University Council endorses first UG Honorary Doctorates

12th November, 2018 0 comments

History was created when, on the recommendation of the University of Guyana Academic Board, the University Council at its 2018 Annual Business meeting on Thursday, November 8, unanimously adopted the proposal to confer the university’s first honorary doctorate degrees upon four outstanding Guyanese at the 52nd Convocation of the Turkeyen campus to be held on Saturday, November 10, 2018, at the National Cultural Center.

In commenting on this milestone in the 55 years of the institution, Chancellor of the University Professor Eon Nigel Harris said, “The recognition of individuals who have distinguished themselves through their diverse accomplishments and exemplary service with the award of honorary degrees is a University tradition that dates to the middle ages. I share the delight of our University of Guyana in initiating these awards. It represents yet another step in the transformative growth of our University.

Eddy and Guyana Flag Guitar.
Ms Laura George.
Mr. Yesu Persaud.
Mr Jairaj (Jay) Sobhraj.

The honorary degree recipients, to be conferred with the Doctor of Letters (DLitt), have all made their mark in their respective fields of music, business, philanthropy and Indigenous rights. At the ceremony which begins at 9:00 h, Mr Edmond (Eddy) Grant will be conferred for excellence in music and civic engagement and Mr Yesu Persaud for  iconic leadership in business and banking; Mr Jairaj (Jay) Sobhraj will be conferred at the second ceremony at 13:00 h for excellence in entrepreneurship and philanthropy, while Ms Laura George  will be conferred at the third ceremony, which begins at 17:00 h, for outstanding community development and advocacy

The honorary doctorates are being bestowed in accordance the University of Guyana Act, Section 18 (e) which grants the University the legal authority “to confer Honorary Degrees and other distinctions, provided that all degrees and other distinctions so conferred shall be conferred and held subject to any provision which are or may be made in reference thereto by the university”. Moreover, one of the powers of Academic Board under Statute 15:2 (d) is “to make recommendation to the Council with respect to the award to any person of an Honorary Fellowship or Honorary Degree or title of Professor Emeritus’’. The current proposal had successfully passed through all previous vetting procedures.

University Vice Chancellor Professor Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith noted that “This historic conferral is part of the Renaissance pursuits of the University, which entails rebuilding and rebranding the University, central to which is celebrating exemplars of excellence in order to inspire young and not-so-young citizens. I am honoured to have the opportunity to place the spotlight on these four outstanding citizens.”

The honorands will join more than 1,700 students from Faculties of Agriculture and Forestry, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Education and Humanities, Engineering and Technology, Health Sciences, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, and the School of Entrepreneurship who will be conferred with degrees, diplomas and certificates.



With a current enrollment of some 8,000 students, The University of Guyana (UG) has graduated more than 20,000 students who have gone on to successful careers locally, regionally and internationally. The University is also a major contributor to the national economy and to business and industry. Established in 1963 on a part-time basis with shared space at Queens College, UG moved to its own campus at Turkeyen in 1970 and expanded in 2000 with the addition of the Tain Campus. It now offers more 116 under-graduate and post-graduate Programmes including the Natural Sciences, Engineering, Environmental Studies, Forestry, Urban Planning and Management, Tourism Studies, Education, Creative Arts, Economics, Law, Medicine, Business, Optometry and Nursing. Several online programmes are available and The UG also offers extra-mural classes at four locations through its Institute of Distance and Continuing Education (IDCE). The UG also offers the opportunity for student engagement in debating, sports, and cultural, religious and professional activities.

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