The University College of the West Indies

A NAKED FACE CLOTHED, 55 YEARS AGO

Did you know that when the iconic University Chapel first opened its doors in 1959, its front face was naked of adornment? Just the rawly reconstructed limestone blocks and the huge double doors.
Princess Alice visits the UCWI Chemistry Department with Department Head Leonard Haynes and guest. Photo courtesy of Prof Robert Lancashire

FIRST PELICAN

Pete the Pelican has become an unofficial symbol of the UWI and the label ‘Pelicans’ has started to attach to a lot of teams at the university. But the first promotional use of the university’s crest seems to date back to February 1951, when the students of the then University College of the West Indies (UCWI) attached the name to their new student publication.

CHECK OUT GIRVAN ON CLR JAMES!

The UWI Museum & the UWI Mona’s Department of History & Archaeology birthed it’s UWI and the 1960s series in 2015 to explore the regional university’s connections with the iconic people and philosophies emerging from this decade of ferment, a half century ago.

ON THE ROAD: Roots of that Royal Charter!

by Suzanne Francis-Brown, UWI Museum Curator
One of my bucket list items this past few weeks was tracking early documents relating to the UWI’s lost Charter – the first Royal Charter, granted in 1949 and lost in a plane crash en route to the founding Mona campus in Jamaica. Some of those documents are on deposit at the UK National Archives, and they include  explanations of why a Royal Charter was considered the best option as the nascent university developed its governance and administrative structures.

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