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Five to Receive Honorary Degrees at UWI Graduation Ceremonies

The University of the West Indies, (UWI) Mona will confer honorary degrees on five outstanding individuals at its annual graduation ceremonies to take place in November 2013.
The five are Mr. Noel Dexter, Professor Emeritus Barry Higman, Dr. Janet Rolle, and Mr. R. Danny Williams, who will all receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws, and Mrs. Valerie Facey who will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters (DLitt).
Mr. Noel Dexter has achieved eminence in the Arts and related fields of intellectual endeavour and has made outstanding and widely recognized contributions to the Caribbean countries served by The University of the West Indies.  As Director of Music at The UWI, Mona for some 35 years, he has led The University Singers to attainment of excellence in choral theatre and fame in Jamaica, the Caribbean and internationally, blending their voices to produce choral renditions of the highest quality. Mr. Dexter is also a well-known composer  for hymns including “The Right Hand of God” composed for the launch of the Caribbean Conference of Churches”, “Lord We Are Ready” for the World Convention of Disciples of Christ, and the anthem “Make a Joyful Noise” for the Bicentenary Celebration  of the Methodist Church in Jamaica. As Consultant in Choral Music to the Vice Chancellor of The UWI, Mr. Dexter has also managed to establish and maintain strong ties with a wide range of institutions.
Founder and director of The Mill Press, Valerie Facey has dedicated herself to the preservation of historic landmarks and other aspects of Jamaica’s cultural heritage and was intimately involved in the restoration of historic edifices such as Devon House in Kingston, the St. Andrew Parish Church, Bellevue Great House in St. Ann and Sans Souci Hotel, also in St. Ann. The Mill, which she founded with her husband, the late Hon. Maurice Facey has promoted fine books on Jamaica’s heritage in art, history and biography.
Mrs. Facey’s charitable work is also noteworthy. She has worked tirelessly on behalf of the Cecil Boswell Facey Foundation, on projects involving early childhood education and other philanthropic endeavours, notably, the Jamaica Association for the Deaf, of which she is an Executive Board member.
Professor Higman is being recognized for his outstanding scholarship in the field of Jamaican and Caribbean history; his creative institution-building while he was at The UWI, Mona Campus and his continued engagement with the University.  Higman has published to date twelve authored books, of which ten deal with Jamaican or Caribbean history. Several have won prestigious international and regional awards, while he is the only person to win the Association of Caribbean Historians Elsa Goveia Book Prize twice (for Slave Populations of the British Caribbean and for Montpelier, Jamaica). In addition to his authored books, Higman has edited or co-edited six books and has published over seventy scholarly articles in some of the most famous historical and social-scientific journals in the English-speaking world. He also co-founded the Jamaica Social History Project and was founder and first Coordinator of the MA Heritage Studies Progamme.
Janet Rolle is the Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for CNN Worldwide, overseeing the positioning and promotion of CNN’s multiple networks and services. In that position, she is responsible for brand strategy, consumer and trade communication, audience development and sales communications supporting CNN brands and programming.  Prior to this, she was Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of BET Networks, leading brand strategy and marketing efforts, including on-air promotions, off-channel and digital marketing, affiliate and trade marketing.  She directed a redesign of the BET Network on air, and comprehensive, multi-platform marketing campaigns for the brand including BET’s history making scripted series “The Game”, the BET Honors and the BET Awards, for which BET received multiple awards.
Mr. R. Danvers (Danny) Williams is one of the most dynamic, energetic and accomplished Jamaican entrepreneurs and philanthropists whose contribution to Jamaica and the region are well known. He has had a distinguished career in insurance, spanning some 60 years, and is Founder and Past President and Chief Executive Officer of Sagicor Life Jamaica Limited (formerly Life of Jamaica Limited) one of the largest life insurance companies in the West Indies. Danny Williams is noted for his considerable service to the wider Jamaican community, having served as Chairman of the Jamaica College Foundation, President of the Jamaica Association for the Deaf, Chairman of the Jamaica Association for the Advancement of Literacy (JAMAL), Chairman of the National Development Foundation of Jamaica and as Vice President of the Jaycees of Jamaica and the West Indies Jaycees.

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