Sat | Oct 21, 2017

UWI bids farewell to chancellor

Published:Monday | May 1, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Sir George Alleyne (centre), outgoing chancellor of the University of the West Indies, along with members of his family.

"An extraordinary physician and scholar, research scientist, orator and progressive public health leader whose life in service to humanity and impact on the University, the Caribbean and the Americas has been profound." This is an excerpt from a citation read on Professor Emeritus Sir George Alleyne last week Wednesday.

Regional colleagues, together with family and friends of Sir George, celebrated his career as chancellor of the University of the West Indies (UWI) at a farewell dinner held in his honour at the UWI Cave Hill campus. Sir George will demit office in July, after serving two consecutive seven-year terms as chancellor.

The gala ceremony included speech tributes of highlights and insights into his tenure at the UWI, as well as fond personal memories.

SHAPED IDENTITY

In response to the tributes, Alleyne credited the UWI with shaping his sense of being West Indian. He said it enabled him to fulfil "the cannons of proper socialisation" and he described the institution as "an inextricable part of my identity which I carry throughout my life".

"For the past 13 and a half years, I have been chancellor and ever conscious of the responsibility that came with following in the footsteps of persons of eminence and distinction. There was a princess of the royal blood followed by three eminent West Indian lawyers, different in style, perhaps, but all displaying the deep and fierce concern for the well-being of the institution as a whole and absolutely committed to upholding and enhancing its reputation. I have been privileged to witness the remarkable growth of the university and the addition of the Open Campus."

Last Thursday, at the UWI's annual meeting of University Councilthe institution's highest governing body, prominent businessman Robert Bermudez was confirmed as Sir George's successor.