Montego Bay says farewell to Dr Luz Longsworth
Outgoing director of the University of the West Indies, Mona, Western Jamaica Campus (WJC), Dr Luz Longsworth, has disproved the unpopular 'clannish' label Montegonians have carried around with them for years.
"The community embraced me from day one. Before I came here, everyone told me MoBay would be a hard place to settle," Longsworth told an intimate group of friends, family members and well-wishers at a farewell function in her honour on Tuesday evening.
Dr Longsworth has been promoted to the position of acting principal of UWI Open Campus in Barbados, becoming one of only two women to hold that position in the history of the male-dominated institution.
The event, fit for a member of the monarchy, was hosted by Sandals Resorts International and former WJC Ambassadorial Corps member, Adam Stewart and his A-Team, on the Sandals Royal Caribbean island - Sandals Cay.
Passing the baton
Longsworth, who has left a trail of successes in her path, lit a torch handing over the baton to Caribbean Media and Communications coordinator, Patrick Prendergast. However, not before she was hailed as a game-changer, a trojan and dynamo who has achieved 30-50 per cent growth in the student population during her tenure.
More importantly, Longsworth is leaving at a time when she can lay claim to mentoring a number of young stars in the west - namely Aubrey Stewart, president of the Guild of Students (who is now renowned for being the person who introduced United States President Barack Obama at the town hall meeting at the UWI Mona campus during his historic visit to the country), and the 2015 Administrative Professional of the Year, Inderia Adjudah. The latter, who won the coveted title last Sunday in Mandeville, Manchester, is the administrative assistant at the WJC.
In his tribute, her successor, Patrick Prendergast described her as a woman with disarming charm, "The students refer to her as 'mother of the campus' and 'aunt'", he said, adding that she was a woman of insight and passion, one who gave the campus a rebirth.
President of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry Nathan Robb described her as the perfect example of someone becoming fully integrated in a city.
Longsworth, who leaves the island the first week in May, told the gathering, "I leave immediately after the staging of an event that has become my baby - the MoBay City Run." She promised them that she would be back within a year.