Incoming Vice Chancellor of The University of the West Indies, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, has been lauded for his “exemplary leadership” and hailed as “the leading public intellectual in the Caribbean.”
The tribute came from President of the Borough of Brooklyn, New York, Eric L. Adams who issued a citation on April 10th, 2015, in which he praised Sir Hilary for his “extraordinary achievements, outstanding leadership and his contribution to the community…”
Sir Hilary who takes up the post of Vice Chancellor on May 1, after serving the regional institution as Principal of Cave Hill campus for the past 12 years, said he was humbled by the acclamation but highly appreciative that his lifelong work towards the upliftment of Caribbean people through education and empowerment has been recognized by others, including those who live beyond this region’s shores.
“It is a gratifying feeling and at the same time a most humbling experience to be publicly recognized for one’s work whether at home or abroad,” said Sir Hilary.
The citation presented to Sir Hilary in New York while on his return from China where he strengthened the UWI’s ties in that Asian country, read in part: “…On behalf of all Brooklynites, I salute Sir Hilary Beckles … for his exemplary leadership; I applaud him for being regarded by many as the leading public intellectual in the Caribbean region, serving as Chairman of CARICOM Reparations Commission and recognized and respected as the de facto leader of the growing reparations movement in the Western Hemisphere.
“I commend him for being a distinguished university administrator, economic historian and specialist in higher education, development analysis, and practice in addition to serving as the Vice President of the International Task Force for the UNESCO Salve Route Project, a consultant for the UNESCO Cities for Peace Global Program, an advisor to the U.N. World Culture Report, and member of Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon’s Science Advisory Board on Sustainable Development; and I thank him for all that he has done to help our communities move forward as One Brooklyn…”
On Friday, April 24, Sir Hilary carried out one of the duties required of his new role when he delivered the Vice Chancellor’s report on behalf of his predecessor Professor E. Nigel Harris at the annual meeting of University Council held at Mona campus in Jamaica. He saluted Professor Harris for a decade of outstanding leadership to The UWI and successfully keeping the regional institution intact during a period of major financial and economic challenge to The UWI and the region.