Build­ing named af­ter Mc­clean

UK Barbados Nation - - EDITORIAL -

A NEW HON­OUR has been be­stowed on the late Wen­dell Mc­clean.

Eigh­teen years af­ter the pass­ing of the aca­demic and so­cial ac­tivist turned politi­cian, the build­ing hous­ing the Fac­ulty of So­cial Sci­ences at the Univer­sity of the West Indies (UWI) Cave Hill, which he ag­i­tated for and be­came the first dean of, was named in his hon­our.

Mc­clean held var­i­ous po­si­tions at UWI and is cred­ited with the in­tro­duc­tion of the mas­ter’s in eco­nomics at the cam­pus.

“It has taken a long time for this build­ing to be jus­ti­fi­ably named in his hon­our, since he sac­ri­ficed a lot to es­tab­lish and build the fac­ulty,” said for­mer close friend and col­league, Pro­fes­sor Emer­i­tus An­drew Downes.

Downes, along with an­other close friend and col­league of Mc­clean, Pro­fes­sor Emer­i­tus Sir Frank Al­leyne, re­galed the au­di­ence with sto­ries of their time with him.

Mc­clean was praised for his “sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion” to the de­vel­op­ment of eco­nomics in Bar­ba­dos, though he would likely be best re­mem­bered for his work on pub­lic util­i­ties reg­u­la­tions. He also played a ma­jor role in the Na­tional Demo­cratic Party, formed in the late 1980s, fol­low­ing a break­away from the Demo­cratic Labour Party.

UWI prin­ci­pal, Pro­fes­sor Eu­dine Bar­riteau, who was among the many peo­ple who ben­e­fited from Mc­clean’s aca­demic ad­vice, said he gave ex­cep­tional ser­vice not just to UWI and the Cave Hill Cam­pus, but Bar­ba­dos as well.

Debt of grat­i­tude

“Stu­dents who pur­sued ac­count­ing, eco­nomics, man­age­ment, so­ci­ol­ogy, pub­lic ad­min­is­tra­tion, so­cial work, mar­ket­ing, po­lit­i­cal sci­ence and many other dis­ci­plines cur­rently taught in this fac­ulty, and who are so­cially and eco­nom­i­cally bet­ter off to­day as a re­sult, un­doubt­edly owe a debt of grat­i­tude to Wen­dell Mc­clean for his fore­sight in in­sist­ing that a phys­i­cal space and re­sources be pro­vided for the then new fac­ulty,” she said.

“If the Fac­ulty of So­cial Sci­ences may be per­ceived as the birth­place of the man­age­rial, pro­fes­sional work­force, then it is en­tirely ap­pro­pri­ate that not only do we des­ig­nate to

Wen­dell Mc­clean the ti­tle of god­fa­ther of that de­vel­op­ment, but that, ac­cord­ingly, we do the right thing as we are here do­ing to­day by plac­ing his name in the heart­land of the fac­ulty, so that his legacy will be per­pet­u­ated and known for gen­er­a­tions to come.”

For many years, the fac­ulty has had the largest co­hort of stu­dents at Cave Hill. It cur­rently ac­counts for more than half, with a roll of 5 856.

While trac­ing her brother’s many con­tri­bu­tions, for­mer lec­turer and ex-minister of For­eign Af­fairs and For­eign Trade Max­ine Mc­clean ex­pressed re­gret that the cur­rent gen­er­a­tion of economists “missed out on his in­tel­lec­tual and aca­demic rigour.

“We were all very proud of Wen­dell. We also un­der­stood the prin­ci­pled man that he was,” she said.

She re­vealed that she was doc­u­ment­ing the con­tri­bu­tions of her brother, who passed away in Jan­uary 2000.


(Pic­ture by Len­nox Devon­ish.)

ACA­DEMIC, so­cial ac­tivist and politi­cian, the late Wen­dell Mc­clean’s widow, Clothilda, help­ing un­veil the sign while his youngest sis­ter, for­mer Gov­ern­ment minister Max­ine Mc­clean, looks on. In­set is Mc­clean.

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