Recently, the University of Guyana Guild of Graduates, Ontario (UGGGO), which has been active for more than 21 consecutive years but dormant for the past few, made a donation of $5,300.00 (Can.) to the Library of the UG. According to an acknowledgement of receipt from the Bursar of the university, this amount equates to $788,040.00 (Guyana).
In an email to the UGGGO, Vice Chancellor of the UG, Professor Ivelaw Griffith, writes “this new tangible expression of your support will go a long way in strengthening services in our library”. And in a letter, Ms. Gwyneth George, UG’s Librarian, expressed her thanks for this most recent support and states “this valuable donation will be used to enhance our collection which will add value to our holdings for research and teaching”.
The UGGGO was formed in 1993 and is perhaps the only chapter of the UG Guild that was active for more than 21 consecutive years. I have had the privilege of being the President of this organization since 1994 and I worked with a small, dedicated group of UG alumni from the 1960s and early 1970s to make our contribution to our alma mater.
Over the years, the UGGGO contributed around $30,000.00 (Can) to a number of initiatives in Guyana and at the UG. Among these is the investment of over $14,000.00 (Can) in trust accounts in Guyana to fund 9 annual financial awards to outstanding students at the UG, irrespective of race, religion, sex, creed or political affiliation. These awards are funded by the interest earned annually on the accounts and thus, are likely to continue for the foreseeable future.
Another noteworthy project was the publication of a book titled “Perspectives on the Early History of the University of Guyana”. This book offers the recollections of Professor Harold Drayton, the Deputy Vice Chancellor who set up the UG in 1963; Professor Alan Earp, the Vice Chancellor who saw the construction of the Turkeyen campus; and Professor Dennis Irvine, the Vice Chancellor who moved into the Turkeyen campus and led the university to international repute.
Due to the aging of our executives, the UGGGO has been dormant for the past few years. However, we are planning to launch the autobiography of Dr. Harold Drayton, titled “An Accidental Life”, sometime this Spring.
Meanwhile, we are hoping that Dr. Paloma Mohamed, Deputy Vice Chancellor– PACE (Philanthropy, Alumni and Civic Engagement) will be able to generate interest among younger UG graduates in Ontario to continue the work of this chapter of the Guild.