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Chancellor's Medal to Sir Roy Augier

Chancellor's Medal to Sir Roy Augier

Chancellor of The University of the West Indies (The UWI), Robert Bermudez (left) presents the Chancellor's Medal to Prof. Sir Roy Augier at a ceremony at The UWI Regional Headquarters on Friday, January 17, 2020

The Chancellor's Medal was conferred on Sir Roy Augier to a packed house at the UWI Regional Headquarters on Friday, January 17, 2020.

The University Registrar, Dr. Maurice Smith, gave the Welcome and the host of the evening, the UWI Chancellor, Robert Bermudez set the tone with his congratulatory remarks. The Principal of the Mona Campus, PVC Dale Webber also gave Greetings and was followed by Professor Emeriti Robert Lancashire, Carl Campbell and Patrick Bryan, whose "Reflections" traced Sir Roy's trajectory and brought back fond memories. The came pictorial highlights followed by a Commentary on the University from University College to Five Campuses.

Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, the UWI Vice Chancellor gave a riveting Tribute and then came the actual Presentation of the Chancellor's Medal with much fanfare. Sir Roy Augier gave a response which comprehensively outlined his career, and the evening closed with an outstanding performance by the University Singers culminating in the University Song.

The Cocktail Reception provided the perfect setting for Sir Roy's family, many friends, colleagues and admirers to mix and mingle.

By instinct one of ‘the boys,’ Roy, when he first appeared at Mona in the mid-1950s, was a walking revelation to the students, accustomed as we were to British reserve and the acerbities of the stiff upper lip. In The Pelican Annual for 1957, he was featured as one of the ‘Campus Personalities,’ and described thus: Clad in blue jeans, open-necked plaid shirt and a straw hat, ‘Roy’ as he is affectionately called by most undergraduates, is a familiar figure both on and off campus … and no sphere of student activity is complete without this notable personality who has done so much to break down barriers … between staff and students.

From a Campus Personality of 1957, Roy went on to become a University Personality for all time. This personality, which has brought vivacity to our lives, is all the more memorable because it has graced a solid, foundational contribution to the academic distinction and the good governance of this place. He has been an outstanding administrator, teacher and scholar, and has given outstanding public service.

He has been an administrator who administers, combining accessibility and affability with strict observance of right conduct and playing by the rules. Of the many Campus and University Boards and Committees which he guided, one might cite as outstanding examples the Mona Academic Board which he chaired for eighteen years and the Board for Higher Degrees, later Board for Graduate Studies which he chaired, seemingly from beyond living memory.

A dedicated, inspiring teacher, he often had to reschedule classes because of his professional travelling; but he never failed to make up for these, often even on Saturdays. For generations of graduates his name will be inseparable from the course in ‘The History of Political Thought’ and the foundation course in ‘Development of Civilization’.

Although his output of publications is not voluminous, the high quality of his scholarship and the breadth of his knowledge is not in question. The Making of the West Indies, by Augier, Gordon, Hall and Reckord (1960) and Sources of West Indian History, by Augier and Gordon (1962) are landmarks. The respect of his peers is evident in the fact that he is Chairman of the Drafting Committee of the multi-volume UNESCO General History of the Caribbean. When he was made Professor in 1989, persons were heard to remark that it had taken the University long to recognize what the people and the ‘I-dren’ had long known.

Biography Roy’s public service has been a life-work in its own right. Of his many achievements, the one in which he is most pleased is his work with the Caribbean Examinations Council, of which he was Chairman for ten years. Roy also generously assisted the Jamaica Library Service by giving lectures and conducting workshops on West Indian history and West Indian affairs in parish libraries across the country.

For these contributions, and for more than we can mention, Professor Augier has been highly honoured: dubbed Knight Bachelor by the Queen of England, made a chevalier of the French Order of Arts and Letters, awarded the Medal of the International Council of Archives, the Gold Musgrave Medal and made a Fellow of the Institute of Jamaica. The Government of Jamaica conferred on this St Lucian the Order of Jamaica (Honorary).

The University of the West Indies and its wider Caribbean community from Abaco to Accompong, from Belmopan to Bathsheba, from Mount Gimie to Brimstone Hill, from English Harbour to Maracas, thank and praise you for years of sterling service. We do so, not in your name only, but also in the words of the Jesuit motto, ad maiorem Dei gloriam, ‘to the greater glory of God.’

Edited version of a tribute by Professor Emeritus Edward Baugh on the occasion of The UWI honouring Sir Roy for 50 years of service to the University. Mona, 2 June 2005

About the Chancellor’s Medal

The Chancellor’s Medal is a special award of distinction made by the Chancellor of The University of the West Indies (The UWI) to a person who has made a signal, substantial and likely lasting contribution to the welfare and development of the University. It was first conferred in 1998, marking the celebration of the University’s 50th anniversary.

It is awarded in the spirit of the CARICOM Heads of Government Declaration of Grande Anse, which formally identified the leadership of The UWI in tertiary education. The Declaration further pronounces that the University’s regional character should be preserved indefinitely for the preparation of skills and advancement of knowledge needed for the growth and development of the Caribbean region.

The Chancellor’s Medal therefore recognises a person who has enabled The UWI to access significant resources for the achievement of its mission.

The Medal has been awarded to the following persons:

1. Sir Philip M. Sherlock (1998)

2. The Hon. Sir M. Alister McIntyre (1998)
OM, CCH, CD, OCC, BSc (Econ) Lond, BLitt Oxf, Hon LLD UWI, Hon LLD Sheff, Hon LLD Tor

3. The Most Hon. Percival N.J. Patterson (2006)

4. The Hon. Ralston (Rex) M. Nettleford (2009)
OM, FIJ, BA Lond-UCWI, MPhil Oxf, Hon. DLitt St Johns, Univ of Conn, Sheffield, Grand Valley State, Queens Univ, Hon. LHD CUNY, Hon. Fellow Oriel Coll, Oxf, Hon DCL Oxf

5. Sir Shridath S. Ramphal (2011)

6. The Hon. Elsa A. Leo-Rhynie (2017)
OJ, CD, BSc Lond-UWI, DipEd, PhD UWI


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