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Cave Hill to roll out UWI Global Giving Week

For Release Upon Receipt - Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Alumni, benefactors, friends and well-wishers of The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill campus will gather at month end for an historic ceremony, which is intended to give impetus to new financing mechanisms to support the academy.

Geared towards engendering a greater spirit of philanthropy across the region and global awareness of the need to strengthen The UWI’s operational finances, the ceremony will yield a central message of the need to revolutionise the funding structures of the regional campus as it is weaned off an over reliance on state financing.

The ceremony will also facilitate The UWI Cave Hill campus’ roll-out of a planned UWI Global Giving Week scheduled for August 1-7, 2016. This international event which coincides with annual Caribbean celebrations of West Indian emancipation from slavery will be held under the theme, Emancipate, Educate, Donate.

The innovative fundraising initiative was launched at UWI Mona on last April 8 and rolled out at St. Augustine campus on April 29. May 27 is the scheduled roll out date for Cave Hill when UWI executives are expected to further sensitize the public to the financial plight of the institution.

Initiated by The Office of the Vice-Chancellor, through its Institutional Advancement Division, the UWI Global Giving Week will mark the beginning of an annual tradition to connect with friends and cultivate support to strengthen The UWI’s capacity to drive regional development. The University has traditionally relied on regional governments for financial support; this campaign targets alumni, public and private sector organisations, donor agencies and members of the public with an objective of bringing them closer to the University. Proceeds of the campaign will go towards research, facilities and equipment, construction and maintenance of residence halls, as well as faculty and sport programmes.

Since assuming office in May 2015, Principal of the UWI Cave Hill campus Professor Eudine Barriteau has been lobbying for infrastructural renewal of the physical plant at the Barbados-based campus especially the Faculty of Science and Technology which she sees as a critical campus requirement. She has noted that the plant is aging and not befitting of a modern academy aiming to attract students and fulfil its mission of bolstering economic development.

She has been urging benefactors who cannot make substantial sums towards capital development to consider contributing towards the provision of scholarships for students, especially in the wake of recently imposed tuition payments for Barbadians which has caused student enrolment at Cave Hill to decline sharply.

The UWI Global Giving Week campaign is endorsed by global patron, UWI Chancellor, Sir George Alleyne and other regional patrons including: His Excellency Dr. Sir Rodney Williams, Governor-General of Antigua, Her Excellency Dame Ivy Dumont, former Governor-General of The Bahamas, the Rt. Hon. Owen Arthur, former Prime Minister of Barbados, His Excellency Sir Colville Young, Governor-General of Belize, the Most Hon P. J. Patterson, former Prime Minister of Jamaica, Her Excellency Dame Pearlette Louisy, Governor-General of St Lucia and His Excellency Anthony Carmona, President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

At the launch in Jamaica, The UWI’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles said, “As we approach yet another Emancipation Day in the region, The UWI is calling upon you, its community of graduates and supporters, to please give generously. Your support will strengthen and expand the emancipation mission we all imagine for our youth. As you donate we will collectively educate and emancipate. Your contribution will give life and offer hope to those deserving an opportunity to fulfil their potential.”

Demonstrating the kind of giving in action that the campaign aims to achieve, in March 2016, alumnus Professor Sir Woodville Marshall presented a cheque of near BDS $10,000 on behalf of a group of alumni who attended University College of the West Indies (UCWI), the precursor to The University of the West Indies (UWI).

According to Professor Marshall, who is a former Pro Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, the donors were motivated by the keen sense of regional awareness and camaraderie which they developed during the years that they attended the UCWI located at what is now The UWI Mona Campus. He stated, “We know that there was a UWI project to encourage greater student mobility and interaction across the campuses and this harmonised with our own experience of attending the University College.

In accepting the donation, Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles commented, “The depth of love and loyalty, added to the breadth of care and concern, coming from our founding academics and administrators of The UWI seem to have no obvious boundaries. It is remarkable that after more than 60 years these stalwarts continue to empower the University they created as an indispensable regional enterprise."


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