Kingston, Jamaica: The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona Campus will host its grand Alumni Reunion , August 10-14, 2011. Dubbed “Through the Decades’, Reunion Week, an initiative of Mona graduates, is geared at rekindling and strengthening connections amongst alumni, between the alumni community and the UWI.

All proceeds from the week’s activities will go directly towards funding scholarships, bursaries and meal vouchers for needy students.

“Alumni Reunion 2011- organized by alumni, supported by UWI” is the first of its kind. The week begins on Wednesday August 10, with an Opening Ceremony and Cocktail Reception at the Olde Still House Ruins, with entertainment by some exceptional student talents, supported by the University singers, and a special performance by our own Joan Andrea Hutchinson. On the occasion, the UWI will acknowledge the very first person to receive a certificate from the then University College of the West Indies, Mr. Roy Bailey, while the UWI Alumni Association will present its Prestigious Pelican award to Professor of Child Health, Maureen Samms-Vaughan.

On Thursday August 11 UWI opens the doors for Campus Expo and Tours and will also feature Blast from the Past a cultural entertainment package at the Students Union.

The Grand Reunion Dinner and Show, to be held on Friday August 12 is Dubbed “Under the Stars”, and promises to be a scintillating affair on the green carpet of Graduation Lawn. With persons like Leighton McKnight, Dionne Jackson-Miller, Michael McNaughton, among others, doing reflections from the various Halls of Residence; and Minna Israel bringing balance and perspective, it promises to be a night of belly-busting laughs, even while contemplative. Attendees will also enjoy performances from Tanya Stephens, Freddie McGregor, Ernie Smith and LUST.

On Saturday August 13 the Show Yuh Colours sports day will be hosted by Ambassador Courtney Walsh at the UWI Bowl. Later that evening, the Final Fete hosted on Taylor Hall, a long tradition of the UWI Student body, gets underway until….

The week of activities culminates on Sunday August 14 at The Organ Recital, to be led by Dr Kola Owalabi, Assistant Professor of Music and University Organist at Syracuse University, at the University Chapel will be a musical feast. This is the first occasion at which the newly refurbished organ will

A number of hall specific activities will enliven the week, these include beach lymes, drink-ups, hikes, hall outreach/beautification projects, planned by respective hall alumni groups.

The activities scheduled for the week came out of various forums and discussions at all levels to ensure this reunion for UWI Mona Alumni represents the students, past students, administration and other stake holders .

Each year during the month of February the University of the West Indies celebrates Alumni Week now rebranded Homecoming Week which is University driven. Richard Bailey, Planning and Alumni Officer for The University of the West Indies Alumni Reunion week confirms The Mona Campus Alumni reunion week was requested by and largely organised by the Alumni, with the full support of the University. “The 2011 reunion was initiated by Taylor Hall. I was contacted by a fellow UWI graduate, Shelly-Ann Lawson-Francis of Taylor Hall, who told me of their intention to have a reunion in 2011. They wanted the Campus’ support to help make it a reality. Coming out of that conversation, we concluded that it would be an excellent opportunity for the Campus to engage with graduates and re-establish contact for future engagements,” he said.

Bailey was impressed with the passion of the alumni, “I recall Shelly-Ann encouraging me to try to get the other halls on board in reunions of their own, at the same time. This was to provide the opportunity for cross-hall mingling and friendly rivalry, since many ‘Taylorites’ had friends on other halls that they would surely love to see again. The rest is history,” he recalled.

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