Sir Hillary Beckles, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West Indies has received the degree of Honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of Johannesburg.
The honours were conferred on Professor Beckles, at the Humanities convocation ceremony on May 9, 2023.
“It was an emotionally moving ceremony of celebration as university students from Soweto and elsewhere, and academics thanked Sir Hilary for his lifelong work in the advancement of global justice and the bending of scholarship in the service of democracy. Professor Beckles was welcomed home to Africa as a son who continues to fight bravely for his people on both sides of the Atlantic,” according to a statement from UWI
The University orator said Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, “has emerged an iconic leader of the global reparations’ movement, a distinguished Vice-Chancellor in the arena of strategic planning for higher education, a United Nations official for sustainable development advocacy and a world-renowned historian with honorary awards from many other universities. The combination of academic excellence, effective advocacy, and insightful administration illustrates Sir Hilary’s intellectual versatility, passion and commitment to justice, and visionary leadership.”
Meanwhile Sir Hilary thanked the university for its kindness and generosity and noted how proud he feels to be a graduate of such an extraordinary institution.
He informed the gathering that he accepts the honour on behalf of The UWI which has long admired the University of Johannesburg for its intellectual leadership and pioneering research for African development.