Barbadian Sir Hilary Beckles is an educator, historian, author, and the current Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West Indies (UWI). He is known globally for his scholarship on Afro-Caribbean history and his analysis of the role of cricket in West Indies society and culture.
Sir Hilary Beckles is the youngest person to have ever been geanted a professorship by the UWI, having been named professor at age 37. He was previously named pro-vice-chancellor and chairman of UWI’s Board for Undergraduate studies in 1998. In 2002, he was named principal of the Univerity’s Cave Hill campus.
Sir Hilary, who has served as a member of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), has written extensively on West Indian and Barbadian sporting culture and was the driving force behind the establishment of the Centre for Cricket Research at the Cave Hill Campus in 1994, which resulted in the refurbishment of the on-campus 3Ws Oval.
He is also credited as the originator of the concept of visitng cricket teams playing a Vice-Chancellor’s XI.
Sir Hilary has authorised several papers and essays on the role of cricket in Britsh West Indies society. His 16-year-old two-volume series on the history of cricket in the Caribbean, titled The Development of West Indies Cricket is very highly regarded. He is a director of the C.L.R. James Centre for Cricket Research.
Among Sir Hilary’s honours and awards are: “Author of the Year” in 1991 by Barbados Cultural Promotions; “Documentary of the Year” in 1993 by the Barbados Association of Journalists for We Now Have A Country, a documentary that he wrote, narrated, and co-directed; being named the inaugural winner of the UWI Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in the field of research in 1994. he was made a Knight of St. Andrew, the highest honour possible in the Order of Barbados in 2007.
Sir Hialry serves on the editorial boards of several academic journals, is a director of Sagicor Life Jamaica Limited and was director of ICC West Indies Cricket World Cup, Inc., which led the staging of the Cricket World Cup in the West Indies in 2007.