UWI pays tribute to Prof Selwyn Ryan

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

GONE TO REST: Professor Selwyn Ryan, seen in this 2018 file photo, died on Sunday at the age of 86. –

THE University of the West Indies, St Augustine has paid tribute to Prof Selwyn Ryan, 86, following news of his passing on Saturday night.

In a press release on Sunday afternoon, the university remembered the late political scientist, lecturer and director of the Institute of Social and Economic Research, UWI St Augustine campus, for his passion for Caribbean development.

Pro vice-chancellor and St Augustine campus principal Brian Copeland reflected on Ryan’s fervent wish at his last book launch, that younger academics pick up where he left off and continue to write and record the history of TT.

Copeland said, “We can pay no greater tribute to a man who has done so much for country and region than by fulfilling his most earnest desire. Students and graduates of The UWI will continue – as succeeding generations have done for the last 75 years – to advance learning, create knowledge, and foster innovation for the positive and sustainable transformation of this region and, indeed, the wider world.”

Ryan was recognised as one of the Caribbean’s foremost scholars and writers of political history.

Over his career as a researcher and writer, Ryan wrote newspaper columns, academic papers, and articles for journals, documenting exciting moments in the contemporary political history of Trinidad and Toabgo and the Caribbean.

The release said, “However, it was the St Augustine campus that Professor Emeritus Ryan considered his ‘home away from home’ and where, on October 30, 2019, he chose to launch his last book, Ryan Recalls – Selwyn Ryan: His Memoirs.”

At the time of his book launch, UWI’s Alma Jordan Library also celebrated the launch of the Selwyn Ryan Collection.

This is a collection of manuscripts, correspondence, and scrapbooks from his early life at home and abroad; all donated by the professor as research material for students and academics.