My Fellow Colleagues,
It is an honour to address you this morning on the occasion of the University of the West Indies Business Council’s annual meeting. As we gather to reflect on the theme of “Rooted, Ready, and Rising,” I am reminded of the words of the late Maya Angelou, who once said, “We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated.”
As we celebrate the University’s 75th anniversary, we have much to be proud of. The University of the West Indies is ranked in the top 1.5% of universities worldwide, and it continues to serve as a beacon of excellence in the Caribbean region. It is a testament to your perseverance and commitment to education that UWI has achieved this level of success.
The University is an institution that is truly rooted in the Caribbean. It was founded in 1948 as a college of the University of London, with the aim of providing higher education to the people of the region. Since then, the University has grown to become the leading institution of higher learning in the Caribbean, serving students from its member countries all over the English-speaking Caribbean.
In this 75th year, we are reminded of the many challenges that we have faced along the way. From hurricanes and natural disasters to economic downturns and political upheavals, the University has weathered many storms. But through it all, you have remained steadfast in our commitment to serving the people of the Caribbean.
I’m particularly proud to report that the heads of government have pledged to continue supporting the growth and advancement of the University of the West Indies. This is an acknowledgement of the University’s vital role in shaping the future of the Caribbean and beyond. Education is the way forward for all of us, and the University is at the forefront of providing high-quality education to generations of students.
The University is the nexus for progress, research, and advancement. It has played a pivotal role in promoting social and economic development in the Caribbean, by providing a platform for innovation, research, and entrepreneurship. It has also contributed significantly to the preservation and promotion of Caribbean culture and heritage, making it a beacon of hope and inspiration for generations to come.
As we celebrate, we renew our commitment to the ideals of excellence, innovation, and progress. The University is a symbol of hope and a catalyst for change. It’s a source of pride for the Caribbean and a testament to the resilience, perseverance, and determination of its people.
Let us continue to work together to ensure that the University remains a shining example of what is possible when we invest in education, innovation, and progress. Thank you for your kind attention, and I wish you all a successful and productive meeting.