Sir Hilary Beckles named Paul Harris Fellow

Sir Hilary Beckles named Paul Harris Fellow

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Rotary Foundation, through the Rotary Club of St Andrew has named vice-chancellor of The University of the West Indies (The UWI), Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, a Paul Harris Fellow in recognition of his “extensive work as a thought leader in the field of social justice and minority empowerment”.

Paul Harris was a Chicago lawyer who started Rotary International with three business associates in 1905. The award is the Rotary Foundation's way of expressing its appreciation for a substantial contribution to its humanitarian and educational programmes.

“Rotarians often designate a Paul Harris Fellow as a tribute to a person whose life demonstrates a shared purpose with the objective of the Rotary Foundation,” explained Marie Powell, assistant governor, Rotary, Jamaica Southeast.

Sir Hilary said that he had long identified with the tenets of the Rotary movement and was “honoured to be named a Paul Harris Fellow”. He praised Mr Harris as “an extraordinary leader whose vision has resulted in the creation of fellowship across a global network of change makers who are investing personal time, money and expertise into priorities like eradicating disease and promoting peace, reducing poverty, illiteracy, malnutrition and promoting sustainable development”.

Sir Hilary is highly regarded as an economic historian, educator and social activist. Under his leadership, The UWI has achieved the top three spots in the rankings of the Times Higher Education (THE), the world's most prestigious ranking agency for higher education. Currently, The UWI is placed among the top one per cent of universities in the Latin American and Caribbean region; top one per cent of Golden Agers (universities between 50-80 years of age) and stands as the only Caribbean university to be ranked by THE.

As chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Reparations Commission, Sir Hilary is leading the region's call for reparatory justice for the 300 years of slavery in the Caribbean, actively pursuing compensation for the native genocide and African enslavement from the former colonising nations of Europe.

He joins a list of distinguished Paul Harris Fellows, including former US President Jimmy Carter, former Russian President Boris Yeltsin, US astronaut James Vogel, former United Nations Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar and polio vaccine developer Jonas Salk.

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