Thu | Sep 21, 2017

Farewell to a Beautiful Mind-Professor Carolyn Cooper retires

Published:Sunday | April 2, 2017 | 4:00 AMJody-Anne Lawrence
’Twas a family affair as niece Safia Cooper (left) and cousin Robert Graham celebrated with their beloved Professor Carolyn Cooper.
Out to say farewell to Professor Cooper are (from left) financial consultant Alan Johnstone, author Tanya Shirley, and Professor Mervyn Morris.
Professor Carolyn Cooper (third left) with her nephew Cole as she is joined by (from left) Romae Gordon, her brother Kingsley, Queen’s Counsel Hilary Phillips, her niece Safia, and Sanjay Smith.
Music consultant Clyde McKenzie joins in on a photo-op with the woman of the decade – Professor Carolyn Cooper.
Sonjah Niaah was a vision of elegance at Professor Carolyn Cooper’s retirement celebration.

Farewell to a beautiful mind - Professor Carolyn Cooper retires

Bold, beautiful, talented and inspirational are just a few words to describe the rare gem that is Professor Carolyn Cooper.

Academics of the past, present and future came together to wish Cooper goodbye at the undercroft at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona Campus, where the lecturer has shared her knowledge of culture with all who were willing to learn.

Cordel Green was the master of ceremony and he not only kept the programme flowing, but kept guests entertained with his wit and candid banter.

There was a list of speakers from fellow lecturers to students who came to wish the lecturer of literary and culture studies farewell. It had been more than 30 years that this vivacious woman has been a part of the UWI family, and it was hard for them to say goodbye. Some of the speakers included Dr Michael Bucknor; Deputy Principal Ishenkumba Kahwa; Waibinte E Wariboko, dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Education; Dr Norval Edwards; Calabash's Justine Henzell; and Sonjah Niaah, senior lecturer.

They spoke of her strong personality and generous spirit, which made her a role model for young women. Her sense of identity is one that we all hope to gain, and her retirement will certainly be felt at the university.

Former students Tanya Batson-Savage, Sheldon Reid and Michelle Ashwood-Stewart also gave their own personal encounters and appreciation for Cooper.

However, it could not be a celebration without great entertainment, and dub poet Dingo got the audience to perform with him a poem titled Serve. The dance group L'Acadco also showcased two dance numbers.

The night did not end without Cooper expressing her overwhelming appreciation of the outpouring of love and her rewarding experiences as a lecturer. The evening's proceedings closed with cocktails and warm hugs and exchanges with the lovely guest of honour.