Jamaican business leader Don Wehby, along with three of the Caribbean region’s heads of state, is among eight distinguished recipients of the 25th Anniversary Awards of the American Foundation for the University of the West Indies (AFUWI).
Wehby is Group CEO of GraceKennedy, one of the Caribbean’s largest conglomerates with operations spanning Jamaica, several other Caribbean islands, North and Central America, the United Kingdom and several European countries. He will receive the AFUWI Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Global Business Leadership and the GraceKennedy Group will receive the AFUWI Corporate Award for Global Business Excellence.
Meanwhile, AFUWI Legacy Awards will be presented to Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda and Dr Timothy Harris, Prime Minister of St Kitts & Nevis and the Vice Chancellor’s Award to Dr Mark Brantley, Premier of Nevis.
The other four honourees receiving awards on Thursday, April 21, 2022, at the AFUWI 25th Anniversary Gala at the prestigious 583 Park Avenue event hall will be Wayne Berson, CPA, Chief Executive Officer, BDO USA who will receive the Pinnacle Award for Excellence in Financial Advisory Services; Dawnn Lewis, Grammy Award-Winning Songwriter, Producer and Actress who will receive the Bob Marley Award; Ambassador Ralph S. Thomas the Pelican Award and Graham Robinson, SVP & President, STANLEY Industrial, the Caribbean Luminary Award.
The AFUWI Awards are conferred annually on notable individuals and companies which represent high levels of achievement within their respective fields of industry, enterprise and service in their communities by the US-based AFUWI.
AFUWI partners with UWI alumni, the Caribbean Community in the US, American foundations and corporations to raise funds for projects, scholarships and academic programmes on the university’s four physical and one virtual campus.
Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West Indies said, “the 2022 awardees are indeed a distinguished group deserving of acknowledgement at the 25th anniversary of the AFUWI Awards Gala. This is a time too when we must pay homage to the many sponsors of the event and the persons who annually attend the gala thus contributing to the raising of scholarship funds for hundreds of worthy students”.
Sir Hilary noted that “The UWI which is preparing to celebrate its 75th anniversary next year, has worked tirelessly to develop sustainable strategies in the face of many economic challenges that have caused many governments to reduce student support and of course, most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic, which has made our situation even more difficult.”
He said that The UWI has forged linkages between industry and academia, sports, entertainment, and culture, to deliver innovation and value for the economic growth of Caribbean nations and will soon be going to the bond market to raise US$ 60 million to finance the establishment of an offshore medical university in Trinidad and Tobago as part of a range of measures to place the institution on a sound financial footing.
“The UWI is working to transform itself into a global university providing education to 100, 000 students all over the world, online. We have already forged partnerships with leading universities in Africa, Cuba, the USA, England, and China. Soon there will be a UWI in every continent”, Sir Hilary declared.