By Carlena Knight
Two Antiguan and Barbudan nationals will be honoured later this year by the University of the West Indies (UWI) for their outstanding contributions to regional and international development.
Dr George Mansoor, physician, educator and entrepreneur, and Sir Andy Roberts, former West Indies cricketer, will be among a list of 14 persons from across the Caribbean to receive an honorary degree.
Dr Mansoor is a graduate of UWI having earned a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Science in the 70s and a MBBS MD with honours in Medicine and Surgery. He also earned a Master’s degree in Organic Chemistry from Queens University in Ontario, Canada, and a Fellowship in Nephrology from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.
From July 1991 to December 2006, Dr Mansoor taught as an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Connecticut Health Centre and followed that up by being a director at Merck, a leading global biopharmaceutical company in New Jersey.
He returned home in 2013 and since then has been the Academic Programmes Director and Consultant Nephrologist at the Sir Lester Bird Mount Saint John’s Medical Centre and the Medical Director at GEM Medical Antigua, a modern outpatient facility devoted to internal medicine, nephrology, and hypertension.
Dr Mansoor is known for his dedication to the fight against non-communicable diseases, mainly high blood pressure and hypertension.
Sir Andy is a former Antiguan first-class cricketer who is considered the father of modern West Indian fast bowling.
Sir Andy played Test cricket for the West Indies, twice taking seven wickets in a Test innings. He is the first Antiguan to play Test cricket for the West Indies, thus leading the way for many of his famous countrymen including Sir Vivian Richards, Sir Richie Richardson and Sir Curtly Ambrose.
In October 2005, he was inducted into the United States Cricket Hall of Fame and in 2009, he was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.
His contribution to West Indies cricket has continued since his retirement as a player as he has been an administrator overseeing the preparation of pitches. Roberts worked with Bangladesh’s fast bowlers in 2001 and again in 2005 and also helped coach India’s seam bowling all-rounder Irfan Pathan in 2006.
Sir Andy was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Nation (KCN) by the Antiguan and Barbudan government in February 2014.
Both men will receive their honorary degrees on October 10 at the UWI Five Islands Campus. Dr Mansoor will receive a Doctor of Science while Sir Andy will receive a Doctor of Laws.
Jamaican George Willie, international auditor, leader and philanthropist, is another Caribbean person set to be honoured. He will receive a Doctor of Laws degree at the UWI Open Campus on October 16.
The other honorees will receive their degrees at the Cave Hill, St Augustine and Mona Campuses on different dates.
Nominations from across the university’s five campuses were approved by the University Council at its April 30 sitting.
These 2021 graduands will join a list of over 450 honorary degree recipients conferred by the regional university since 1965.
Last month, a special convocation was permitted to confer an Honorary Doctor of Science degree (DSc) on Dr Ruby Lake-Richards, one of the first 33 medical students who attended the UWI, then University College of the West Indies.
Now 99 years old, she is also the first female UWI graduate from Antigua and Barbuda.
The ceremony, hosted by the UWI Five Islands, marked the first honorary degree awarded at the university’s newest campus.