Hundreds turned out for the inaugural Selassie lecture, named for Emperor Haile Selassie 1 of Ethopia, and the official opening of a 50th Anniversary Exhibition commemorating his 1966 visit to Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados, Jamaica and Haiti.The visiting exhibition, curated by Rootz Foundation through the 50th Anniversary Coordinating Committee, is at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Museum until May 19.
Selassie grandson Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie gave the lecture at the UWI Regional HQ before declaring the exhibition open. Welcoming him and other guests, UWI Museum Curator Dr Suzanne Francis-Brown recalled that the launch was taking place exactly 50 years after the UWI had, on April 22, 1966, conferred an Honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) degree on the Emperor; only the sixth honorary degree conferred by the university. UWI had gained independent status as a degree granting university in 1962, having operated as a university college in association with the University of London from 1948.
Dr Francis-Brown noted that the Museum, along with the Social History Project of the UWI Mona Campus’ Department of History & Archaeology, is presently focusing particularly on ‘UWI & the 1960s’,researching the university’s connections to national, regional and world events, movements, ideals and people during that time of ferment, challenge and change in which many students and universities were particularly involved.