Increasing global economic challenges are not only impacting businesses, but non-profit institutions alike. These challenges mean that higher education institutions in the non-profit sector must seek new fundraising strategies. In response to these challenges, the Vice Chancellor of The University of the West Indies, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, launched the first UWI Global Giving Week at The University’s Regional Headquarters in Mona, Jamaica on Friday 8th April, 2016, followed by a series of launches at other campuses.
On Friday 8th July 2016, The UWI Open Campus Saint Lucia will lend its support to the global effort when it holds its launch under the patronage of Her Excellency, Dame Pearlette Louisy, Governor General of Saint Lucia. Attending the launch will be Sir George Alleyne, Chancellor of The UWI and Dr Luz Longsworth, Pro Vice Chancellor and Principal of The UWI Open Campus.
UWI Global Giving Week runs from July 31-August 6, 2016 under the theme “Educate Emancipate, Donate”. It marks the beginning of an annual tradition to connect with friends and cultivate support to strengthen The UWI’s capacity to drive regional development. The University has traditionally relied on regional governments for financial support; this campaign targets alumni, public and private sector organisations, donor agencies and members of the public with an objective of bringing them closer to the University. Proceeds of the campaign will go towards student support, research, facilitates and equipment, capital projects and infrastructure.
Initiated by The Office of the Vice-Chancellor, through its Institutional Advancement Division, the campaign is endorsed by global patron, UWI Chancellor, Sir George Alleyne and other regional patrons including: His Excellency Dr. Sir Rodney Williams, Governor-General of Antigua, Her Excellency Dame Ivy Dumont, former Governor-General of The Bahamas, the Rt. Hon. Owen Arthur, former Prime Minister of Barbados, His Excellency Sir Colville Young, Governor-General of Belize, the Most Hon P. J. Patterson, former Prime Minister of Jamaica, Her Excellency Dame Pearlette Louisy, Governor-General of St Lucia and His Excellency Anthony Carmona, President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
While contributions to The UWI are welcome throughout the year, the designated “UWI Global Giving Week kicks off on Emancipation Day – August 1- which is celebrated annually across the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Contextualising the theme of the initiative, The UWI’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles said, “As we approach yet another Emancipation Day in the region, The UWI is calling upon you, its community of graduates and supporters, to please give generously. Your support will strengthen and expand the emancipation mission we all imagine for our youth. As you donate we will collectively educate and emancipate. Your contribution will give life and offer hope to those deserving an opportunity to fulfil their potential.”
Demonstrating the kind of giving in action that the campaign aims to achieve, in March 2016, alumnus Professor Sir Woodville Marshall presented a cheque of near BDS $10,000 on behalf of a group of alumni who attended the University College of the West Indies (UCWI), the precursor to The University of the West Indies (UWI).
According to Professor Marshall, who is a former Pro Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, the donors were motivated by the keen sense of regional awareness and camaraderie which they developed during the years that they attended the UCWI located at what is now The UWI Mona Campus. He stated, “We know that there was a UWI project to encourage greater student mobility and interaction across the campuses and this harmonised with our own experience of attending the University College.
In accepting the donation, Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles commented, “The depth of love and loyalty, added to the breadth of care and concern, coming from our founding academics and administrators of The UWI seem to have no obvious boundaries. It is remarkable that after more than 60 years these stalwarts continue to empower the University they created as an indispensable regional enterprise.”
Saint Lucia’s launch of The UWI Global Giving Week takes place on Friday July 8, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. at Government House. Persons interested in giving to The UWI are invited to visit www.uwi.edu/giving or to contact the local UWI Open Campus by calling 452-3865/6.