|Malcom C. Kirwin|
When I reflect on my 40-year affiliation with the University of the Virgin Islands, first as a student, and later as a senior administrator serving four Presidents, I think of the defining characteristic of the University that has allowed it to turn its adversities and challenges into opportunities to forge many of the achievements that have undergirded its growth and development.
Beginning with the first President, Dr. Lawrence Wanlass, he responded to the challenge of attracting students from the
Eastern Caribbean with an Eastern Caribbean Scholarship
Program that lured students like myself and Dr. Frank Mills to CVI in 1965. Those
of us who had faith in the College have been repaid a thousand fold and can
truthfully claim that our lives were changed not just for the better, but for
When the College was beginning to outgrow the old World War II Navy facilities that were utilized for the start-up of the institution, Dr. Wanlass engineered a master plan that allowed the institution to make the leap forward by building the Upper Campus as the academic heart of the University with the Library building as the center piece.
When the Enron Corporation challenged the University in 1986 to make a case for a gift of over 300 acres of land that it held on
St. Croix and which it was contemplating donating to a
mainland institution, then President Dr. Arthur Richards, Dr. Orville Kean and Mr.
Malcolm Kirwan rose to this challenge and secured the gift. The proceeds from
the sale of the Enron Lands created the seed money for the establishment and
funding of the UVI Foundation.
Few will remember that the University went from rationing water to the
campus in the 1990’s to the development of a system of wells and a reverse osmosis
plant that made it self-sufficient in its water supply. It used the opportunity
of replacing the old water distribution system put in place by the Navy in the
1940’s to build out a fiber-optic network that would serve the information
technology needs of the institution well into the future. St. Thomas
|Malcom Kirwin in Admininstration and Finance Office.|
has risen out of the ashes of adversity thrust upon it throughout the years to
become the institution that is poised to continue to create lasting higher
educational opportunities for the people of the Virgin
Islands well into the future. Happy 50th Anniversary
Mr. Malcolm C. Kirwan, now retired, is UVI’s former Vice President of Administration and Finance.