to Dr Adam Stewart, executive chairman of Sandals Resorts International and the Appliance Traders Group, which includes the Jamaica Observer, “In life, there are main events and sideshows.”
Indubitably, he was part of the main event on Saturday, where he was conferred with the doctor of laws (LLD) by The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, for stellar contributions to the region’s tourism and travel industry asa well as philanthropy.
Dr Livingston White, director at the Caribbean Media and Communication (Carimac) and public orator for the Mona Campus, read the citation during The UWI’s 2022 graduation ceremony for the Faculty of Social Sciences, held at its campus in st Andrew.
White asked, “What would Jamaica be without the Stewart family?” and later underscored the family’s notable contributions to local media, hospitality, and sales and service.
Speaking with the Observer after the ceremony, Stewart was confident that his father, the late Gordon “Butch” Stewart would have been proud.
“My father was in and out of school as a youngster due to challenges of his upbringing. But, despite all of that, he understood the power of education from the get-go. All of the apprenticeship programmes, all of the training programmes, and then ultimately working with myself and the team to create universities across our company and then tied in to the wider collective of our international university partnership.
“Butch Stewart was a man that revelled in the power of education, and I think he would, for sure, be proud,” he said.
Stewart is among 16 people from across the Caribbean who have been conferred with honorary degrees by The UWI this year for their contributions to several areas, including sports, culture, law, business, and science.
Among the honorary graduands is Professor Orlando Patterson, who was conferred with the doctor of letters (DLitt) for his work as a historical and cultural sociologist; former West Indies cricketer Captain Sir Richard Benjamin Richardson of Antigua and Barbuda, who was conferred with the LLD for his contribution to sport; and Alston “Becket” Cyrus of St Vincent and the Grenadines, who is being recognised with the DLitt for his work as a soca artiste and composer.
Stewart, in his acceptance speech, said it is an “extraordinary honour”.
“Next year will mark 75 years that The University of the West Indies has been contributing to building a stronger Caribbean. That’s an amazing achievement,” he said.
He told the Observer that it may be the greatest honour he has ever had.
“It’s overwhelming. As I walked in, I was not just inspired for the recognition that was bestowed upon me, but the excitement for the future of what Jamaica and the Caribbean can be with this kind of brain power. You can’t help but get excited,” he related.