Portia to receive honorary degree from UWI

Thursday, September 21, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The University of the West Indies (UWI) will hold a special convocation ceremony on Saturday, September 30 to confer the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD) on former Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller.

The ceremony will take place at the Assembly Hall on the UWI Mona campus in Jamaica.

UWI, in a release today, said the LLD is in recognition of her outstanding and meritorious contribution to the public life, and of her phenomenal achievements as a woman from the working class community, who, without the privileges of wealth, colour, class and respected profession, overcame those obstacles and emerged the first female prime minister of Jamaica.

Simpson Miller became Jamaica's seventh prime minister with the retirement of former Prime Minister PJ Patterson in March 2006.

She lost her first general election as prime minister to the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) led by former Prime Minister Bruce Golding in September 2007. She defeated current Prime Minister Andrew Holness to return to office in December 2011. However, she lost to Holness in February 2016.

She was the leader of the People's National Party (PNP) from 2006 to 2017, and the Leader of the Opposition twice from 2007 to 2012 and from 2016 to 2017.

Vice Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles said: “Prime Minister Simpson Miller erupted within the long tradition of no-nonsense women who have stood up and led society against the racial and class injustice endemic to our history and still manifested in contemporary Caribbean society”.

He added in so doing, she reflected and expressed the phenomenal resilience that resides at the core of Caribbean consciousness and is symbolic of the serious sense of social care that is possible in such circumstances.

“…The University of the West Indies is honoured to identify with her generosity and humanity and her triumph over unyielding strictures and structures,” stated Beckles.




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