Friday, June 8, 2012

Students Honored for Edward Wilmot Blyden Essays

UVI senior Leslyn Tonge was recently awarded the top prize in the University's Edward Wilmot Blyden Essay contest, held as part of the annual Alfred O. Heath Lecture Series and the 50th Golden Jubilee Celebration. Other winners in the contest were graduate student Amad Martin and junior Tasha Cornielle. The contest - open to UVI students – was conducted in conjunction with a symposium on the life and accomplishments of St. Thomas native Edward Wilmot Blyden. The symposium served as this year's Heath Lecture in March.

Tonge who is majoring in communications was awarded $300. Martin, who studied physics, and Cornielle, who is a biology major, each received $50 prizes as co-runners up. Student participants each attended the Blyden symposium and composed essays discussing Blyden’s contributions to Pan-Africanism, his impact on the Virgin Islands and V.I. leaders who were inspired by Blyden.

The essay contest was sponsored by the Sankofa Saturdays Youth Cultural Initiative and the Black Heritage Committee of UVI’s Student Government Association. Attending the presentation, held May 31, on UVI's St. Thomas campus, were Dr. Chenzira D. Kahina – Managing Director of Per Ankh, Inc., Victoria Bennett – the aunt of winner Amad Martin, Ayesha Morris – interim executive director of the Virgin Islands Humanities Council, Dr. Opal Palmer Adisa – board chair of the Virgin Islands Humanities Council and DaraMonifa Cooper – founder of Sankofa Saturdays.

Attending the Blyden Essay Contest awards presentation were, front row-from left, UVI President Dr. David Hall, student winners Tasha Cornielle, Amad Martin and Leslyn Tonge. In back, from left, were Dr. Chenzira D. Kahina, Victoria Bennett, Ayesha Morris, Dr. Opal Palmer Adisa and DaraMonifa Cooper and advisor for UVI's Student Government Association Black Heritage Committee. Click to view larger image.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Reaching Out to Alumni

Phonathon action continues tonight from 5:30 to 9 p.m. in the Administration and Conference Center on St. Thomas. See item below for details.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Alumni Phonathon 2012 Continues Through June 7

UVI alumni, students, faculty and staff turned out for the opening evening of the 2012 Alumni Phonathon on Monday, June 4. The volunteers are making calls, updating contact information, processing pledges and helping to organize call sheets. Calling will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. nightly through Thursday, June 7. "The first night was a spirited experience," said UVI Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Affairs Linda I. Smith ('98, '03). "Volunteers were excited to connect with alumni throughout the Territory, the Caribbean, and the U.S. mainland. Tonight sets the tone for the rest of the week."
Vice President for Institutional Advancement Dionne V. Jackson, who was also on the phone on Monday, urged everyone to "come out, roll up your sleeves and help make calls to our alumni on behalf of our beloved institution. Your assistance will help us reach our 50 percent Alumni Giving rate this year. This is your chance to be part of the success story!"

The annual Alumni Phonathon has become one of the University's primary vehicles for communicating with its alumni body. During the effort, particular attention is paid to updating alumni contact and career information. Volunteers will each receive a special thank-you gift and dinner will be provided. Prizes will be awarded to the top callers each night and to the overall top callers for the four days of the Phonathon. The 2012 Alumni Phonathon is sponsored by the UVI’s Office of Institutional Advancement.

To volunteer, contact UVI’s Office of Institutional Advancement at (340) 693-1047 or send email to or or

We Are UVI... Sharing CVI/UVI Stories

Can you identify this week’s “We Are UVI” contributor. To find out for sure, visit “We Are UVI” at:
“We Are UVI” is the University’s Golden Jubilee blog. It features individuals sharing their CVI/UVI stories .........from the past 50 years. New submissions are added each week, this one was posted Sunday, June 3.

This week's post joins stories from Sinclair Wilkinson ('72), Rafe Boulon, Jr. ('76), Carmie Thompson ('10), Frank Mills ('67), James Rakocy, Arah Lockhart ('78), Utha Williams ('82), former UVI President LaVerne Ragster, Marthious Clavier ('02,'08), John Lucas, Maxine Nunez, Rosary Harper, Yegin Habtes, Gloria Callwood, Laurent Javois (’76), Helen Dookhan ('79, '84, '98), Curtis Gilpin ('80), Carolyn O’Neal-Morton ('85), Ali McClean ('93), Constance Gumbs ('87, '91), Malcolm Kirwan ('67) and Sharleen Fahie ('86, '93).