Trinidad & Tobago) – Monday, January 11 and Tuesday, January 12, 2021
- Open Campus – Wednesday, January 13, 2021
- Mona Campus (Jamaica) – Thursday, January 14 and Friday, January 15, 2021
- Cave Hill Campus (Barbados) – Saturday, January 16, 2021
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, Africa and Europe including the State University of New York (SUNY)-UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development; the Canada-Caribbean 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; the Institute for Global African Affairs with the University of Johannesburg (UJ); The UWI-University of Havana Centre for Sustainable Development; The UWI-Coventry Institute for Industry-Academic Partnership with the University of Coventry and the Glasgow-Caribbean Centre for Development Research with the University of Glasgow.
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 in 2018 and 2019, then top 20 in 2020. The UWI has been the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists. For more, visit www.uwi.edu.
(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)