Skip to main content

FunTimes Magazine

University of the Virgin Islands Celebrates 60th Anniversary

Sep 14, 2022 12:00PM ● By Candice Stewart

Nestled in the Caribbean nation of the US Virgin Islands and spread across two campuses of St. Croix and St. Thomas, the University of Virgin Island (UVI) is historically American, uniquely Caribbean, and globally interactive. Approximately 2,500 students are enrolled across the Albert A. Sheen Campus on the island of St. Croix and the Orville E. Kean Campus on the island of St. Thomas. UVI offers 47 undergraduate and graduate degree programs across its five colleges and schools.

With rather close proximity to the beach, one might think that UVI is a tourist resort. Its beauty is visible through the lush green grounds decorated with trees and flowering plants at almost every turn. The tropical climate and crisp clean air, has the ability to refresh your senses as you traverse the campuses.

 University of the Virgin Islands Diamond Jubilee logo | Source: University of the Virgin Islands

Earlier this year, UVI began the celebration of its Diamond Jubilee anniversary as one of the Caribbean’s higher learning institutions and a member of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) family. Former Morehouse College President Dr. Robert Franklin Jr., author of “Moral Leadership: Integrity, Courage, Imagination,” graced the occasion with his keynote message on “Moral Leadership and the Role and History of HBCUs”    

President, University of the Virgin Islands, Dr. David Hall | Source: University of the Virgin Islands

On his part, the UVI President, Dr. David Hall said, “while every Charter Day commemoration is notable, this year’s 60th anniversary, which highlights our resilience and innovation, takes on even greater significance when we consider the unprecedented events in our world today. Amidst great uncertainty and turmoil, UVI’s continued excellence in fulfilling our mission over six decades is an incredible testimony to the foresight and fortitude of our founders as well as our dedicated faculty, staff, alumni and an exemplary Board of Trustees.”

“Reaching this milestone is the result of our unfailing vision, consistent labor, and collective perseverance, and I am immensely proud of the achievements of our students and alumni, not only within the walls of the University but also on the world stage,” he said.

Aerial view of the University of the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas campus | Source: University of the Virgin Islands

The University of the Virgin Islands was chartered on March 16, 1962, as the College of the Virgin Islands. It was a publicly funded, coeducational, liberal arts institution by Act No. 852 of the Fourth Legislature of the U.S. Virgin Islands. According to that law, the educational institution’s primary objective is to provide for "...the stimulation and utilization of the intellectual resources of the people of the Virgin Islands and the development of a center of higher learning whereby and wherefrom the benefits of culture and education may be extended throughout the Virgin Islands."

The first campus was opened on St. Thomas in July 1963, on 175 acres donated by the federal government. One year later, in 1964, the college founded a second campus on St. Croix, on 130 acres also donated by the federal government.

Read 'Let's Talk About HBCUs':

Let’s Talk About HBCUs

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” -Nelson Mandela Read More » 


A little over 22 years after it was chartered, the College of the Virgin Islands was renamed the University of the Virgin Islands in 1986. This was done to reflect the growth and diversification of its academic curricula, community and regional services, and research programs. In that same year, the United States Congress named UVI one of America's Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). As a result, UVI holds the distinction of being the only HBCU outside of the continental United States.

On Dec. 19, 2017, the University’s Board of Trustees approved offerings for online degrees. Through the newly established UVI online division, UVI began course offerings and programs in a 100% online format in 2018. The degrees offered online range between Bachelor of Science in Cyber security and Master of Science in Leadership

According to the US News College Compass, the University of the Virgin Islands ranks at:

-          35th in the Regional Colleges South

-          22nd in Best Value Schools

-          42nd in Top Performers on Social Mobility

-          6th in Top Public Colleges in the South

With 60 years under its belt, the UVI not only continues to excel and break barriers but also boasts of more than 7,000 alumni who have become physicians, attorneys, judges, politicians, university administrators, teachers, nurses and many other professionals. Among the many accomplished former UVI students are two Rhodes Scholars and a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist.

University of the Virgin Islands, St. Croix Campus | Source: National Student Exchange

Read about FunTimes HBCU Discourse:
HBCU Discourse

HBCU Discourse

HBCUs are a safe haven for Black students, but financial challenges prevent a lot of people from attending. How can the community support these programs and potential students? Read More » 

What is an HBCU - White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity through Historically Black Colleges and Universities – US Department of Education

UVI History – University of the Virgin Islands

About UVI – University of the Virgin Islands

Honorary Doctorates – University of the Virgin Islands

University of the Virgin Islands Rankings – US News College Compass

UVI Looks Forward to Historic 60th Charter Day Anniversary Celebrations – University of the Virgin Islands

UVI to Commemorate 60th Anniversary with Yearlong Celebrations – University of the Virgin Islands


 Candice Stewart is a Jamaican content writer specializing in human interest feature stories. She is a web content writer, blogger, and budding podcaster. 
She holds an MA in Communication for Social and Behaviour Change and a BSc. in Psychology from the University of the West Indies (UWI, Mona).

Follow her blog at, where she shares stories and life lessons through real-life experiences.

Read more from Candice Stewart:

pFounder and owner of Health Heroes Connect LLC KunTre Pharaohbrp

Kun’Tre Pharaoh: Student at HBCU Launches Health Brand Ahead of Ultimate Goal to Own Hospital or Healthcare Clinic

Kun’Tre Pharaoh, a student at Winston-Salem State University, hopes to one day establish and operate a hospital or healthcare clinic that provides services inclusive of a mixture of holis... Read More » 


pDedan Kimathi Waciuri shown at his trial in the Nyeri forest led an armed military struggle known as the Mau Mau uprising against the British colonial government in Kenya 1956 Photo by Authenticated NewsArchive PhotosGetty Imagesbrp

Dedan Kimathi: His Influence on the Mau Mau and the Connection between, Rastafarianism, Dreadlocks, and the Organization

Dedan Kimathi was one of the top insurgents of Kenya’s armed independence movement, the Mau Mau. Read More » 


Hurricane Preparedness

Hurricane Preparedness

With a few weeks left until the start of the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane season, how prepared are you for the threat of the impact that the storms may may have? Read More »