The UWI Regional Headquarters, Jamaica. 04 August 2016. UWI Alumnus and former Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, the Honourable Sir Kennedy Simmonds is now the holder of the highest national award from his country. Honoured for his distinguished contribution to nation-building on June 28, 2016, the “Order of National Hero” was conferred on Sir Kennedy Simmonds by Governor-General, His Excellency, Sir S.W. Tapley Seaton who lauded him as the first living national hero of St Kitts and Nevis. This distinguished title has only been bestowed on four other nationals and has earned him the designation of “the Rt. Excellent Sir”.
Sir Kennedy Simmonds graduated from the Faculty of Medical Sciences at The UWI’s Mona Campus in Jamaica in 1962. During his time at UWI, he was active in sports and various aspects of residential life at the University. In addition to practicing medicine he began pursuing a political career during the late 1960s. After many years of political service, he was appointed as the first Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis when the country gained independence in 1983 and is considered as the father of the nation.
Among several other accolades, Sir Kennedy Simmonds was also appointed a Knight Commander in the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael & Saint George in 2014. He still serves in the field of medicine and is currently the Director of Medical Services in Anguilla.
In responding to news on the honour, UWI Chancellor, Sir George Alleyne said “It is a pleasure to see another one of the sons of the Pelican recognised for his service with his country’s highest honour and offer him my sincere congratulations. The pleasure is doubled because I knew him as a student and followed his political career with pride—a pride that must now find echo in the hearts of all alumni. He has brought credit to himself, his family, his country and his University.”
In offering his own congratulations, UWI Vice-Chancellor, Sir Hilary Beckles shared, “The UWI is proud of its legacy of leadership; its role in shaping and producing leaders with a distinctive dedication to nation building and service. They embody the very ethos of service to the Caribbean and commitment to regional and global development that drives our institution. The entire UWI community shares in the pride of this honour bestowed on our distinguished alumnus, Sir Kennedy, and salutes his achievement.”
About The UWI
Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged, regional University with well over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology and Social Sciences. UWI’s seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation. For more information, visithttp://www.uwi.edu/
(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)