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New book by Sir George Alleyne being launched today

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

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THE latest book by former Chancellor of The University of the West Indies (UWI) Sir George Alleyne is scheduled to be launched this evening.

The launch, being hosted by the Office of Administration, in collaboration with UWI Press, is set for 6:00 pm in the E Nigel Harris Council Room at The UWI Regional Headquarters on Hermitage Road, directly opposite the main gate to the Mona Campus.

Titled Voices of the Pelican: Graduation Speeches by UWI Chancellor, The Honourable Sir George Alleyne, the book features a foreword by University Registrar William Iton who asserts that Sir George was a much-loved chancellor.

“Candidates presented to him at graduation ceremonies marvelled at his ability to focus his attention on each person... leaving each candidate with the feeling that the ceremony had been all about him or her,” Iton writes.

He said the idea of publishing the speeches delivered by the chancellor at graduation ceremonies over the years 2003 to 2017 was to “capture for posterity the guidance he gave to his beloved alma mater as well as to the graduates... and we hope that this publication will be a lasting memento of the inimitable way he carried out his role as chancellor”.

For his part, Sir George remarked: “For the past 13 and a half years I have been chancellor and ever conscious of the responsibility that came with the prestigious position. I have been privileged to witness the remarkable growth of the university and the addition of the open campus.”

He described his relationship with the UWI as “an inextricable part of my identity which I carry throughout my life”.

Sir George's years of distinguished service in the office have left an indelible mark on the history of the UWI. In addition to serving as chancellor, he spent a total of 23 years working at the regional university. He was given the honorary title of Professor Emeritus after leaving the UWI in 1981 to assume the position of chief of the Unit of Research, Promotion and Coordination in the Division of Human Resources and Research at PAHO/WHO, and in 1995 ascended to the position of director of PAHO.

He is a UWI alumnus, having graduated in 1957 with the degree of bachelor of medicine and surgery (MBBS), from the then University College of the West Indies, and was the gold medallist of his class.

Throughout his distinguished career, Sir George has received numerous awards, including prestigious decorations and national honours from many countries of the Americas. In 1990, The Queen made him Knight Bachelor for his services to medicine and in 2001 he was awarded the Order of the Caribbean Community, the highest honour that can be conferred on a Caribbean national.

A release from the UWI yesterday reported UWI Vice Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles as describing Sir George as a model of commitment and caring.

“He has given of his best… It does not necessarily take cash to care, it takes consciousness. Sir George is driven by this value care for The University of the West Indies, which cared for him a lesson in loyalty to be admired and celebrated. This caring at times called for caution and other times for creativity, but in all circumstances it called for commitment. This, in my judgement, will be his legacy at the UWI,” Sir Hilary said.

In November last year, the UWI Press launched a companion book by Sir George, entitled The Making of a Chancellor.

Alumni of the UWI are particularly invited to attend the launch.


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