The UWI confers honorary doctorate on Sir McLean, and UPP renews promise to elevate Our Pledge to anthem status

The University of the West Indies (UWI) commenced its annual
graduation exercises with Sir Leroy McLean Emanuel – popularly
known as “King Short Shirt” – being awarded a well-deserved
honorary Doctor of Letters at the Five Islands campus on Saturday,
October 7.

Dressed in the traditional cap and gown, Sir McLean accepted the
honour and expressed his deep appreciation for the opportunity to
embody Antigua and Barbuda’s culture for over 60 years in the
calypso arena.

The leadership of the United Progressive Party (UPP) – which was
represented at the ceremony by MP Richard Lewis, the Party’s
spokesman on higher education, and former political leader Harold
Lovell – says it is pleased to congratulate Sir McLean on his receipt
of this honour.

Sir McLean is referred to as “The Monarch,” as he is this country’s
premiere calypsonian.

He entered the calypso arena in 1962 and, since then, has produced
hundreds of top-quality calypsos, winning the competition 15 times
on the local stage.

Some of his biggest hits include Nobody Go Run me, described as the
patriot’s anthem; Tourist Leggo; Lucinda; Lamentation; and Our

The UPP had promised, if elected in 2018, to elevate Our Pledge to
the status of Antigua and Barbuda’s “second national anthem.” The
promise still stands, the Party’s chair says.

Following the conferral of his degree, Sir McLean took centre stage
and delivered a performance of his iconic Jou’vert Morning to the
delight of the in-house and online audiences.

He was the first calypsonian to “three-peat” in the competition – in
1964, 1965, and 1966; took the Caribbean Calypso Competition
crown seven times; and has seven Road March crowns to his name.

The Monarch is among 14 eminent persons selected to receive an
honorary degree from the university during the class of 2023
graduation ceremonies.