The University of the West Indies (The UWI) joins the global community in mourning the passing of Desmond Mpilo Tutu, South African Anglican cleric who received the Nobel Prize for Peace for his role in the opposition to apartheid. He died on December 26, 2021.
Desmond Tutu was well respected and revered by The UWI and the wider Caribbean. In 1986 he was conferred an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University and in 2017, the retired Archbishop with its Luminary Award was honoured during a ceremony hosted by the University’s Toronto Benefit Gala in Canada.
Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles expressed his condolences on behalf of The UWI community to his wife, Mrs. Nomalizo Leah Tutu in a letter penned on January 5:
“Dear Mrs. Tutu,
The University of the West Indies was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our beloved Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
We join South Africa and the global community in honouring a man who spent his life fearlessly speaking truth to power. From his work against apartheid in South Africa, to his championing of democracy, freedom and human rights, and advocacy for those still living under the scourge of disenfranchisement. He will be greatly missed.
Archbishop Tutu, along with his brothers, President Nelson Mandela and Dr. the Honourable Harry Belafonte were among our most distinguished honorary graduates. Their indefatigable fight against social injustice globally, secured redemption for our people, and we are eternally grateful.
On behalf of The University of the West Indies, we extend our deepest condolences to you and your entire family on his passing. Thanks for your unwavering support and contribution to his tremendous legacy, and for consistently generously sharing his precious life to assist in the advancement of our Race. May his beautiful soul rest in eternal peace.”