Jamaican Professors Establish US$100,000 Scholarship Fund

The University of the West Indies’ 2020 Global Giving Campaign continues to receive generous contributions of alumni, donors and corporate partners regionally and internationally. Although the campaign was officially targeted as a month-long drive last August, in the latest act of kindness, UWI alumna, Professor Pauline O. Lawrence and her husband Professor Carlton G. Davis, both Jamaican-born, have stepped up to establish a scholarship fund with US$100,000 to provide scholarships to current and future UWI students in need.

The Professor Pauline O. Lawrence and Professor Carlton G. Davis Scholarship Fund was instituted at the Faculty of Science and Technology (FST) at The UWI Mona Campus, from which Professor Lawrence received a BSc (Honours) degree in Zoology. Professor Davis was a Ford Foundation International Research Scholar and later, Visiting Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at The UWI St. Augustine Campus, in Trinidad and Tobago. Their investment will support Jamaican students pursuing BSc degrees in Life Sciences through the Faculty and MSc degrees in Agricultural Entrepreneurship, Plant Production and Protection, and Biotechnology for up to three years.

Both Professors Davis and Lawrence have been active in various cultural and philanthropic organisations throughout their retirement. Together they continue to advocate for increased undergraduate and postgraduate training of students in basic and applied science to enhance economic growth in the Caribbean. They jointly stated, “We are gratified to be able to assist in supporting academically deserving but financially needy students seeking degrees in the Faculty of Science and Technology. We are impressed with the significant reorganisation and ambitious vision proposed and implemented for The UWI that have led to its international recognition and ranking. The economic growth and development of Jamaica and the Caribbean region rest on science and technology and we are excited to partner even in a small way, with The UWI to help prepare our students to seize academic opportunities in order to meet the forthcoming economic challenges that will surely require scientific solutions.”

Expressing his gratitude for the generous gift, Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles noted, “It is especially encouraging that this edition of our annual Global Giving campaign—which marked its fifth, consecutive year—has rallied the highest number of personal donations ever recorded, through online pledges, named scholarships and endowments from benefactors such as Professor Pauline O. Lawrence and Professor Carlton G. Davis.”

Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal at the Mona Campus, Professor Dale Webber stated, “The value of a UWI education lies in how well we prepare our students for the global village while encouraging them to remain grounded in their regional identity. We encourage our people to dream and give them the tools to accomplish those dreams by enabling them to access quality tertiary education. We have been doing so for 73 years, and we hope to continue to do that for at least another 73 years. The generous donations from our alumni like Professor Pauline Lawrence and Professor Carlton Davis are what will help us realise that dream so that many more of our people can continue to realise their dreams.”

Dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology, Professor Michael Taylor shared that 13 students at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels will benefit from the scholarship.

“The Faculty of Science and Technology welcomes this very significant and timely gift. The interest, support and partnership from alumni of the Faculty speak volumes and is inspiration to ensure we continue to produce graduates who will excel in their fields. The pandemic has also brought into sharp focus issues of food security, heightening the importance of courses such as those in agricultural entrepreneurship, and plant production and protection which this endowment will support. We are truly thankful to Professors Lawrence and Davis for their generosity,” Professor Taylor stated.

Also present at the ceremony was Danielle Mullings, FST Representative of the Mona Campus Guild of Students. As she extended gratitude to the donors, she noted, “Funding our education at the tertiary level is an expensive undertaking; in fact, it becomes a luxury for many of our students, in the context of the pandemic. This scholarship is a symbol of hope.”

The regional University appreciates the continued support of kind donors and investors interested in contributing gifts of all sizes through The UWI Global Giving website or via corporate or personal endowments. Persons seeking more information may also contact the Institutional Advancement Division in the Office of the Vice-Chancellor at 876-977-0052 or email giving@alumni.uwi.edu.

Photo Captions
Image 1: UWI Scholarship Fund donors, Professor Pauline O. Lawrence and Professor Carlton G. Davis.
Image 2: L-R: Elecia Myers, Resource Mobilisation Coordinator in the Dean’s Office at The UWI Mona Faculty of Science and Technology; Minna Israel, Special Advisor to The UWI Vice-Chancellor; Professor Michael Taylor, Dean, Faculty of Science and Technology; Danielle Mullings, Faculty of Science and Technology Representative, Guild of Students; Professor Dale Webber, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal, The UWI Mona; Dr. Dwight Robinson, Head of the Department of Life Sciences – all pictured at the handing over ceremony for the Professor Pauline O. Lawrence and Professor Carlton G. Davis Scholarship Fund.