Building named after Mcclean
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.
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.