The UWI mourns the passing of its 2014 honorary graduand, Ryland T Campbell

The UWI mourns the passing of its 2014 honorary graduand, Ryland T Campbell

In this file photo, then Chancellor, Sir George Alleyne (left) shakes Ryland T Campbell hands shortly after he was conferred with the honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD) in 2014.

The University of the West Indies (The UWI) is deeply saddened at the passing of its honorary graduand Mr. Ryland Theophilus Campbell. The educator, banker, entrepreneur, and philanthropist passed away on Friday, May 3, 2004, at the age of 81.

The regional University joins Campbell’s family and friends in mourning his loss.  Campbell, who co-founded the Capital & Credit Financial Group Ltd, and served for several years as Chairman, Group President and CEO, was admired for his visionary business acumen and transformative contributions to the financial sector. He was also a prominent figure on the education landscape, significantly impacting the sector’s development and sustainability.

In 2014, The UWI conferred the honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD) on Campbell during one of its graduation ceremonies at The Mona Campus for his "acute entrepreneurial and managerial abilities", coupled with his willingness to serve and help improve the position of the less fortunate in society. In the citation that was read to a large gathering at the time, The UWI praised Campbell for his visionary leadership. The UWI said it was Campbell’s vision that led to the Capital & Credit Group becoming “the first merchant bank to be listed on the Jamaica Stock exchange; the first Jamaican bank to be listed on the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange and the first Jamaican financial institution to obtain an investment banking/broker licence in Florida in the United States”. 

The UWI also lauded the respected leader and mentor for his staunch support for education. The University noted that; “It would be entirely one-sided to suggest that Ryland Campbell has been motivated solely by the desire to make a success out of his various business ventures. All along the way it is evident that he has sought to balance this with a passion to help people at the individual, community and national levels. His Capital and Credit Scholarship Programme assisted more than 100 students to attend both secondary and tertiary institutions.” Campbell also gave scholarships to schoolchildren from his hometown in Carmel, Westmoreland, and provided personal assistance to the Pre University Men’s Programme at his alma mater – the Mico University College (then Mico Teachers’ College).

Campbell taught English and Geography for six years at St Elizabeth Technical High School, before joining the civil service. He subsequently took up a position as business development officer at the Worker’s Savings and Loan Bank. Before 1989, Campbell held various executive positions in Worker’s and the Jamaica Citizens Banking group. He then struck out on his own, launching a lease financing company under the banner of the Weststar Group of Companies. This venture eventually led him into banking through the Capital and Credit Financial Group.

Even after he sold his successful Capital and Credit Merchant Bank in 2012 to the Jamaica Money Market Brokers group, Campbell continued to give excellent public service.  He served on a number of boards, and was the first Chairman of the National Health Fund, a Member of the Independent Commission of the Judiciary, Director of the National Foundation of Jamaica, and President of the Rotary Club of Downtown Kingston. He also served as Chairman of the University Hospital of the West Indies Board, Deputy Pro-Chancellor and Vice Chairman of the Board of the Mico University College, Member and Deputy Chair of the Council of the University of Technology, Board member of the Early Childhood Commission,  and Board member of the Jamaica Diaspora Foundation Limited.

In his own reflection, Campbell noted that: “Service is my greatest delight— my parents, my Moravian roots – hence my unwavering commitment to being a person of values, upholding the motto of rotary, ‘service above self’”.  He also took inspiration from Albert Einstein who said ,"Try not to become a man of success but rather a man of value, only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile."  Campbell ended with a quote from Lionel Messi, "I am more concerned being a good person than being the best footballer in the world".

As we celebrate Campbell’s life and work, we hope his family and friends find comfort in the rich legacy he has left behind.  Walk good, Ryland T Campbell.