The University of Guyana (UG) has commenced planning to commemorate the birth centennial of the late President Dr Cheddi B. Jagan in March this year. The commemoration envisages a series of academic activities to honour the co-founder of Guyana’s premiere tertiary institution, which was established in 1963. Vice-Chancellor Professor Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith recently convened the inaugural meeting of the twelvemember, broad-based planning committee tasked to recommend a comprehensive set of commemoration events.
Under the Chairmanship of Dr Nigel Gravesande, University Registrar, who is an historian, the committee includes Professor Paloma Mohamed, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Philanthropy, Alumni and Civic Engagement; Professor Subramanian Gomalthinayagam, Director of the Berbice Campus; and Mr Tota Mangar, former Deputy Vice-Chancellor and a respected historian. Also part of the planning committee are: Ms Indra Chandrapaul of the Cheddi Jagan Research Centre; Ms Gwyneth George, University Librarian; Ms Emily King, Director of the National Library; Ms Paulette Paul, UG’s Public Relations Officer; Dr Cheddie (Joey) Jagan, Jr; Dr Nigel Westmaas, Associate Professor of Africana Studies at Hamilton College in New York; Mr Kadasi Ceres of UG’s Faculty of Social Sciences; and Assistant Registrar June Ann Garnett, who is Secretary to the Planning Committee. According to Vice-Chancellor Griffith, “this commemoration is intended to be consonant with universities do: facilitate discourse on significant personalities, policies, programmes, and events, analysing relevant aspects, some of which might be contentious.” At the inaugural planning committee meeting the Vice-Chancellor stressed that the commemoration will not be a partisan pursuit, nor will it facilitate such. The Committee is expected to organise a series of exhibitions on the life and works of the late President, hold symposia at both campuses, and install a commemorative plaque at the Cheddi Jagan Lecture Theatre on the Turkeyen campus. The opportunity will be taken to raise funds to renovate the Lecture Theatre, and to increase awareness about Dr Jagan among the younger generation.