UPDATE from the Nation News (Barbados)

The University of the West Indies released a statement earlier today, following reports that Barbadian singer Rihanna was to receive an honorary doctorate.

The following is the release in its entirety.

“The University of the West Indies Cave Hill campus wishes to clarify recent public statements indicating that international singer Robyn Rihanna Fenty will be the recipient of an honorary doctorate at its 2018 graduation ceremony.

While Ms Fenty was among a list of eligible candidates approved for receiving the university’s highest honour, her management conveyed that she was unable to commit to receiving the honorary degree this year because of scheduling commitments. This information was communicated to The University of the West Indies several weeks ago and management at The UWI Cave Hill campus, where the award would have been conferred, was aware of Ms Fenty’s inability to accept the award on this occasion.

At The UWI’s Annual Business Meeting of Council on April 27th, 2018, 21 people were approved to be awarded honorary degrees for the University’s 2018 ceremonies. This is subject to their willingness to accept, and their ability to be present at the respective Graduation Ceremonies at each of The UWI’s four campuses. The confirmed list of honorary graduands is now 17 based on the responses from these two criteria.”

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Rihanna is scheduled to be honored with a Honorary Doctorate of Letters in a ceremony scheduled for October 20 at the Cave Hill Campus.

This will be the second time RiRi is receiving an award from an academic institution having received the Harvard Foundation award for Humanitarian of the Year in 2017.

UWI awards honorary degrees to individuals of eminence in the arts, sciences and other fields of intellectual endeavor, as well as to persons who have made outstanding regional or international contributions. The 2018 graduation ceremonies will see Chancellor Robert Bermudez presiding over the ceremonies and conferring degrees to the honorary graduands.

UWI released a statement clarifying a recent public statement saying, “The University of the West Indies Cave Hill campus wishes to clarify recent public statements indicating that international singer Robyn Rihanna Fenty will be the recipient of an honorary doctorate at its 2018 graduation ceremony.
While Ms Fenty was among a list of eligible candidates approved for receiving the university’s highest honour, her management conveyed that she was unable to commit to receiving the honorary degree this year because of scheduling commitments. This information was communicated to The University of the West Indies several weeks ago and management at The UWI Cave Hill campus, where the award would have been conferred, was aware of Ms Fenty’s inability to accept the award on this occasion.
At The UWI’s Annual Business Meeting of Council on April 27th, 2018, 21 people were approved to be awarded honorary degrees for the University’s 2018 ceremonies. This is subject to their willingness to accept, and their ability to be present at the respective Graduation Ceremonies at each of The UWI’s four campuses. The confirmed list of honorary graduands is now 17 based on the responses from these two criteria.”